No one throws a heat wave like Chicago. That hot moist summer air blows over the treeless expanses of the Midwest, unimpeded for hundreds of miles, and fills the air with dust, fertilizer, cow sweat, soot from smelters and the exhaust from 4 million cars trying to go somewhere. It's a soul-killing thing.
It was on a day like this in June 2005 that Graham Parker and The Figgs rolled into town for the last show of their tour. Would anyone show up? Would anyone dare leave their air-conditioned houses, brave the streets full of sticky asphalt and short tempers, and go to a muggy, dank rock club? Would those that did show up be rendered torpid by the sauna-like conditions?
Yes, yes, and definitely no.
103 Degrees in June documents one of those nights when the music takes over, when the crowd and the band feed off one another and no one minds being soaked to the skin. Hot? Hell yes, it was hot. GP and the boys were in top form from their tour and they tore through killer versions of songs covering the length of his legendary career. It was an exhilarating night, a transporting night. When it was over, the floor was slick with sweat and beer, and the heat rose in waves and stung your eyes. It was hard to see.
If it weren't for this recording, we wouldn't be 100% sure it happened at all.