Jim "Tankboy"‚ Kopeny, one of the few music bloggers around town who is a diligent reporter as well as an opinionated critic, has posted an interesting piece on Chicagoist recounting what seems to have been an wild overreaction by police staffing Monday's concert by local heroine Kid Sister at Millennium Park--despite the facts that no alcohol was served at the show, and attendance was, according to several accounts I heard, half of the usual New Music Mondays crowd. Could the beefed-up presence have been due to the simple fact that Melisa Young just happens to be a hip-hop artist?
Anyone that attended last Monday's Kid Sister show at the Prtizker Pavilion in Millennium Park was met with an unusually large showing of police force and a great lawn and pavilion seating area sectioned off with temporary fencing. There were literally more people in the area surrounding the concert than there were inside the performance space. We were suddenly reminded of the Bel BivDeVoe / Salt-N-Pepa show during the Taste of Chicago when police created an unsafe situation by closing down the seating area in Grant Park, even though there was still plenty of room for folks to enjoy the music, creating bottlenecks and angry mobs at each gate. Things never got that ugly last Monday but we were left wondering what was to blame for the situation...
"Is the city going to freak out any time a 'hip-hop' show takes place on public property?" Tankboy wondered. He got a typically inscrutable official comment from the city in response to that query, but I can answer it for him: Heck, yeah! Witness the increased police presence in Grant Park whenever a hip-hop performer is playing one of the closing slots on the main stages at Lollapalooza, and recall that Kanye West was unceremoniously sent packing the year the Pritzker Pavilion opened and he wanted to be among the first pop performers there.
Then again, the city shut Radiohead out, back then, too, so maybe it isn't just a hip-hop thing.
Previous post in Jim DeRogatis