There’s no getting around the fact that scorching summer temperatures are putting Chicagoans on high alert. But Tuesday is forecasted to be the “coolest” night of the week. And a shady, tree-lined grove in Forest Park is the perfect spot to check out a free concert featuring the popular local band, R Gang.
July 19th marks the second night of the village’s 2011 Groov’n in the Grove outdoor concert series that is held on the grounds of the Altenheim German Old People’s Home at 7824 W. Madison in Forest Park. With verdant landscaping and an 1885 Victorian building, this imposing location has played host to several Hollywood movies including “Harry and Tonto,” “The Package” and “The Babe.”
While not quite on the level of Art Carney, Gene Hackman, or John Goodman, R Gang has developed an enthusiastic local following thanks in part to their vast repertoire of R & B music from the Motown era through the 90’s. Nancy Franciose of Melrose Park sums up the band’s appeal when she stated that, “they are soooo good and fun to dance to.” Franciose has seen R Gang over 60 times including the band’s annual appearance at the Taste of Melrose Park. During the band’s Labor Day weekend stint, Franciose always manages to sandwich in a few sets between her food stand duties.
When R Gang takes the stage at 7pm, Franciose hopes that they will play “September,” “ The Love I Lost,” and “Boogie Nights.” Other R Gang favorites include chestnuts like “Treat Her Like a Lady,” and “You are the Sunshine of My Life” as well as Motown, Gap Band, and O’Jay’s medleys.
In addition to these timeless classics, you can’t beat the priceless aspect at Groov’n in the Grove. Attendees can bring their own food and liquor or purchase beer, wine, and festival-type noshes at the event.
Longtime resident Sue Adams is a regular at ALL Forest Park events including the village’s Summer Fest, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Groov’n in the Grove. She noted that there is “always something happening” in Forest Park. She added, “it’s always affordable, too!”
Adams loves the “Ravinia-like” ambiance at Groov’n in the Grove as she alluded to the white lights that are strung up all around the Altenheim grounds. She also likes being surrounded by friendly locals including Mayor Anthony Calderone. But despite the neighborhood feel at Groov’n in the Grove, Adams noted, “you still feel like you’re not in Forest Park.”
Laying further claim that Forest Park is “the place to be,” the village also hosts Cruise Nights every second and fourth Tuesday nights through the summer. The shows are held at the intersection of Thomas and Madison Street and include music, raffles, and more. The third and final “Groov’n in the Grove” is slated for Tuesday, August 16th and will feature the Souled Out Funk Band.
Visit http://www.forestpark.net/index-Home.html for more news of upcoming events and activities. Stay on track with R Gang at http://www.r-gang.com/index.html