Last Thursday night I braved the remnants of Hurricane Gustov here in Chicago to go catch Mike Gordon at Park West. The show was promoted as a variety show, which to me denotes multiple performers from different genres and maybe a comedian or two. To say the least, I was way off. What we all saw at Park West that rainy Thursday night can only be described as a poor-man’s Cirque du Soleil with Mike Gordon playing the background music.
Acrobats, stripping hula-hoopers and an ongoing faux cell-phone conversation between Mike and his wife Sally while Mike was out on the road were the things that stood out from the variety show. When the music actually got going it was great, Mike had his bass working real well and the backing band was great in constructing jams around that center piece. The problem was there were too many breaks in action which made it impossible to really get a feel for the show in its entirety. Follow the jump for highlights and an array of photos from the night — probably the only real way to convey the atmosphere and weirdness.
Personally, I would have rather seen a full uncut Mike Gordon show without any of the extras. It was interesting and at times awkwardly hilarious, especially the forced phone calls, but it still lacked that groove the band and a crowd can lock in on during the course of a show. It never happened once for me and noting the crowd’s steady stream outside I think the same was felt by a bunch of people.
Two notable music highlights were a fully acoustic number shown above (not sure of the song) and a cover of “Things that Make You Go Hmmmm…” This was the one and only time I’ve ever heard C+C Music Factory covered in concert — awesome. The eye candy was aplenty so take a look at some of the photos from the night and let me know what you thought of the show if you went.