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Taste This

By chicago_chris in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 1, 2004 6:30PM

2004_07_music_giants.bmp If you're heading down to sample all the tasty pre-cooked goodies at the Taste this weekend – Chicagoist once heard that pizza stand Bacino's starts prepping, and freezing, pies in January for the event – you may want to skip the food and just check out the free music acts at the Petrillo Band Shell instead. As with any Taste line-up, there are a fair number of uninteresting bands – in years past, that's included everyone from a past-their-prime Hootie & the Blowfish to the once-tolerable local mainstays Poi Dog Pondering. This year is no exception, with performances by not-bad-just-unspectacular musicians like Melissa Etheridge (tonight) and the Counting Crows (Sunday).

But the bookers always manage to squeeze in at least a couple of worthy acts, like Elvis Costello last year. (His performance in a thunderstorm reminds Chicagoist of that great scene in The Company where the ballet dancers performed in Grant Park in spite of the monsoon pouring down around them.) Sunday afternoon, for example, sees a show by the kid-friendly, whimsical nerd-rocking Johns of They Might Be Giants and the alt-country power-pop of Rhett Miller's Old 97's. Both are known for their strong songwriting and live shows, so this should make for a quality summer afternoon. Even if it doesn’t live up to ol' Elvis, it'll surely be better than Darius Rucker & co.