Personally, I’ve lived in Chicago for five years now, and have always wanted to check out The Green Mill.
Fortunately, I have an amazing husband who still believes we should surprise each other with dates, and so now I can say I’ve officially spent an evening partaking of music at the Chicago institution.
(Truth be told, Eric first surprised me with dinner at King of Thai off the Argyle Red Line stop. I have to give them a shout-out, as their Thai Iced Coffee was simply the best I’ve ever had. I’m still dreaming about it, and woke up this morning wishing I could have another one.)
Its really easy to imagine the Green Mill in its heyday, when the tables were filled with the gangsters of Chicago past. It’s a little run-down inside, but endlessly charming at the same time. It’s a little bit like the bar from that scene in The Corpse Bride where the skeletons sing Victor the saga of the Corpse Bride herself. (You know what I mean. Don’t lie.)
Last night’s act was The Modern Sounds – a jazz/slap-base/rockabilliy trio hailing from right here in the Windy City.
The tattooed bouncer checked our IDs and we went in search of a table from which to watch the show. Fortunately, as we were really early, we got a great table right next to the stage. It’s a really dim place, lit largely by table candles and the neon sign behind the stage that screams “Green Mill” in case you’ve forgotten where you are. We partook of Mad Hatter beer (on draft, thank you) and watched the place fill up as the show grew closer to starting.
The crowd at Green Mill is really interesting. There are young people, many of whom are outfitted in clothes that are throwbacks to the glory days of the bar. There was a girl in full-on flapper mode, several gents in fedoras and vests, and a girl I can only describe as Marilyn-esque. The older folks, however, come as they are – in everything from jean shorts to track suits.
The Modern Sounds are a delight to hear play. The three-piece band (guitar, upright bass, and drums) played several sets, mixing various styles of music from jazz to rockabilly. We wound up buying their two-disc CD, which is now ripped to my ipod and I can’t wait to listen to it next week at work. Many of the bands songs had the crowd up and dancing.
The banter was funny, the music was great, and the crowd was simply adorable.
The waitresses were witty, the drinks were pretty cheap, and I left charmed.
I had a great time during my first visit to The Green Mill, and look forward to going back soon.
Who wants to come with?
Check out The Modern Sounds appearing on WGN.