New Music for Old Rockers – July Concertpalooza Edition – Part 1

In my quest to make this my best concert year ever, the month of July will play a key role. I am scheduled to attend 4 concerts this month, and the first 2 are in the books, no thanks to the Democratic National Committee. I had planned on seeing husband & wife duo Flora Cash at a free Millennium Park concert in Chicago.

Flora Cash.png

They look exciting. However, the Flora Cash show directly conflicted with the second Democratic candidate debate. Thanks, Obama. Well, that’s probably okay as Flora Cash tends to be a bit mellow. I mean, her eyes are closed in the pic. Some would say a bit too subdued on this popular track of theirs … I wouldn’t want to fall asleep in the park and miss my train home.

My oldest son suggested Car Seat Headrest in the same park this past week. Although I had no idea who Car Seat Headrest is, I couldn’t refuse a free concert with my son in the beautiful Jay Pritzker Pavillion on Chicago’s glorious lakefront on a beautiful night.

pritzker pavillion

Now, who is Car Seat Headrest you ask?

They are the brainchild of Will Toledo who started releasing albums after he graduated high school, often recording tracks in the back seat of his car, hence the band name. Here is a sample of their music …

Most of their songs start slow and build in intensity. Toledo is interesting to watch.

Car Seat Headrest

He reminds me a bit of a Devo-spastic Robert Smith of the Cure. But he certainly commanded my visual attention as he seized, jerked and moped all over the stage. Also reminding me of someone was this guy who’s back of his head looked just like my deceased Uncle Bill’s did.

Uncle Bill.JPG

Opening for Car Seat Headrest was Naked Giants. After their energetic set, they played along with the Car Seat Headrest set. That got me to thinking that if Naked Giants combined forces with Young the Giant and They Might Be Giants, they could call themselves They Might Be Young Naked Giants. Anyway, I was happy with the show overall, and glad to be introduced to a young musical talent like Will Toledo and his band.

And then last night, after working for hours in the yard in oppressive heat, I defied the odds and went from one age extreme to the other to see War in concert. They are celebrating their 50th year together, even though there is only one original member left. At what point does it stop being the original band and just become a tribute band?

Regardless of that answer, it was a fun show. I could tell when I saw everyone walking around the concert grounds like this …

walk dance

And why not? It was a super funky set, and you can’t have funky without fun. Here is the setlist.


They had fun, sounded good, and dropped a load of funk onto the audience that was well-received. One hit wonder Edwin Starr asked many years ago in his one hit, “War, what is it good for?” A solid good time, that’s what.


As a bonus, I got to drive past the school where I spent my first grade year, Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic school. My main memory is of watching a nun kick a first-grader as he cowered in fear under his desk. Good times.

More concerts to come next week as my wife and I venture out to see Heart and Sheryl Crow in concert, with free tickets courtesy of WXRT, the world’s best radio station. Then in late July, I am headed to the Spoon/Beck/Cage the Elephant triple bill concert of the summer. Rock on!





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