Chicago isn’t a place known for it’s awards shows. Removed from the ego and narcissism of the coasts, those who live and work here do just that: live and work. While the city finds itself increasingly at the center of a cross-section of music, film and entertainment, much of the tenants of the verticals have lagged behind. It was with that gaping hole in mind that birthed the annual Chicago Nightlife Awards by Dialed Productions and Do312. Approaching the award show's third anniversary on June 7 at Concord Music Hall, the musical guests have been announced and the final round of voting will begin this Thursday.
This time around, organizers once again tap a wide swath of the city's talent to handle the musical interludes of the award show. Gracing the stage this year are ProbCause, The Walters, My Gold Mask and Sleep On It, a wide and interesting lineup that should prove to keep the show moving along briskly. For ProbCause, a veteran of the scene, the third installment will be his first CNA experience, and one he's excited for. "I'm looking forward to performing some music in front of a lot of Chicago artists and musicians that I have a lot of respect for," said the Evanston native. "I'll be playing some new music I have never performed and am excited to debut."
For Prob and fellow mainstays like My Gold Mask, the stage will be, as he said, an opportunity to show off some new material in front of old friends and fans. For Chicago 'cardigan rock' upstart The Walters though, the show should prove yet another benchmark on a trajectory that has been headed upwards since the release of their Young Men EP. While it's never totally certain what the self-proclaimed "Hunky Dads" will have in store, frontman Luke Olsen alluded to what would certainly prove to be a memorable experience. "We built a giant sling shot and we plan on firing walter into the crowd," said Olsen. "Also, we are in the process of auditioning the meanest pitbulls in Chicago and having them on stage with us." While the thought of the guys narrowly escaping a rabid pitbull live onstage while keeping in tune does sound enticing, we'll have to wait a few more weeks to see just what kind of antics they cook up.
In addition to the excellent music lineup, the CNA's bring us a fun celebration of the people doing exceptionally well at keeping the entertainment culture in Chicago alive and well. Honoring musicians, bartenders, photographers, and even bloggers, the CNA's is a place to champion those who help the industry grow. 2015 Blogger of the Year Andrew Barber of FakeShoreDrive describes the experience, "It was an honor to be recognized by the CNAs. It was different. It was from outside of the music or hip-hop world, which shows our reach. Sometimes you forget that people outside of your immediate fanbase are paying attention, so that was a big thrill. To win an award in that type of setting was super cool," said Barber. "And the show has real value. I've made new friends, and began experiencing new things after attending the awards last year. There's a lot of stuff happening in Chicago that you may not know about. I'll be attending every year."
The CNA's may not have been around as long the Grammy's, but taking home that award feels just as sweet! Be sure to log on and vote for all the finalists between May 19th and June 3rd, then catch the show live at Concord Hall June 7th, the red carpet is just an RSVP away.