THURSDAY NIGHT RESIDENTS
Since the early 2000s, live music on Thursday nights has become a local favorite tradition at aliveOne. For over 15 years, aliveOne has featured some of the best bands in Chicago every Thursday for free in its back room. The revered Thursday night band is a staple in aliveOne’s culture and this page is a tribute to the groups that have held that position over the years, beginning with Bonzo Squad, the current Thursday night resident.
Bonzo Squad (current Thursday resident)
Comfort in Chaos. Bonzo Squad is a collaborative ensemble that crosses the boundaries of genre with the virtuosic abilities of its members. The music is not only meant to feel good but allows audiences to lose themselves.
“This group assembled from weekly gigs at Chicago’s Arrogant Frog, and its members are mightily in synch, each a distinct, strong personality. Drummer Zack Marks is focused and energized, more rock savvy in his cement-steady beat, while bassist Vogt is a textural player who uses pedals to flip his role from anchor to rudder. Lawrence is versed in Bach counterpoint but interpolates wry, unexpected elements, then retreats into tasteful background motifs or lockstep lines with Andrick.” (Michael Jackson, Downbeat Magazine)
They released their debut album “Bonzo Squad” in 2017, and it received a wonderful response from both fans and critics alike, including a write-up in Downbeat, a top 50 ranking on JazzWeek radio, and a Spotify Playlist placement. Since their 2017 debut, the group has performed a David Bowie Tribute, a Prince Tribute, a Mozart tribute, two full-blown Christmas productions, and two sold-out performances of Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions. The group has also recorded 20 more songs and has found a new weekly residency at aliveOne, another legendary Chicago venue. Despite every member being in multiple genre-crossing projects (including Bonelang, District 97, Bumpus, and Ernie Watts) the group always finds the time to play together. They are set to release their sophomore debut in 2019.
Discover Bonzo Squad:
Low Spark (2014-2018)
A relentlessly grooving quartet based out of Chicago. Drawing from a wide range of influences, they deliver a contemporary fusion sound characterized by deep funk grooves, extended high-energy solos, as well as pleasant, melodic hooks. Known best for their electrifying live performance, Low Spark aims to please with a highly original, confident act that sets the tone for their future.
Discover Low Spark:
The Heard (2012-2014)
The Heard is a Chicago-based band venerated for its deep pocket, authentic groove, and reverence for legendary funk. The group is known for turning out live, hot, sweat-drenched sets of performances.
The Heard’s music features powerful horn melodies delivered with precision and swagger by Lucas Ellman (saxophone), Parris Fleming (trumpet), and Bryant Smith (trombone), the driving rhythm guitar playing of Taras Horalewskyj, tasteful keyboard work by Neal O’Hara, and a slamming foundation provided by bassist Mike Starr and drummer P.J. Howard.
Discover The Heard:
Spare Parts (2008-2012)
Spare Parts is an instrumental trio that pushes well beyond the jazz-funk spectrum in which it thrives. Driven by vintage keyboards (Kevin Kozol), electric bass (Colin Scott), and drums (Mike Bruno), Spare Parts recalls the aesthetics of the analog era through a fresh and modern approach. Known for their hard-hitting grooves, dynamic improvisation, and collaborations with Chicago’s finest musicians, Spare Parts has won a loyal following over the years. The band has several releases on Ropeadope Records and has received accolades from across the industry including Ukvibe.org, Notreble.com, and Modern Jazz (MOJA) Radio.
Discover Spare Parts:
Lubriphonic began with a residency at the legendary "Checkerboard Lounge". Their day gigs had been touring with Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush & other bands but they had ideas to create something new. They moved their residency to aliveone on the north side in 2006 and continued to write and perform on Thursday nights when all of them were off the road.
Since 2008 the band has been playing shows across the country. They have released four studio CDs & numerous live shows.
Frank Bang (2001-2004)
Frank Bang has a blue soul and a rock and roll heart.
He plays that guitar like he was born with it in his hand”
-Tom Marker 93XRT Chicago
Now after 3 disc’s on his own label, Frank has teamed up with Producer Manny Sanchez ( Umphrey’s McGee, Patrick Stump formerly of Fall Out Boy, North Mississippi All Stars) at IV Labs Studio in Chicago. This long-time friendship brought true songs to life. Creating a full plate of Original Music.