Yet another Stix Jam in the books. Held at Subterranean on Sunday the 21st, it was the best crowd yet, with some of the biggest acts yet, and some of the rawest jams yet (shout out Mr. Gregory Landfair Sr.) The Stix Jam Night formula for success is thus: fifty percent jam, fifty percent mic prowess from local headliners, 100% natural, organic music. Truly uncut shit. Talented audience members took up instruments and microphones with the rest of backing band, seeing where the music takes them. The performance is less based on songs than on moments, an outgrowth of the spontaneity inherent to the jam. Speaking of moments, standing out in the jam section was the wonderful Akenya, a Stix regular who kicks-ass and who's voice may have ripped a whole in SubT's ceiling.
As we moved into the headlining acts we saw quite the stacked lineup. Stix started with Ravyn Lenae of Chicago’s skyrocketing Zero Fatigue, red-haired singer with the massive voice flying higher than the Sears, commanding but with the lightest touch. Smino came up next, also repping Zero Fatigue ("Zero Fatigue!"). Exceedingly high on the list of best performers in Chicago, Smino treated the crowd to songs such as "Smellin' Like A Reup", bringing Jean Deaux on stage for of "Kajun", and taking the time to drop some new music too. Coming off his big Peter Rosenberg interview, and nearing the end of what the St. Louis sensation has described as his greatest summer yet, there was a bit of a coming home feel to his set that was just right.
Next was Taylor Bennett, also coming off an impressive jump into national sight with his moving interview and freestyle on Sway In The Morning. He performed music from Broad Shoulders, some red-hot acapella’s and demonstrated his unique style for the audience. It was a great set, and helped him to continue to separate himself from his brother’s success as he forges his own path and sound with Taylor Bennett Entertainment. Finally we had Joey Purp. He played “Morning Sex”, “Cornerstore”, and “Girls”. Maybe something else, but the night gets hazy. What remains clear? Joey Purp has some undeniable stage presence, incredible confidence, fantastic mic chops. His Stix set was magnetic (much like his Reggie's performance). He looked like success. By the time Purp finished "Girls", it was a surprise the building was still standing. Photo gallery below.