[Review] Mick Jenkins and Smino take their “Quest For Love” to Chicago

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Photo courtesy of Redbull

When I was invited to the Red Bull Sound Select Presents: The Quest For Love Tour with Mick Jenkins and Smino I was excited…mostly excited that I did not wait in line. The cool thing about the Red Bull Sounds concert series is that the shows are only $3 with an RSVP, which is a great price for a concert. I’ve paid ignorant prices for concerts before. But there was no guaranteed admission, and being a huge fan of concerts I know general admissions means a long wait outside. So of course I was excited to be invited for that reason, but also to see both Mick Jenkins and Smino. I unfortunately missed Mick Jenkins at Pitchfork because of conflicting set times. I had heard about Smino in passing, but hadn’t heard his music before. Either way, with a complimentary happy hour before, I knew it would be a good night.

An interesting thing about Red Bull concerts is that they make custom drinks inspired by the artist. I had the Mick Jenkins drink, but since I’m not a fan of alcohol, even though it was an immaculate, exquisite drink it was a no go for me.

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Photo courtesy of Redbull

Kweuku Collins opened up the show. From Evanston, I’ve seen him before, and I thought he was a good match with the theme of love for the show. I haven’t listened to his Nat Love mix tape, but from hearing it live, I believe it may be worth a listen.

Smino was next and I had no idea what to expect. Nowadays, going into hip hop concerts doesn’t mean it will be a rapper. For all you know, it could be a poet, a spoken word artist, who knows.

Smino is a singer/rapper who has a beautiful voice and message and I’m embarassed I wasn’t a fan of him before, but glad I caught him before he blew up so now I can officially say, “I knew you when.” Since I hadn’t heard of music before, I wasn’t familiar with his songs from his two EPs “S!Ck S!Ck S!Ck” and “Blkjuptr,” but I would describe it as “contemporary soul with rap as its older brother.”  Lets just say I’ve been streaming the EPs since the show.

Mick Jenkins finished the show, playing music from entire catalog, from his mixtapes including “The Water[s]” and his debut album that was just released “The Healing Component.” He seemed quite comfortable on stage and the crowd loved him, and I don’t think it’s because he had hometown advantage.

Stream music from Kweku Collins, Smino and Mick Jenkins below.

Chicago KISS FM announces Jingle Ball 2016 Lineup, Tickets on sale now

iHeartRadio announced the lineup for its annual Jingle Ball tour. With seven stops around the United State, including Chicago, the line up features top acts from this year like The Chainsmokers, Ariana Grande and even the resurgence of the Backstreet Boys.  Below are the lineups for each stop.

Nov. 29 106.1 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball – American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Featuring: Meghan Trainor, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Backstreet Boys, Alessia Cara, Charlie Puth, Daya, Lukas Graham, Hailee Steinfeld

Dec. 1 WiLD 94.9′s Jingle Ball – SAP Center, San Jose, CA
Featuring: Shawn Mendes, The Chainsmokers, Charlie Puth, Diplo, Tove Lo, Alessia Cara, Lukas Graham, Daya, Special Guest Appearance from Niall Horan

Dec. 2 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball – Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Featuring: Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Diplo, Alessia Cara, Lukas Graham, Daya, Special Guest Appearance from Niall Horan

Dec. 5 101.3 KDWB’s Jingle Ball – XCEL Energy Center Minneapolis, MN
Featuring: Fifth Harmony, G-Eazy, Diplo, Backstreet Boys, Lukas Graham, Alessia Cara, Tove Lo, Hailee Steinfeld, Gnash

Dec. 11 Kiss 108′s Jingle Ball – TD Garden, Boston, MA
Featuring: Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Diplo, Ellie Goulding, DNCE, Tove Lo, Alessia Cara, Daya, Special Guest Appearance from Niall Horan

Dec. 14 103.5 Kiss FM’s Jingle Ball – Allstate Arena, Chicago, IL
Featuring: Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, Backstreet Boys, Tove Lo, Lukas Graham, Daya, Hailee Steinfeld, Special Guest Appearance from Niall Horan

Dec. 16 Power 96.1′s Jingle Ball – Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Featuring: Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, DNCE, Alessia Cara, Daya, Lukas Graham

Listen to a playlist of some of the top hits from the Chicago lineup below.

You can buy tickets here.

WGCI announces Big Jam 2016 line-up

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WGCI announced the line up for its annual Big Jam concert. which will be at the United Center on December 30th. The headliners include Chris Brown, Young Thug and Trey Songz. Lil Yachty, G Herbo and Lil Bibby are also featured, with Desiigner coming back again after being apart of the Summer Jam in June.

Click this link for more information about tickets, and check out pictures from Summer Jam here.

Alessia Cara brings her “Know-It-All” tour back to Chicago

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When Alessia Cara announced her “Know-It-All Part II” tour, I was excited but confused. She had previously brought the “Know-It-All” tour to Chicago back in January and had a set at Lollapalooza. Other than being on the remix of Troye Sivan’s “Wild,” Alessia hasn’t released any new music since “Know It All.” I wasn’t sure how this show was going to be any different than what I saw before. However, the “Know-It-All Part II” concert was a completely new, exciting experience.

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First off, Alessia is touring with Nathan Sykes and Ruth B this time around. It is a good match because all three of their vocals are incredible. While I was only familiar with Nathan Sykes because he was in the band The Wanted and had dated Ariana Grande. I liked his performance and was intrigued enough that I would check out his album “Unfinished Business” when it is released on Nov. 4.

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I wasn’t familiar with Ruth B at all, but I was impressed with her voice. She just started writing songs a year ago so I’m hoping her songs evolve. Right now it seems like her voice doesn’t match her lyrics.

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While he was not on the bill, Sebastian Kole, Alessia’s co-writer whose vocals are featured on “Stone,” performed a few songs in celebration of the release of his album “Soup.”  Alessia also brought him out for a performance of “Stone” where he ended up crying while performing. It was beautiful to see someone so overwhelmed by the emotions of performing in front a huge crowd.

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What made Part II different than the first leg of the tour is the production value. The last tour was at smaller venues and a bit more bare bones, only featuring her name on the drum. This show however included lights and multiple screens that changed according to the songs. For example, “Seventeen,” included home video footage from when Alessia was a child.

What I liked most about the show is how intimate it was. Even though Part II took place in bigger venues, Alessia was still very personal with the audience, talking after each song, and even shouting out a fan whose mom reached out on Twitter saying it was her daughter’s first concert.

While the show was intimate with songs like “Stars” and “River of Tears,” Alessia can simultaneously have her voice fill a big venue with songs like “Wild Things,” where she beat the drums to start up the song.

I think the highlight of the night was her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Swim Good” that she sang while playing the guitar. It reminded me of her YouTube days where she was just singing covers in her bedroom.

Other info:

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I like to know tour merchandise information as much as I can before the show, so I took a picture of most of the merchandise. The t-shirts are $30 and the hoodie is $50. The signed posters are $20. What isn’t pictured is a hat with the Alessia Cara symbol (curly headed girl with beanie) on it for $25, a pin of the symbol for $3, a sticker for $2, and silicon bracelets with lyrics for about $3 I believe. I grabbed the shirt with her picture on it and I got tons of  compliments on it when I wore it out.

Check out more pictures from the show below.

 

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