Chainsaw Dupont is the first musician I’ve ever seen take a cell phone call during a set. (It was a brief call and the band kept playing.) He played his blues loose, but raw, his Laguna electric guitar heavy on echo and reverb. Several times he asked someone in the audience for a beat and would use that as the basis for a song. He had mike problems, so it was hard to hear when he sang. Perhaps because of that, most of his numbers were instrumentals.
His band consisted of electric keyboard, bass and drums. The bassist (Tom?) and drummer were outstanding. During the first set, a couple of young men carrying African-style drums came in the club and sat down to listen. Dupont asked if they were there to jam. I gathered that wasn’t their intention, but he invited them to join the band and they played along through the second set.
Nick’s Beer Garden on Milwaukee Avenue in the busy, trendy Wicker Park neighborhood is a typical long narrow storefront bar. The band was set up by the windows at the front. Patrons coming through the front door sometimes had to step around Dupont as he played. It didn’t seem to faze him.
This was the first time I’ve heard Chainsaw Dupont and I really enjoyed his playing. It was a fun show and I would definitely go see him again. Additional photos of him are here.