Larry Gates fills us in on a strong lineup Thursday at the Highdive

The phenomenon of weekends starting on Thursdays here in CU couldn’t be more appreciated this week as we’ve got Belikos blazing through town on their Midwest tour, and our polished and well-paired local acts to back them. Bottled at the source in Ann Arbor, Mich., then relocated for distribution in the Big Apple, Belikos is a refreshing blend of rock with (as Curb Service’s Larry Gates puts it) “urban tendencies.” In addition, to reveal CU’s impressively unexpected urban tendencies in the midst of corn mazes and soy fields of the Midwest, Curb Service, Organic Flow and the melodic Sangamon are stepping up to the microphones to support the touring Belikos tonight at the Highdive.
In the words of Larry Gates, “If Andre 3000 left Outkast and picked up Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Questlove from the Roots and brought Jimi Hendrix back from the dead and grabbed Prince, that’s the amount of energy and level of funk that [Belikos] brings.” This description alone should cause widespread chaos in town as flocks of eager listeners jump medians, slide across the hoods of cars at stoplights and push those on leisurely strolls through downtown Champaign out of the way in efforts to get the best possible standing space with drink in hand at The Highdive.
Last fall, Curb Service shared the stage at the Courtyard Café with Belikos, and Gates is more than ecstatic to have them back in CU at the Highdive. Gates has been in the music scene for years, playing at countless number of venues, and still goes so far as to claim, “I would put [Belikos] in the top five bands that I’ve played with, easily.”
Equipped with a loop station, a guitar with an impressive combination of effects pedals and a turn table, Larry Gates is Curb Service. Along with Gates’ electronic toys and lyrical joys, he will impress with his ability to juggle his music through his overwhelming collection of electronic instruments and tools. Curb Service will be coming out with a new EP titled Fly Casual sometime this week, which will be available for free downloading online.
Coming back from a summer of rest and relaxation, student band Organic Flow makes a smooth and solid addition to the lineup for a varied evening. The ever-changing and adaptable group relies on progressive lyrics and accessible hooks, making them a standout campus band, and we’re happy to see them extending their CU radius to downtown Champaign. Every member of this band is well-versed with their instruments, successfully incorporating saxophone and lead guitar into hip-hop.
Sangamon completes the bill for this $5 steal of an evening. If you take Keane out of the UK and stick them in the cornfields long enough for them to lose their accents, you’ll only get a glimpse of the quartet’s pop potential. This local/regional band explores piano-based, guitar-driven pop like Mom does meatloaf: pretty damn well. Check these guys out at the Pygmalion Music Festival mid-September.
This show is sure to be a steal thanks to the strong, diverse lineup and consistent quality of the venue, so don’t forget your $5 and sprint right over to the Highdive tonight after a nice dinner downtown.

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