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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Reckless Kelly and Marcia Ball at the American Music Festival

A social opportunity, please (I never ask) cut me early, please, please, please.

I was cut early from work last night and caught up with Lucy, Steve, and John. They picked up me up and we went to, gasp, the suburbs for a show. The American Music Festival at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn, Illinois. It is barely a suburb, although it is 708 instead of 773 or 312.

This was the 23rd annual AMF in Berwyn. We went to see Reckless Kelly and Drive By Truckers, but got the pleasure of also seeing Marcia Ball. Marcia Ball and her band played as a gift and a secret surprise at the festival. I want to say the festival is a church fundraiser, because the women I asked about Marcia Ball said something about it being a gift to the church.

Anyway, Marcia Ball was fantastic. It was early for us, but she got our toes tapping. While we listened to her, we got some Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Brats. Yum. And listened to the CREEPS next to us talking about hot 16 year old girls (this creeps were in their 40’s at least) and about how Jennifer Tilly has gotten sluttier lately. I kept inching away, as one of the creeps had his hands on his waist and roaming elbows that kept running into me. grrr.

Then we went into the dance hall to get good place near the soundboard to watch Reckless Kelly. Having been prepped for a country band, I was thrilled to hear rockabilly/country. The lead singer was wearing a garage shirt with a union jack on the chest. That seemed like a little protest in front of the gigantic U.S. flag (with only 48 stars, trust me, I counted 8 times and could not find the other two stars anywhere in the room.)

Reckless Kelly was great, great show, great band, great crowd. The encore, though, I could have done without. Why suddenly become a jam band at the end of a great set? Why? You were tight, you harmonized, told great stories and then you jammed? no thanks.

Next year this is the place to be. $20 is well worth it and you can come and go during the day. It is crowded, but not as crowded as, say, Grant Park.

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