This past week, Thursday night in Lincoln Park was the place to hear local music and the rising talent of Chicago. Wise Fools Pub on Lincoln Ave featured a performance by electronic dance music maker Louis the Child and Chicago native, rapper Dmize.
The pub is relatively well known for its small shows and venue showcasing local musical acts. In an area near to Chicago universities, the people who frequent the bar and music venue are young adults, close to college age. The drinks were relatively cheap, and there was a familiar muskiness and grime to the place.
Inside, Wise Fools Pub is a dark bar with gothic themes, a stage room of mixed 20s décor, deep red velvet and burgundy fabrics covering large speakers, and a small library. I’m not joking, there was a library in the back of the bar. Or, at least, there was a raised platform with a few chairs in front of full bookshelves. The walls were exposed brick, making the feel of this place something out of a city speak-easy.
There were a couple different performers on Thursday, but what I was waiting for came around 11:20 in the form of teenager Freddy Kennett, known as Louis the Child, from the North Shore of Chicago. Louis the Child is a musical duo consisting of New Trier High School students, junior Robby Hauldren and sophomore Freddy Kennett.
As the current music culture is quickly composing into a laptop genre, standing out amongst the competition is hard to do. It seems everyone with a synth and Garageband wants to be a DJ. But Louis the Child is worth the listen. Playing popular songs remixed anew, coupled with originals, Kennett, who appeared solo, is something of a prodigy with up-and-coming hype surrounding his talents. It was everything I know and love about electronic music, and I likened him to a young, preppy Porter Robinson. As Katherine Borgstrom, a fellow onlooker and New Trier alumna, said, “He can’t drive, but he’s fantastic.”
Indeed, his short set had people dancing everywhere, in front of the stage and in bar seats. It seems this is Kennett’s goal, to play music people love. In early June of this year, the duo championed their first major performance at Spring Awakening Festival, boasted as Chicago’s premier EDM festival.
Inhabiting the small stage at Wise Fools Pub from behind his MacBook, the youth of Louis the Child is what made this show somewhat shocking. With this break into the local music scene, what is next for Louis the Child is up in the air. Certainly there is a growing fan base in Chicago and excitement after this latest performance.
Immediately following was rapper Danny Meiselman, known as Dmize. I must admit, after knowing Danny in high school I was skeptical about what would come out of his mouth in performance, but was surprised by his fun lyrics and contemporary style. The electronic music continued as Dmize rapped about life in Chicago, girls, sex, parties and meditations on slang.
Dmize started his set around 12:30 by standing on a bar table, waving his hands to hype up his listeners and fans with great effect. My favorite song was “Old News,” and I was reminded entirely of Asher Roth with the same kind of college-spun, laid back grit of relationships and party culture. Another classmate of Dmize, Trevor Brown, called Danny “his own brand.” Many in the bar were friends, supportive and excited to see the headlining performance.
For Dmize this was a debut performance. Complete with a camera crew, this show will eventually find its way to the Internet and YouTube where Dmize already has a large following. Many of his individual and original songs have several thousand views and his single “White Girl Wasted” is available on Itunes. On July 14, Dmize released his first mixtape entitled "Rize." It is available for download, linked via his Facebook page.
If you’ve never been to Wise Fools Pub in Lincoln Park, I suggest checking it out, if only for the easygoing, music oriented scene and oddly dark theme. For these two local talents, the show was a great success and a great time. Look out for them in the near future.
Listen to Louis the Child here: https://soundcloud.com/louisthechild
Dmize music: https://www.facebook.com/itsDmize
Wise Fools Pub upcoming events: http://www.wisefoolspub.com/