A picture-perfect July 1st evening saw a duo of great bands bring energy to the crowd gathered on the Allerton Park Gatehouse Lawn this past Friday. And by crowd, we seriously mean throng, horde, or whatever term would better describe the enormous mass of people that came out to hear some fantastic tunes. By the time the show started at 6 p.m., new arrivals were already being directed away from the main lot to alternative parking spots on the grass and all along the road through the park; there were simply that many people on hand.
First up on the docket was local favorite Tara Terra, welcoming and warming up the crowd with a fun mix of sweet, sultry, and sassy songs. Lead singer Emily Blue’s enchanting voice backed by solid instrumentals had the crowd rocking along one moment and quietly reflecting the next. Through it all the band clearly enjoyed the night as much as the listeners, with plenty of smiles and laughs on the stage both during and between songs.
Concert-goers took the opportunity during the break between bands to relax and visit with each other or grab some eats from one of the mobile commissary kitchens (a.k.a. “food trucks”) that were on site. This was definitely a good move on Allerton’s part, as their own catering service’s BBQ sandwiches were gobbled up in a hurry by the sizable crowd.
With the intermission complete, in came the Laurie Morvan Band like a whirling dervish. If you were expecting to hear typical blues melody and trumpetry, you were in for quite the surprise! Not only did the band have more of a rock’n’roll feel to their performance, Morvan herself (a University of Illinois alum!) had an incredible presence, shredding her guitar like nobody’s business and even taking the music on a field trip into the crowd at one point.
As a great compliment, every member of the band was visibly enthusiastic throughout the entire night and plied their musical craft with expertise. Bass, drums, and keyboard even flawlessly carried the show on their own for a short stint as Morvan had to switch out guitars due to a broken string. Best of all, the band was incredibly authentic, taking time in the break between and after their sets to visit and chat with attendees, making for a very friendly and personal experience.
This was definitely one of Allerton’s better concerts, and the people were clearly in agreement with their shouts for more music at the end of the night. If you missed this show don’t be too sad, there are still a few more left in the season. Be sure to check out Allerton’s concert series schedule here to see what’s coming next!
About the author: Stephen N. Kemp
Stephen is an IT manager at the University of Illinois and has been a photographer with Smile Politely since 2015. Find his photography on Facebook, the web, or contact him directly via email.