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Event Fri Apr 25 2014
Recording artists and activism aligned at The Vic, 3145 N Sheffield Ave, last night, for Global Citizen Nights; an event driven by the efforts of the Global Poverty Project to raise awareness of, and end extreme poverty by 2030. Neo-soul singer/songwriter, Aloe Blacc, was headliner to the evening, led by performances from Johnnyswim and The Main Squeeze.
Johnnyswim, a Nashville band by way of LA, were first on the stage, fronted by the bluesy soul-folk combination of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. Sudano, who is coincidentally the daughter of disco legend Donna Summer, opened the night with an Adele-Bailey Rae like voice and presence. Her gentle rasp and range were complimented perfectly by Ramirez, who lead the remainder of the sets on guitar and vocals, and served as a perfect counterpart to Sudano, which, not coincidentally, may explain why they sounded so great.
Second up was the neo-funk and soulful sounds of The Main Squeeze. The band is local by default, hailing from Bloomington, IN, but currently housed in the city. Their highlights included the powerful vocals of Corey Frye, and a seemingly unending, but flawless solo by guitarist, Max Newman. The entire sixty-minute set was amped with energy from the band, reciprocated from the crowd, and would have done CeeLo Green very proud.
The lights dimmed as the anticipation built for the packed house awaiting the headliner, Aloe Blacc. Acclaimed for his classic and soulful sound accompanied by numerous philanthropic efforts, the reason that Blacc was chosen to lead the event went beyond the catchy Avicii collaboration on "Wake Me Up."
"He does lots of work with various charities, and really identified with the concept of global citizenship," said Justine Lucas, a Chicago native who is now, the New York based US Country Director of the Global Poverty Project. "He's done other shows for charities, but I think he identified with the idea that people can use their voice to take action, and it's not just about their dollars."
As he took the stage, Blacc acknowledged that notion by commending those in attendance, who had to have actively participated in the Global Poverty Project's idea of global citizenship through web-based actions such as Tweets and/or Facebook shares. It's through those actions that they could accumulate points that can be used as currency towards events such as Global Citizen Nights.
The neo-soul crooner started strong, grooving in step with his band to the 2010 hit "I Need A Dollar," followed by "Love Is The Answer," all building up to his most recent airwave sensations, "Wake Me Up" and "I'm the Man." It was apparent that the latter tracks were what most in attendance were waiting for, but it's no doubt that Blacc has rightfully earned his mainstream recognition.