Mardi Gras Beads - Blog

Let's be honest for a minute: New Orleans isn't the only place to celebrate Mardi Gras. Chicagoans know how to party. We're no strangers to rum swigging. And we love pastries, so bring on the King Cake! Really, the only thing we're missing is that brass-filled NOLA-style music. But that we can bring here!

Even though Mardi Gras is technically next Tuesday, the unofficial party day (at least for people who work on weekdays) is the Saturday prior to Mardi Gras. That means this Saturday, February 2, is going to be a wild one.

To celebrate, the Metro has an entire night of soulful music lined up complete with plenty of performers straight outta the bayous. Headliners, Dumpstapunk, are fronted by longtime New Orleans jazz and funk performer Ivan Neville (nephew of R&B legends The Neville Brothers). He's been performing both solo sets and with other bands for decades but he's been serving as band leader to Dumpstafunk since 2003. His current ensemble combines fun-loving funk with shining jazz-influenced talent.

Also on tap for Saturday is fellow New Orleans act Dragon Smoke. After coming together through a NOLA musical tradition known as a "superjam" - basically just throwing several musicians that have never rehearsed together before on stage and seeing what they can come up with - they've been going strong 2003 as well.

Both groups have performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, a staple in the city's music scene.

And you know it wouldn't be a Chicago Mardi Gras party without some original Chicago funk. Lincoln Park bar/dance joint AliveOne's house funk band The Heard will be warming up the stage on Saturday with DJ sets from expert funk and soul DJ Mr. Gac in between acts.

The great news about the Metro's show this coming Saturday, Feb. 2, is that - unlike all the bars hosting Mardi Gras celebrations this weekend - you'll only have to be 18 years of age to get in and get down! Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. The show kicks off at 9 p.m. so prepare for a late one!

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