Last Wednesday night, I pulled into the parking lot at the South Loop Hotel. It was packed and the half moon glowed luxuriously in the sky. I knew it would be a good night. The Go2Girls were presenting the third event in their Soundtrack Celebration Series. The concept is a live band recreates soundtracks from popular 80s and 90s movies while young professionals network and mingle.
The first event was “An Ode to Love Jones” and yours truly, Single Girl Summer, recited Nia’s “Remembering Love”. The second event featured Prince’s Purple Rain. Both events were fantastic. There was wonderful music in a cool venue and a great crowd. This event was equally as great as we revisited the Boomerang.
As soon as I walked into the L26 Restaurant, my ears tickled at the melody of a familiar song. I loved the Boomerang movie with Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, and Robin Givens. I remember Floyd Glimsey took me to see it at Ford City Mall. I also remember playing the heck outta that soundtrack. The cover had red strips on both sides with a picture of Halle and Robin flanking Eddie in the middle. But I couldn’t remember the songs on the soundtrack. I asked a friend at the bar, Sjar, for help. She identified the song as “Give You My Heart” by Babyface. That’s a classic. She showed me her phone since she had already pulled up the full soundtrack and I marveled at what good music we had back in the day. They just don’t make soundtracks like they used to.
The band, Never Mined, and singers sounded fantastic. Across the bar, I spotted a well-dressed man who I’d met about a month ago when I was co-hosted on a collaborative online radio show. I went over to speak and complimented how smoothly he transitioned his uber-professional-super-stockbroker look to cool-brother-at-the-bar swag. Fellas, this is how you do it. Shouts out to Will.
As I made my social butterfly rounds, Never Mined jammed on and the audience loved every note and lyric. The live performance ended with Boys II Men’s “End of the Road.” Everyone sang along and I wished I had a lighter to wave in the air. Band leader, Christopher McBride said he “loves working on this event with Astin and Nicole. They are great to work with and this event challenges me to grow as a musician. The songs are familiar by directing them is different. The goal is to do the tracks justice. The audience is really receptive and I don’t want to disappoint them. There is nothing worse than a band jacking up your favorite song. My goal is always to go above and beyond.”
Here’s the full set list for the night:
1. Give U My Heart Babyface featuring Toni Braxton
2. Tonight Is Right Keith Washington
3. Don't Wanna Love You Shanice
4. 7 Day Weekend Grace Jones
5. I'd Die Without You P.M. Dawn
INTERMISSION - (Play Hot Sex as an interlude while talking happens)
1. Love Shoulda Brought You Home Toni Braxton
2. There U Go Johnny Gill
3. Feels Like Heaven Kenny Vaughan & "The Art Of Love"
4. Boomerang - Marcus Miller (Band Instrumental)
5. End Of The Road Boyz II Men
Never Mined consists of Milton Suggs, Michael King, Will Baggett, Myron Cherry, Justin Dillard, and Renitriss Sparkle. They play every Wednesday night 9pm-Midnight at the Water Hole Lounge (1400 S. Western in Chicago). It’s a dive bar, but the music is really good.
After chatting with the band, it was time to congratulate the ladies of Go2Girls on another successful event. I met Astin Hayes and Nicole Willams when I worked at Clear Channel and we’ve become friends over the last couple of years. Plus, Nicole is a fellow Wildcat, Northwestern alum. I spoke with both of these talented women and here’s what they had to say.
SGS: How do you describe your Soundtrack series?
Nicole: This event is for someone who wants to go out and hear some good music and hang with a beautiful crowd.
SGS: Why did you pick Boomerang?
Nicole: It’s a classic movie. No matter how old you are, everybody remembers something from Boomerang.
SGS: What do you remember?
Nicole: My favorite part was the scene with Eartha Kitt and Eddie Marcus. “Marcus Darlin’.” I also love when Halle Berry rolled up on Eddie and told him “love should’ve bought your ass home last night” and then she flicked his forehead. And the scene after the party when Halle stayed to help Eddie clean up then they fell asleep on the couch. And you can’t forget about “Co…or…dinate.” So many great scenes!
SGS: Of the three events, which was your favorite and why?
Astin: Love Jones, definitely. I loved the variety in the artist performances. There was a mixture of spoken word and diverse music. Plus, it was timely since it was around Valentine’s Day. But mostly because I’ve had this idea for two years so it was just amazing that my dream finally came true.
SGS: What’s the next event and what can people expect?
Astin: Crooklyn, July 11th here again at L26 Restaurant in the South Loop Hotel (South Loop, Chicago). Admission is only $5. Like all the other events there’ll be a good vibe, atmosphere, and people. Also, we’ ll have a catered tent at the Chosen Few Old School Picnic on July 7th in Jackson Park. We’re offering all-you-eat catered food, Single Girl Summer sangria, seats, reserved parking, for around $25 per person and sponsorship opportunities for businesses.
SGS: Tell me about Chicago2Girls.
Astin: Go2Girls consists of myself and my partner, Nicole Williams. We are two girls from Chicago (get it…Chicago2Girls) that offer a reliable and creative concierge service. Like the Soundtrack series, that was also a concept I had for awhile, we plan event and do whatever to help people get things done. We do your grocery shopping, wrap your Christmas gifts, plan your next event so you can go to the health club to workout or join that social committee you’ve always wanted to but couldn’t fit into your schedule. We give you back your time. We started in September 2011. Around the holiday season, business was steady helping people accomplish all their holiday errands. We shop for gifts, clean your house before your big holiday dinner, start prepping your food, and whatever you need.
For more information on the Go2Girls concierge service and/or upcoming events:
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
www.youtube.com/chicago2girls to see videos from our “Ode to Love Jones” event
Website is still a work in progress, but it's www.chicago2girls.com
Deanna Burrell is the author of the explosive novel, Single Girl Summer. Described as “If Waiting to Exhale and Sex and the City procreated, the bouncing baby would read like Single Girl Summer,” the novel tells the story of three women navigating the ups and downs of life during one special summer in Chicago. Find out more at www.SingleGirlSummer.com.