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RedEye's Rock 'n' Vote 2013 Top 10

April 24, 2013|By Matt Pais | RedEye Sound Board

UPDATE: 2013 Rock 'n' Vote voting has closed. RSVP for the show (required for attendance) and click here to get to know this year's acts better. See you there!

The abundance of great Chicago bands never ceases, or ceases to impress.

That’s obvious again as more than 150 local acts entered our 10th annual Rock ’n’ Vote contest. These are the 10 best who now compete for your votes—read about them here and, more importantly, listen to them to hear why they were chosen. Vote through 7 p.m. Sunday for who you want to see in concert--the top 4 vote-getters appear at our free show 7:30 p.m. May 14 at House of Blues (17+). On-site voting determines the 2013 Rock ’n’ Vote winner, who earns a slot July 14 at Taste of Chicago!

Neighborhood: South Loop
Sound:  Incredibly catchy modern pop the band has been conceptualizing and honing for the past two years
Influences: Singer Ryan Greshock, 26, prefers not to pin AboveWaves to a particular genre or band but does name Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Coldplay and Radiohead.
Live show: “It’s really polished; it’s really tight,” says Greshock. The band recently had its first Chicago show at Subterranean; its first-ever show was a SXSW showcase.
Claim to fame: Featured on; worked with Mark Needham (Katy Perry, Pink, Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons)

The Addies
Neighborhood: Little Italy/UIC
Sound: Beautifully toe-tapping rock-pop. Says singer/guitarist Kevin Kiley, 21: “We like to make music we think people want to listen to. We don’t try to be like self-indulgent and just making the music we want to make.”
Influences: The Strokes, The Black Keys, Jet
Live show: It can get rowdy. “Everybody tends to be drinking quite heavily,” says Kiley, the lone Columbia College attendee in a band of UIC students. “We drink a little bit, but the crowd seems to be drinking together.”
Claim to fame: Playing at Metro.

Julian Bell
Neighborhood: Lakeview
Sound: A soulful take on pop-rock. Bell, 22, started playing guitar in third or fourth grade—his parents thought it would help him do better in school. Did it? “It probably became more of a distraction,” he says. “You kind of rush through homework so you can start playing guitar again.”
Influences: John Mayer, John Legend, Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Frank Ocean
Live show: An energetic effort to connect within the band and to the audience, Bell says.
Claim to fame: Worked with Joe Jonas on the CW show “The Next”; made it to blind audition round on “The Voice” but didn’t audition because the teams were full

Big Paraid
Neighborhood: Bucktown
Sound: Tight, deliberate, hard-hitting rock, formed a bass-less, two-guitars-and-drums concept.
Influences: Queens of the Stone Age, The Raconteurs, Jack White
Live show: Extravagant and circus-themed, featuring marching band attire, female backup dancers in parade outfits and a confetti-shooting cannon barrel, which they shot off at Double Door
Claim to fame: Reviews have been good for the band’s debut video, “Walk in Place,” but, says singer/guitarist Joe Shadid, 25, their claim to fame "was [bleeping] blowing that cannon.”

Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Sound: Spot-on indie pop with EDM elements that singer/multi-instrumentalist Kyle Mann (who lives in Elmhurst) describes as a mix of Cut Copy and Hall and Oates.
Influences: Twin Shadow, Beach Boys, New Order, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, James Blake, MGMT
Live show: The electronic sound on record becomes more of a raw, powerful rock show, Mann says, saying many people say Dozens (whose three members are in their mid-20s and all sing) sounds bigger than a trio on stage.
Claim to fame: Performing at Taste of Chicago 2012, Metro, Lincoln Hall; featured on

DVS Jackson, Esq.
Neighborhood: South Shore
Sound: Jazzy, lyrically precise hip-hop that the 38-year-old rapper—a poet who’s not actually a lawyer and says he delayed releasing music for fear of being judged--says he always wants to be accessible
Influences: KRS-One, Rakim, J. Dilla, Kendrick Lamar, Drake
Live show: “I act the fool,” DVS says. “Primarily I’m there so I enjoy myself, and if you enjoy yourself as a result, that’s great.”
Claim to fame: Worked with Simeon Viltz of Chicago rap outfit the Primeridian

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