CHIRP Presents The First Time: First City

Jenn-Anne Gledhill and Mare Swallow

Wendy Mateo and Jennifer Lizak

Mary Ralph and Samantha Abernethy

Jocelyn Geboy and Gerald Dowd

Liam Davis and Steve Frisbie

Last week Jess, Sara, Chris and I went to the CHIRP event, The First Time: First City at Beat Kitchen. Like the last few times (1, 2, 3), we had so much fun! This was the first time I went to an event in this series and I didn’t know any of the readers, but I did see and get to catch up with a bunch of my former Chicagoist cohorts – Chuck, Jocelyn, Matt, Jim, and Marcus.

Sara and I met up early and ate outside. Surprisingly, Beat Kitchen has super tasty salads, many to choose from, lots of fresh ingredients. The weather was just right, we were in the shade and there was a breeze. Then we headed in a few minutes early to make sure we could get a seat for the show.

As always, all of the essays were great. Anyone who gets up on stage and reads what they write has more guts than I do. I especially liked Jennifer Lizak’s essay about Chicago and how many generations of her family have lived in the city. After each essay the band plays a song of the essayist’s choosing. The band is so talented. That night they played everything from hip hop to country and western. For real. They played “Homecoming” with Gerald doing the Kanye West rap parts and Steve doing the Chris Martin singing parts. And Gerald showed off his diversity again when he sang the lead for “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” by David Allan Coe. I also liked when they played “Chicago Slow Down” by the local band Canasta. Check out their awesome video for the song below:

The event was $10 and all proceeds went to benefit CHIRP. Follow CHIRP’s Facebook page to make sure you get alerted when the next event is planned! You won’t want to miss it.