Gang of Four – Chicago

Written by Lisa Marte
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gang of four metro chicago february 11 2010 lisa marte matteo sedazzari zani 1.

This is the year I turned Forty. Just writing that stills stings a bit.

I grew up not only listening to Music; but needing it. I demanded it to show me a World outside of my blue-collar town of Addison, Illinois (pinch your nose and say the letter “a” and drag it out like you have a tongue compressor in your mouth). There had to be so much more than mini-malls and Top Forty.

Enter: Gang Of Four. The perfect symbiotic relationship between teen and alienation. This was the pivotal time in my youth where you became “Us” or “Them”.

I think the ethos I chose was “Other”. Gang of Four provided the Soundtrack.

We had a Teen Club in Chicago called “Medusa's”; this brought the black clad teen dissidents together via a Juice Bar. All 80's beings were represented ;you had your Hardcore Kids, Preps, New Wave, Rocker, Rude Boys, Punks. We all liked Gang of Four. The mix of post punk, reggae and funk bridged all the musical gaps.

I don't think I have ever anticipated a Show like Gang of Four at The Metro.

I called my friend (at our age we politely add “we need to get together” at the close of conversations) but everyone committed. Gang of Four was playing.

This sparked conversations about the “old days” and Did you hear about the NEW ALBUM

I managed to procure some VIP passes and I didn't sleep the week of -like a kid at Christmas.

Jon King's stage prowess was sexy and engaged. They opened with “Never Pay for the Farm" and the irony was not lost on the sea of “mature” fans.

Andy Gill worked all three microphones and managed to grab an occasional glass of wine (located on a nearby amp along w/ a Bottle).. The Gentlemen Rockers from Leeds had us in their hands.

The crowd sang with fervor during “To Hell with Poverty”- It seemed to really exemplify Chicago's current Unemployment and allow some release. “To hell with poverty the check will arrive we’ll turn the Boast again .”

We didn't have to wait long to hear our favorites from 1979's Entertainment. “Ether”and “Not Great Men” slayed.

King was so in tune with the energy of the audience he wrestled bassist Thomas McNeice to the stage.

He pointed upwards in our direction and in the moment it felt like a personal connection. (It was.)

The encore boasted two of my favorites “Naturals Not in it” and “Damaged Goods” and that brought the House down. They were on point and the crowd singing “The change will do you good......” still gives me chills.

I'm kissing you Goodbye; but I will be see you again Gang of Four.

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