The Freakeasy of Chicago is an amazing collective of artists that gather once a month to celebrate. I had the privilege of attending the latest installment, and it was about as good as it gets. I heard great music, saw great art, and felt good vibes. It was one of those nights that seemed to come together in a special way. Some of the qualities were intangible and unexplainable, but I think you can draw a deep sense of the experience from what I can share. Below you will find some videos, pictures, and words about what I took away from this inspiring night.
It’s a party, but it’s not just a party… It’s a celebration of humanity, of existence, and of experience. It is an expression of life in its rawest form, and in it’s most open capacity. The artists involved have a serious devotion to their craft, and it transferred effortlessly to the crowd. People are respectable, polite, and having fun. It’s a cool thing you don’t see enough of and this was one of the things that stuck out to me.
I managed to catch Gene Hunt which I was hoping to do, and he did not disappoint. House music, with some soul and some bump. He worked the mixer out, with his deliberate knob tweaks and subtle mixes. His attention was so focused on the music, he spent a good portion of his set hunched over the Xone 92 like a lion over his prey. He even dropped a “Superstition” remix from Stevie Wonder, so he must have known DetroitTechnoHouse was in the building. Ha. Check out the video below for a taste.
Radiohiro and MC Zulu were up next, and they brought the energy. This set was extremely unique. A style called “Asian Massive” is pumped to the crowd and they are immediately ignited. A mix of breakbeat, grime, and bass music, this was something to behold. Radiohiro has been playing well-respected sets at Burningman for over 15 years, and has been a musician nearly all his life. Learning to play the drums at 4, and then studying East Indian Hindustani music, Radiohiro has an extensive background of experience to create with. The set was technical, and on serious point. He worked the mixes with professional control, and seamless transition. MC Zulu added a live element that was refreshing in a digital age where this is often left out. Shouting chants through a blowhorn was such a nice touch on this gritty underground performance. Extreme respect goes to Radiohiro and MC Zulu for this banging set.
I took a short break from the dark and hot dance area for the outdoor art gallery that was on the giant patio/roof. Lined along the premises were art installations with live art being created the entire time. What I found was painting, body art, interpretive dancing, aerial dancing, burlesque, and so much more. They even had an outdoor stage where various acts would perform. One of the groups I managed to see was the “Chicago Fire Technicians” an awesome duo of fire dancing artists (Emily Perkulator and Johnnyjuan). I caught some video of them that you can see below.
I saw Adrienne Sanchez rock the party next, and she rocked it right. House music that was real funky, it was an organic sound with lots of real instruments over that distinctive house beat. Such a good set, with some personal favorites dropped in there nicely. I even heard a remix of “Gettin It” by Too Short, and damn was it sweet. From what I heard Striz, Brad Miner and Justin Reed also all had killer sets before I made it in. The music lineup was deep and seasoned.
Duke Shin was one of my Favorite DJs of the night. Please check this dude out, he played a set that kept the entire dance floor in motion from start to finish. I’m talking every minute of his 1 hour set. He took it from deep to grinding in this 60 minute love-fest with the crowd, and it couldn’t have been hotter. At a certain point I just kept looking around in awe of the amount of people on the same rhythm, feeling the same groove, and dancing together. It was magical. Thanks for that Duke. Check him out here
The vibe was something special. It really took you away from the individual nature of reality, and submerged you in the interconnectivity of existence. It is as if the sound waves that flowed through the speaker moved through every person and re-ordered their energy just slightly, and put them in tune with the others in the room. Pretty soon you had an ocean of vibration, where ego and thought melted away, and vibration and energy became the only reality. Forgive me for getting all weird, but it was a special vibe. Instead of many souls doing their own dances, it felt like one big soul dancing inside many bodies.
It was one of the nights you hope to have, and then when it happens it is so fleeting that you hardly can believe it happened. It’s one of those moments you try to somehow share with the world, in hopes of re-creating the intention in other parts of life. It’s an example of how human expression can be thoughtful, unfiltered, meaningful, and extremely fun, all at the same time. What more could you ask for? That’s the Freakeasy, and I would just like to thank them for doing what they do. Proper indeed. Shouts out to all the artists, and everyone involved. Please check them out on the web here.