Los Tres en Chicago

I was shocked at the more than 20 thousand people who welcomed Los Tres in Chicago this past weekend at Allstate Arena, in Rosemont.

The history making comrades, who as solo artists perform Mexican pop and Mexican regional music, opened the show to a sold out audience of grown up, loyal fans who were there to see the collaboration of international superstars Alejandro Fernandez, Marco Antonio Solis and Joan Sebastian. I have never had the priviledge to see any of the icons perform live so this was an extra special night for me. 

White Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, had a front and center seats, along with relatives and spouses of the performers. All were in attendance to catch the show that was not only genuine in the sense that it moved and entranced crowed but it was a rare treat to see these megastars on one stage together as the audience sang along the entire show.

I could feel Los Tres solidarity, mutual respect and adoration for each other that was ever so evident as each artist performed his own music and when it was time he would pass the baton to the next. It was a true and genuine gesture of respect as well as open arms invitation that a duet type performance would preceed with the earlier performer and clear the way for the next idol to execute his form.

The final performance was that of Los Tres, which was completely well received by their loving audience, was that of a group which they chose to close the show only to standing and encore shout requests.

An ultimate show of megastars, to say the least and I was so honored and excited to be a part of the history made on that Saturday night!


Photos courtesy of Daniel Tomei, Tutto Bene Photography office@tuttobenephotography.com   http://www.tuttobenephotography.com


Molotov Does the Congress

This past weekend’s Molotov concert at Congress Theater was a fascinating show to say the least.

I arrived after 10 p.m., to what is still known as the Congress Theater, located on 2135 N. Milwaukee Avenue, just North of Armitage Avenue, at the edge of Logan Square.

I have to first comment on this venue since I haven’t been to the Congress Theater in a very, very long time…I frequented this show house as teen and even as a young adult— WHO remembers when it was Madusa’s for a bit back in the early 90’s after they moved the popular Madusa’s nightclub, from Belmont and Sheffield to the Congress Theater?? I know I’m not the only one!! It changed genres for a bit but never its facade. Those were the times and it’s still a gorgeous building…but that’s, another story.

This show was something else- and gorgeous was NOT the word for it. I’ve heard these guys, Molotov in my past. They’ve been around since the mid-90’s or so. I haven’t heard them in years but I’ve always dug their music. I’m well rounded like that. I’ve never had the pleasure to see them live but let me say they put on quite the spectacle. I am truly like Saturday Night Live where I feel if you can’t perform live, you’re NOT a real performer. These guys really performed.

Molotov band members came on STRONG! The crowd came on even stronger when the band first arrived on stage– the moshing began!!It was a really scary site for a bit in the beginning of the show. I consider myself pretty hip and not paranoid but the second these guys got on stage, the audience on the main floor began moshing, shoving and pushing each other so hard that they had to start removing (mostly female) fans from the front because they were getting crushed. I could see all this from my safe balcony seats, security guards removing bodies from the crowd one-by-one… It was really SCARY!

It went on to be a pretty tame show after a bit (as close to tame could get for this crowd). The only other bodies snatched out of the crowd were body surfers every now and again that would security guard would pick out and remove from the crowd. These security guards should get props as they had that venue under control even when I thought they were going to lose control, these guys were FIRST RATE and kept the calm.

Molotov ROCKED the old Congress walls! To me, they’re “Rock en Espanol” (Rock in Spanish) but they kinda rap too so technically, I don’t know what their true genre is but they brought it and they spit it back out at the crowd! They were right on with the mob and the mob loved it.

Molotov played their best and had this crowd singing every crazy hit they pumped out. The crowd jumped, pushed and never seemed to stop wanting more. They played for a good solid hour and a half–maybe even 2 hours and the crowd loved it. GOOD TIMES…

Towards the end of the show, the band even asked for female fans to come up on stage and help them sing a song–Puto (male bitch, loosely translated–HA!! Sorry, but it is)!!! It proved to be a crowd favorite and it ended up being a really fun show. Scary at first and but exciting and lots of fun. Props to the Frijoleros!

 Photos courtesy of: Edwin Ramirez – http://www.Cu4troMediaGroup.com


Vintage Extravaganza!!

I attended the Modern Vintage Chicago Spring Clothing & Jewelry Explosion on Saturday morning, and it was in one word–AMAZING!

The event was set up at Plumbers Hall on west Washington Street in Chicago’s West Loop. It’s an auditorium type building with plenty of parking (which is a HUGE plus for that part of town) and lots of inside and comfortable shopping space. It was perfect for what I thought was going to be a rummage sale, but ended up being a treasure of vintage EXTRAVAGANZA!!

As soon as I walked in, I was clearly taken by the fine, antique jeweled pieces, hats and shawls along the walls, as well as the beautiful garments and many other era pieces that lined the hallway prior to reaching the auditorium space that held the true gems tjat were on display for the sale.

I proceeded to fall in LOVE with everything from the classic purses to sequenced boots that were available for purchase. BUT…this was no cheap rummage sale. Some items were quite pricey, for my wallet anyway, but fair priced, I guess but I’m not the one to say. 

I stopped at almost every table that held bits and pieces of the past. I had been to vintage sales before but never anything that had such color, style and class as what was combined in this venue. NO JUNK!!

The stage was lined with dresses from President Kennedy, no…let me rephrase that…Jackie O’s era. It was fun to try on the classic hats and coats, touch vintage Chanel and Prada purses ($3500 bucks for the one I wanted– maybe next time! HA!) and try on the pretty classic jewelry that reminded me so much of my grandmother’s jewelry box.

Sally Schwartz, of Image Pilots, who I met the evening before, while she coordinated a photo shoot for Seventeen magazine that was to be published at a later date, is the creative director of the event. This woman is a combination of appeal, charm and wit and she’s just plain FUN. She has a bubbly personality as well as sheer knowledge of how to seamlessly host such an affair. She along with Amy Schlaff who works with her at Image Pilots were a dynamic duo and they were a ton of fun.

I was awed by Sally’s knowledge for the occasion. She created a young feel during the event by having youthful modes display some of the clothing and accessories and had them walk about the venue.

Lovely models included Sally’s own daughter Kasey Kozak, age 13 and the daughter of Latino Fashion Week president, Arabel Alva Rosales, age 12. These girls held their own as they modeled each classic garment. They carried themselves like classic ladies of the era and it was great fun as well as truly classy, to say the least, to watch them display the pieces throughout the weekend.

This is a “sale” for all–no matter what area you’re from. If you love classic, vintage, historic but not smelly or too worn items, this sale is for YOU! You won’t be disappointed.   

If I said it before, I’ll say it again– I really enjoyed this experience. I didn’t spend a lot of money, although I walked away with a vintage ring with multiple jeweled stones, a wooden necklace and a bracelet. I only spent 75 bucks when it was all said and done! Believe me when I say, If I had more money, I would’ve spent MUCH, MUCH more–NO DOUBT!! I’ll have to visit this one again. DEFINITIELY!

Randolph Street Market Festival runs throughout the year at Plumbers Hall. You can find the complete schedule and more information on their website: http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/

Photos courtesy of Steve Starr – www.stevestarrstudios.com

Concept Couture

First, on the long list of undertakings for this evening, was to check out the Elda de la Rosa Concept Creation Couture 2010 Collection of fashions at the ever appropriate Fishman’s Fabrics on south Des Plaines Avenue.

I only recently heard of Elda from a friend who told me that the collection consisted of a piece that was chosen for this year’s Oscars Designer’s challenge. When I saw the photo, I knew I had to see more. Of course, I had to go to this show. It was a personal mission.

When I finally arrived, the first thing I noticed, next to the kind hosts at the door, were a DJ and how loud music played while people caught up and buzzed about while they waited for the collection to be shown. I was allowed to go backstage for a bit before the show while the girls (models) were getting ready and saw Elda interviewed by Chicago Cover TV.

I was introduced to Mexican American, Elda de la Rosa who has been designing since 2001. I thought she was a lovely and petite woman who seemed nervous when I met her. Of course, I wished her much luck but in my opinion, judging what I saw before the show, I didn’t think she should be worried. Her designs looked amazing and they weren’t even on the models yet!

Elda’s most recent assortment of gowns were shown up and down the fabric store on what looked like a grouping of tables that was made the runway and that the models mastered. Each of the models’ steps, as well as demonstration of each piece, were taken with style and care to show off the new collection. While each of the girls walked out, to show each design, I tried to imagine each piece on me. Not that all would work but it was nice to consider.

The dresses purpose seemed to compliment the figure without too much going on and that’s my kind of dress. It’s like dressing on a salad (the body being the salad). The rest of the audience also seemed to enjoy the presentation as the music blared and the girls strutted carefully down the runway.

It was an enjoyable show with chocolate candies and goodie bags all about table tops and counters. The store was stocked with lots and lots of fabrics if you needed that sort of thing. It was an appropriate and spacious venue for the display of fashions.

The audience reaction and comments were all positive. It was a very fine show. I can’t wait to see what Elda does next.

Elda De La Rosa Couture is located at 5555 North Sheridan Road, Suite 0015 in the historic Edgewater Beach Apartment “Pink Palace” building. Her website is http://www.eldadelarosa.com, call (773) 769-3128 or email info@eldadelarosa.com.

Photos courtesy of Steve Starr – http://www.stevestarrstudios.com

VLive Hosts Xtreme and Luis Enrique LIVE

One of my stops on this loca noche es VLive to catch a real LIVE concert. I really am psyched to see this show. I love LIVE music. It’s my favorite thing ever (next to cheesecake). I’ve heard about this show all month on how via Billboard and Telemundo, via Cardenas Marketing Network, have launched some concerts at various venues across the nation. Cool idea, very cool. I am psyched to see what it’s all about.

Tonight, Billboard en Concierto (Billboard in Concert) delivered bachata sensation Xtreme and salsa legend and Grammy Award winner Luis Enrique to the northwest side of my Chi. Pretty damn cool!

The show started at about 9:30 p.m., to a super packed house at VLive nightclub, located at 2047 N. Milwaukee in the heart of my old neighborhood and stomping grounds. I have NOT been in VLive (until a couple weeks ago for a private birthday party) for a really long time–since like the 90’s when they had salsa night. Back then, it was known as Tropicana (sigh:::them were the days). Today, it’s a younger crowd than I remembered and I don’t remember being frisked so thoughroughly, ever but I understand it’s a different time. VLive truly ended up being a great locale for the show so I was NOT disappointed, after obtaining the 3 of 4 required wristbands for my section I was situated to take in the show.

Xtreme (Bachata extraordinaire) anything but a typical boy band blasted on to the stage soon after my arrival. Girls went crazy. Although I’m a fan, I didn’t realize their following was so massive en Chicago. The audience knew every word of every song played. It was fun. These young, full of life and of course handsome (every single one of them) proved to multiply their energy throughout the audience whether you were just waiting for Luis Enrique to come on or not. They were spreading their tune through your body. These guys were pure energy and their known for it. I did end up going home and downloading their entire cd that next morning (I got in too late) and I LOVE IT. They made a bigger fan out of me. I’m hooked on them.

Next, Luis Enrique, Nicaraguan salsero artist, who has been a household name in my home and I’m sure many others of my generation since grade school if not before then. He hasn’t aged a bit. He blasted on stage on this Thursday night looking like he’d found the fountain of youth in true salsero style. He danced and sang as if time had stopped and took me back to high school with his hits. I melted as did the audience. He had everyone salsaing away. He’s still hot and proved to live up to that Grammy he earned this past February.

It was a GRAND night at VLive and to be honest, I didn’t expect half as much of fun there or expect it to be as tame as it was (not one fight broke out). So I must mention that the venue deserves some serious credit for being able to hold down a very mixed of age, ethnicities and neighborhoods housed in one spot- that’s no easy feat. It was an excited crowd with top rate and extremely serious security. Well done! I had a great time and a safe time.

*******Photos courtesy of Daniel Tomei, Tutto Bene Photography