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  NIGHTSPOTS

DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: PRIDE, A NOT-SO-DEEPER LOVE
by Marc "Moose" Moder
2013-06-12

This article shared 3068 times since Wed Jun 12, 2013
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Now that we're all over our initial confusion (and some anger) over the powers that be dividing the perfectly great Pride Weekend into two parts (Fest vs. Parade) we can take a step back and see what talent (or sometimes lack thereof) has been lined up. At first glance it seems to be the same tired straight diva acts that have ravaged our Pride events for years, but digging a bit deeper, it's a pretty impressive line-up. Let's take a look, shall we?

Pridefest consists of two stages, North and South, as always. The South stage is geared toward local talent and the North is reserved for more national touring acts. The first day on the South stage needs some extra loving for three fantastic gay non-profits: Chicago Gay Men's Chorus; Chicago Spirit Brigade; and Windy City Cowboys throughout the day. The big one to catch though is the always amazing Amy and Freddy, and the hang-onto-your-balls bombast that is Rock Candy. With the exception of '90s one-hit wonder, Blu Cantrell ("Hit 'Em Up Style"), the North stage is downright age-appropriate with Danity Kain/Celebrity Apprentice star Aubrey O'Day, Mimi Imfurst's "girl group" Xelle, and dance pop powerhouses Jessica Sutta ("Show Me") and Dev ("Dancing In the Dark"), the latter closing out the night.

Day one on the South stage is totally breezy fun, with appearance by up-and-coming pop rock quartet The Personnel and local cover favorites Sixteen Candles and their little (sexy) brothers, Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press. Up north, you have mostly a good solid selection of surprisingly (for Halsted) contemporary dance pop. I'd stay focused here unless you're a sassy gay man over 40, then the North stage is where it's at on Sunday. Interspersed with the drag shows, Sunday is a buffet of '90s dance divas who are probably thrilled they get to get booked one extra Pride weekend this year. The first big act of the day is vocal master Deborah Cox, hot off her turn in Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde, and she will surely blow your wig off. At 4 pm is when it gets challenging, with four of the five next acts all coming from the same genre and time period: Anaya Day; Ultra Nate; Sandy B. ("Make The World Go Round"); and Janice Robinson and Tameka Star, both of the one-hit band Living Joy. I'm pretty sure all five of these women could sing each other's singles and you'd be hard-pressed to remember who is who. All lovely and talented singers, but a bit too similar and specific to appeal to anyone outside a certain time and place.

The one final bright spot in that stew is the cute and fun Neon Hitch who had two big hits a couple years back with "Fuck U Betta" and "Ass Back Home" (with Gym Class Heroes). She'll hopefully be a welcome break from the parade of '90s divas we've come to expect from Pride.


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