photos by Sarah Frankie Linder, words by James Whelan
Wale/Santigold @ Marquardt Trucking Co. on 6/14/2012
Located in a warehouse behind Carmichael's the exterior felt too much like a neighborhood and I was sure I was in the wrong spot. It just didn't seem like a place to throw a large party with free beer and a live performance with national acts. However, as I walked up, it became apparent that I had read my text correctly and I was heading to the right spot. People were lined up, waiting to get their IDs checked where a plethora of beer, vitaminwater, smartwater, and FADER Magazines awaited inside for the Uncapped secret show.
Inside, the feeling of being surrounded by families in an urban neighborhood faded away. Several drink booths lined the walls serving at first PBR, vitaminwater, and smartwater. (As the night wore on and the PBR ran low, bartenders made apparent the stashes of Corona, Miller Lite, and Budweiser to be served to thirsty patrons.) Artwork on the walls was made from recycled caps and bottles and displayed large pieces shaped as cassettes and boom boxes. Even the security ropes were made from recycled cap tops. A photo booth hung in the corner where tipsy patrons couldn't wait to get their faces snapped up as they smiled at the camera.
Santigold's band took the stage around 8:30 PM to start the music, and following suit with two identically dressed dancers, Santigold strutted onto stage in a cute, fit dress with fringed sleeves. Opening with "Disparate Youth" the crowd was hooked. The space of the warehouse became more obvious and it felt less crowded as people pushed their way closer towards the stage, closer to Santigold. Despite the flawless beauty and talent of her dancers, I was a bit disappointed that the musicians were not more front and center. The drummer's syncopated staccato, especially for "GO!" filled the room, bursting from the speakers and projecting its rhythm to the dancing audience.
As though the lure of being at a secret show, the free drinks, and the free concert weren't enough, fans were invited on stage with Santigold to dance; the fan-lust was undeniable as the room moved to "Creator."
While setting up for Wale, DJ Maseo of De La Soul, came to the stage as a special guest to spin some tracks. The set change took longer than anticipated due to an electrical error with the turntables, and Maseo kindly apologized and entertained as the sound engineers set about righting the problem.
Admittedly, some of the crowd was lost after Santigold, but Wale took the stage with as much presence as she had. The crowd, still large in size, once again surged forward, their hands pumping and swaying into the air to the rhythm. The D.C. rapper won his Chicago fans over, praising their city, praising the party, and praising them for being at the show.
Due to noise permits, music cut by 11:45 PM and the party began filing out onto the streets, looking for the night's next adventure.
A full set of pictures from the Uncapped show continue below...
Santigold - "Creator"
interview with Santigold and Wale