It had been a little over a year since the last time I saw The O’Mys perform. Last summer they were playing one of the side stages at Lollapalooza and brought the festival to a new level of soul with their songs. Last Friday at Park West was their biggest show as a band since that festival, and their biggest headlining club show. They packed in the venues 1,000-person capacity and probably left some outside hoping they could get last minute tickets.
This is the bands first Chicago show since putting out their latest album, Tomorrow, at the beginning of September. The crowd responded well to the new songs and most seemed to know the words to sing along already. The show really kicked into high gear for me when Maceo Haymes led the band in a cover of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” followed by The Isley Brothers “Ain’t I Been Good To You.”
“Baskets” was released as a single over the summer and find Maceo’s vocals at their most soft and vulnerable. His voice floats over the top while a horn section and backup singers hold down the foundation. It features a great guitar solo by Erick Mateo.
The division of labor in the band is interesting. As frontman, Maceo is in charge of keeping the energy up and involving the audience. Nick Hennessey’s job is musical director. Many times during the set he would step away from his keyboard to offer guidance to other members of the band.
It was a big community show with openers Tasha, Kaina, and Sen Morimoto. All three are rising stars in the Chicago music scene and it was great to see them get the spotlight they deserve here.