By James Currie
Friday night, the Beat Kitchen saw a glimpse of the future-past of Rock n Roll and his name is Gyasi. The West Virginia born, Nashville transplant, Gyasi (pronounced Jah-see) played his second show in Chicago at the Bricktown neighborhood corner tap and the place was packed. Gyasi, fairly new to the scene, is making waves quickly. Sonic waves that is as he and his band brought their 70’s glam rock show for all Bowie and Bolan fans to revel in.
Gyasi’s band, consists of a second guitarist, bassist and drummer when playing live, although on his records, he plays and writes most of the songs and brings in session help to bring it all to life. This night, was a hand picked mix of musicians, not normally part of his roster. Gyasi’s regular bassist, Cole Bearden was absent this night, so his regular guitarist Ricky Dover Jr. filled in and played bass and keyboards. His second guitarist was Leilani Kilgore, a red hot whirlwind player from Nashville. It was honestly shocking to learn this was her first show with the band. I mean, she was electric! She fit right in and played off Gyasi’s stage antics like a veteran performer. Gyasi’s drummer, Sam Skorik, didn’t miss a beat. Riding off Gyasi’s leads and cues leaving no room for mistakes.
The show started with the band taking the stage and rolling into the first song “Cheap High”. This got the audience pumped and frothing for the main attraction as the lights pulsed, waving them into submission. Shortly after, Gyasi made his way through the crowd and took the stage in his Bowiesque cape and flaming hot red sky high boots that of course matched his lipstick.
After the first song, Gyasi twirled off his cape, revealing his rainbow sequined lightning bolt jumpsuit, reached for his Les Paul and kicked the show into high gear. Ripping through originals and covers including one that hit close to the heart here in Chicago as he played living blues legend, Buddy Guy’s 1979 hit, “I Smell A Rat”. He played the full 8-minute song including singing it and playing the solos mimicking the blues giants Stone Cold classic to a T.
To see that video click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk_1OzLJDl8
Throughout the nights performance, Gyasi primed the fans with plenty of sass, witty banter, walks through the crowd, in your face guitar solos and dominating the stage with his animated actions like a seasoned rock star, even playing his guitar with a violin bow like Jimmy Page. Ending the night on a high note, he finished his set, exited the stage, but was soon called back for an encore.
Gyasi released a new single this night. Fans could buy the new limited edition colored 7″ vinyl from the merch booth. The track, called “Baby Blue”, was performed live for the Chicago audience and meet with rave response. Special note, his full length 12″ vinyl (purple limited edition) sold out!
To see that video click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nMDhjyQ2fg
Gyasi is someone to watch for for sure. If you get a chance to see him live, do it. Especially now as he’s touring the club circuit. I have a feeling this is going to be someone that will skyrocket up soon and these intimate shows won’t be around anymore. This is someone I can see on a Lollapalooza or Riot Fest lineup. If not that, opening for a major artists tour. Lady Gaga, take notice.
For more on Gyasi, click here
For photos from the show, click here
Gyasi Setlist: Beat Kitchen Chicago: February 17, 2023
14. Sugar Mama