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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Show Announcements »

Permalink Fong Fest! - Chicago-Area (Chef Shangri-La) - Sept. 7-8

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Dave & Coalbe Vasta (part of the organizational team that brought you Chicago Exotica) have once again put together a great line-up of bands in one of the Chicago-area's coolest Tiki spots. A couple confirmations are still pending - but we wanted to get the word out so you could put it on the calendar!


Sept 7-8th "Fong Music Fest 2012...A Celebration of Aloha Spirit!"

Be a part of this first annual fun filled weekend featuring OVER 10 Bands, DJ's, Dancers, and an indoor Polynesian market place. The weekend kicks off on Friday night at 9pm with a special Polynesian buffet style dinner and 2 bands (see below). Saturday the party continues at the Chef when the doors open at Noon with DJ's & shopping, and the music kicks off at 2pm in the Chef’s parking lot. The outdoor portion Saturday will feature 8 bands (see below), DJ’s, & dancers, with Saturday’s festivities ending inside with the final 2 bands' (see below) performances. Also, from Noon til 5pm inside the restaurant on Saturday, a Polynesian market place that will feature Hawaiian related items such as Alohawear, vintage Tiki collectibles and Tiki related artists.

There are two different ticket packages, an advance weekend ticket for $40.00 (limited to the first 150), that will get you into both Friday and Saturday plus event t-shirt & special Polynesian buffet (friday nite only). Once these first 150 weekend passes sell out, an advance one day ticket for $35.00 will get you into the outdoor portion of Saturday only! Tickets for the outdoor portion of Saturday will be $40.00 the day of the event. Drink Specials throughout the weekend and an optional Buffet Saturday!

Tentative weekend line up subject to slight changes:

Friday night-
13Tikis plus special guests TBD

Saturday outside-
TBD (need confirmation)
Astronauts Space Age Combo
The Concussions
The Dyes
The Neanderthals

Saturday inside-
Roger & the Wraybands
The Cocktail Preachers

Advanced Tickets Sales available now, you can reserve yours via CC by calling the Chef at 708-442-7080. Ask for Duane or Betty, and please have your credit card and t-shirt size available when calling! *Save $10 (from June 21st - July 4) see details below. Please remember the advanced weekend ticket is limited to the first 150 people!

*HERE IS A WAY TO SAVE $10.00 off your FONG MUSIC FEST tickets....When American Express Cardmembers register an eligible American Express® Card, they will get a one-time $10 statement credit the first time they use that Card to spend $10 or more at a small business in the Boston, Chicago or Philadelphia metro areas between June 21st and July 4th, 2012.* Cardmembers must either add the offer to their synced Card via Facebook, Twitter, or foursquare, or register an eligible Card at before using that Card to take advantage of the offer. So click or copy the link and sign up your american express card before you call and order you FONG MUSIC FEST tickets!

We'll be sure to email all the exciting surprises and updates, or you can check in at or, on FB!

Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy

Last edited: Jul 15, 2012 08:11:19



Ha! - there it is (flyer). That's what was intended to go in that little "x image" box in the initial post...looks like I've lost my touch at posting images though. Thanks BTD!

Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy

We'll be there!! Can't wait!

The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

This should be fun! I'll be sitting in with Roger and the Wraybands.

"as he stepped into the stealthy night air... little did he know the fire escape was not there"

Update: The Dyes have been added to the Saturday bill (outside). Also, here is some information regarding lodging from Fong Fest Central Command:

Here's some lodging suggestions for anyone coming in from out of town...

The Carleton & Write Inn are both located in near by historic Oak Park

Holiday Inn Express in Hillside

Admission for kids under 12 is only $10.00, and concidering the outdoor portion of Saturday starts at noon and runs til 10pm, that's a pretty good bang for your bux. Ya know ya can't find a sitter for that price, so bring the kids! :grin:

We stopped by the Chef yesterday and ticket sales are going good so far, they're a third of the way there on the weekend passes. At a low price of $40.00 for the whole weekend which includes 12 bands, special Polynesian Buffet Friday nite, and a commemorative event T-shirt, ya can't beat it! Fans I urge you make your plans and get your tickets now!!

Also if you're in town Thursday evening we'll be getting together at Hala Kahiki, more info later, so stay tuned...

See ya'll at the Chef!!


There is also this place which is only a couple of miles away from the Chef. Looks pretty cool and has gotten fairly decent reviews here

Poster & t-shirt art soon so stay tuned!!!!!

Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy


Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy

Last edited: Jul 15, 2012 18:50:03

Here's the complete line up for Fong Fest...

Friday night-
Hillbilly Idle

Saturday outside-
Astronauts Space Age Combo
The Fuzzrites-Featuring Concussion members Dick Chicklet, Matt Mason, Claude Nine, & Pedro Delmar of Los Straitjackets
The Hot Rod Hucksters
The Dyes
The Concussions
The Madeira
The Neanderthals

Saturday inside-
Roger & the Wraybands
The Cocktail Preachers

Advanced Tickets Sales available now, you can reserve yours via CC by calling the Chef at 708-442-7080. Ask for Duane or Betty, and please have your credit card and t-shirt size available when calling! More exciting surprises and updates will available right here, or at or, on FB!

Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy

Looking forward to this incredible lineup. Go! Tsunami's has a bunch of new material from our upcoming new cd we'll be performing. Can't wait!

Go! Tsunami

Sounds like an awesome weekend -- hope I can make it!

More info from Fong Fest Central Command:

The following is a public service announcement...

The cut off date to receive your FREE commemorative event t-shirt as part of the weekend VIP pass is August 24th. Weekend passes without t-shirt can still be purchased after that date.

Here's a peak at the black & white art work, actual shirts will be beige print on coco brown shirt...


...also band names will be printed on back side of shirt.

Be sure to stay tuned for more important updates coming soon!!!!!

Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy

This weekend!

Check out the complete band line-up below...

Friday night (Sept 7)-
9:30 pm-Hillbilly Idle
11:00 pm-13Tikis

Saturday (Sept 8 ) outside-
1:30 pm-Alewife
2:30 pm-Astronauts Space Age Combo
3:30 pm-The Fuzzrites-Featuring Concussions Dick Chicklet, Matt Mason, Claude Nine, & Pedro Delmar of Los Straitjackets
4:15 pm-The Hot Rod Hucksters
5:15 pm-The Dyes
6:15 pm-Go!Tsunami
7:15 pm-The Concussions
8:15 pm-The Madeira
9:15 pm-The Neanderthals

Saturday inside-
10:30 pm-Roger & the Wraybands
11:30 pm-The Cocktail Preachers

Advanced Tickets Sales available now, you can reserve yours via CC by calling the Chef at 708-442-7080. Ask for Duane or Betty, and please have your credit card and t-shirt size available when calling! More exciting surprises and updates will available right here, or at or, on FB!

Jet Sterling, Cosmic Spy

wish I could be there.
there are no cheap flights from Ca. to the middle of nowhere.


I'm going to try very hard to be there on Saturday.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

I will be there on Saturday! It will be a great show!

to those that go,
take pics n videos please


This was really a great time. I'm so glad I finally decided to go.

I understand this was put on by Dave, one of the guys behind the Chicago Exotica events. It was held at Chef Shangri-La, billed as a Chinese Fusion restaurant in North Riverside, IL (Chicago suburbs). Check out the website for some cool interior shots. It's done up Tiki bar style, it is quite amazing inside! Anyway, Dave and crew did an awesome job with the actual event logistics. I think it is the only event like this I have been to where everything ran on time like clockwork, despite some set backs that were no fault of their own (see below).

This lasted two days, but I only made the Saturday event (I spent Friday night in Milwaukee at The Exotics EP release party). During the day, they roped off the very large parking lot next to the restaurant, where they had a covered stage, seating, and some old-timey cars. The Surfabilly Freakout crew seemed to be running the sound and providing music between the bands. Inside the Chef they had vendors (Tiki stuff, clothing) and many interesting raffle items.

I arrived right when the first band started playing, but I had a lot of trouble finding parking, so I missed all but about 2 songs from Alewife, so I can't really say much about them. They were a guitar/bass/drummer trio plus a 2nd percussionist playing bongos.

The Astronauts Space Age Combo was next. They are a band consisting of keyboards/vocals, guitar, drums, bass, trumpet, & sax. They played a mixture of loungey, exotica sounding stuff (Mancini), and some more frat rock style numbers like Wooley Bully and Tequila. Very fun band and I enjoyed their set. It was curious though, almost every member had sheet music, and they all had to fight the wind which kept turning their pages.

I think the next band was The Fuzzrites, which consisted of Tommy and Dave (?) from the Concussions on guitar/vocals & bass, plus a 2nd vocalist, and Pete Curry (Los Straits) on the drums. They turned things up a notch by playing a rocking, garagey sounding set. Tommy was playing through his crazy Premier fold-together amp / extension speaker with a solid body Rickenbacker guitar (I didn't even know what it was until Ivan told me). Dave had a cool Mosrite bass. They did a great job on the vocals, capturing that style perfectly. The music wasn't really up my alley, but I enjoyed the set.

The Hot Rod Hucksters, a rockabilly band, was up next. Again, I don't normally listen to this style of music, but I did enjoy it. It was interesting to watch the stand-up (double) bass player and see how the technique differs from a regular electic bass. The guitar player had that fierce stinging Rockabilly sound down pat, played through a Gretsch (of course). The singer/rhythm guitarist seemed kind of bored and mostly sang in a monotone (or so it seemed). But he did do a great job on Chuck Berry's Maybelline, and the set closer, so I know he is capable of better.

The Dyes were up next. They made quite a stir because the singer/guitarist and bass player were very attractive young females. Rounding out the band was a drummer and guitarist playing a tele. They sort of had a Cramps / Trashwomen vibe and got a great reaction from the crowd.

Ok, let me temporarily stop with the bands and describe some other stuff.

Also throughout the day an all-girl dancer troupe called "The Janes" came out and did some cool 60's style go-go dancing in-between the acts, and often danced to the bands, livening up things considerably. They had 3 or 4 costume changes throughout the day. Meow!

The Chef crew had set up an outside bar / food tent in the parking lot. I had some great garlic fries that were seemingly stir-fried along with some peppers, onions, and Chinese-food style sesame seeds. Yum! They were also serving Mai-Tais and "Dr. Fongs" -- great rum concoctions that were very strong. My head was spinning after having a Mai-Tai followed too quickly by a Dr Fong.

It was great seeing some familiar faces as well. Midwest Surf Guy was there, camcorder in tow. Jet and the Surfabilly Freakout crew were there as well. Of course Ivan & The Madeira showed up. Ivan introduced me to Tommy and Dave from the Concussions, it was great meeting them and chatting with them.

Ok back to the rundown. At this point, I think we went into the Chef to get some food. Unfortunately you always seem to miss one band at these all day things, and I did not get to see (sadly) Go Tsunami's set. Hopefully I can catch them in the future. Some of the photos I saw later showed they had a very interesting visual act!

Dinner was quite good. And it helped sharing the meal with The Madeira plus Patrick's new girl Savannah. All great people and we had lots of laughs at the table.

After we finished the Concussions took the stage. I really did not know much of anything about this band but I was quickly won over. Not exactly a surf band, but just an awesome instrumental band with their own style, which features elements of surf, r&b, and more traditional rock-n-roll. Again Tommy (aka Dick Chicklet) was playing through his Premier amp, but this time with a '59 Jazzmaster. He had a very tough sound which at times sounded really heavy and other times much more nuanced. The band performs in these crazy skull masks and has quite the stage show. They opened their set by announcing that this was not only Melanie & Eddie Angel's anniversary, but Melanie's birthday as well. They dedicated their first song, the Theme to Midnight Cowboy to them (which Los Straitjackets also play a lot). The band reminded me of Los Straitjackets at times, but again, they have their own thing going on, and I dug it.

The Madeira were up next. I have seen this band so many times but it is always a tremendous experience. The band sounded great through a backline provided by Phil from the Cocktail Preachers. I know I am biased but you could really tell the Madeira had the most original sounding songs of the day. They started out heavy and then had a nice mellower middle part of their set before finishing strong with several fast numbers. They closed with Tribal Fury, the title track to the new album, and I think I saw Ivan even turn up the volume for the last part of the song. Awesome set!

Finally the Neanderthals took the stage to close out the outside portion of the day. This incarnation was Eddie Angel (Los Straits) on guitar / vocals, Johnny Rabb on vocals / drum (singular!), Tommy from the Concussions on bass, and Pete Curry on drums! Dressed in their Lone Ranger masks, furry caveman skins, and converse high tops, they are always a super fun party band. And they really rocked! Unfortunately it started pouring rain not even halfway through their set, and they had to quit. They were under a canopy, but most of the audience wasn't, and the Surfabilly Freakout guys had to tear down their sound booth in record time. So this was quite a bummer but I was very glad I did get to see them play 5 or 6 numbers.

So at this point things transitioned inside for the last two bands: Roger & The Wraybands followed by The Cocktail Preachers. To be honest, I was really starting to drag here, and I was bummed by the rain cancelling the Neanderthals. I even contemplated skipping the rest and finding my hotel to crash. Boy am I glad I stuck around!

Roger & The Wraybands killed. It must be said. I had seen these guys with a slightly different line up in 2007 or so. I enjoyed them then, but this time they came out swinging. They are an all cover band, but they have it nailed. And they were loud and powerful, just like Outerwave (California's resident trad surf cover band). This time around they had Bill Aqua, formerly (?) of the Reluctant Aquanauts on guitar, and I think a new bass player since I saw them last. The same powerful drummer, and Roger of course, who really brought his A-game playing through a sexy white Strat. They hammered out some awesome songs which had the Janes and other audience members dancing. Bill was playing through some kind of Gibson hollow body, and both guitarists were using Fender Twins I think. Not a reverb tank or pedal in sight, but they didn't need it. They really sounded fantastic, tight, and totally nailed those songs. They played a lot of Ventures, some Los Straitjacket covers, and some great surf standards. Roger and Bill took turns on the lead duties, and it was all very impressive. The whole band was very impressive. Excellent job guys! Wow!

(It was nice chatting with you Roger, and Bill I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to talk more. But it was great to finally (!!!) meet you in person)

At this point it was 11:30pm and the Cocktail Preachers had to be in downtown Chicago at 5:00am to play at some race/run. I was worried they were going to play an abbreviated or mellow set. But perhaps inspired by Roger & The Wraybands, they too came out loud and swinging! They played a very powerful set, lots of their tasty originals plus some awesome covers from Jon & The Nightriders and even Gooch In Space by the Deadbeats! Bruce was killer on the steel guitar. I absolutely love those songs they do with Bruce playing some tasty slide guitar. They do an amazing cover of the 60's classic Gutterball (Goldtones) in this mode. Dr. Ben on the drums is most impressive, easily their strongest drummer to date. He was hitting so hard his kit was creeping across the floor and I thought he was going to hit through his toms on the set closer cover of Sing Sing Sing, Los Straitjacket's style. Wow again!! Very impressive set and I understand they did make their 5am gig just a few hours later.

Well congratulations on reading this epic report if you made it this far. I was kind of light on details since I wanted to cover each band. If you have any questions or if someone else posts their recollections I'll likely say more. I took a few pictures but nothing really all that interesting to post. There are a ton of pictures on Facebook though. Search for Surfabilly Freakout and Motorhead Mike. They have some great photos.

Thanks to everyone who worked very hard to put on this show, it was awesome! I hope it becomes an annual event!

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Last edited: Sep 10, 2012 20:55:13

thanks for the report Brian.


Man that sounds like a killer show, wish I could've made it; thanks for the rundown, Brian!

Hey Brian, What a great, comprehensive report. Thanks for the nice Wrayband Write up. That means a LOT to the band
I'm glad you were there. Great seeing You, Midwest surf guy, and Jet Sterling! Always great to have your support.

I didn't get there as early as I wanted, but was able to catch The Maderia,
Good stuff as always. Got to chat with Ivan and Patrick a little after, always a pleasure to talk a little "shop". I've been wanting to see you guys recently, but my schedule never seems to work out.

There IS Surf in the midwest, the waves may not be as big, But their just as WET. (Dwell, Mix, Tone)

Roger and Out.


Roger&The Wraybands

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