Chozen Few Band Opens Wade Oval Wednesday Festivities

Anne Nickoloff, Music Reporter

Sprinkling rain came and went in Cleveland this past Wednesday, ready at any moment to break out into the storm that kept many Ohioans from leaving the comforts the indoors.

But Chozen Few Band wasn’t discouraged; they blew through  the first Wade Oval Wednesday (WOW) of the summer, and left those who braved the weather wanting more.

When I walked onto the large grass  field between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History shortly after the event started, umbrellas of all shapes and sizes bobbed up and down as people found places to sit. A very popular area was under a large tree as its fanned-out branches protected a good chunk of the audience. I found a spot near the middle of the field, sandwiched between thick rows of lawn chairs.

A note to those who have never gone to WOW: Bring your own seat. The chairs provided at the event quickly filled, and everyone else brought their own blankets or lawn chairs. Because of my forgetfulness, I was stuck with a dewy ground seat and an obvious wet patch for the rest of the concert.This did not keep me from enjoying it, though.

Chozen Few Band went through Michael Jackson and Santana covers, then landed a particularly crowd-pleasing note with Earth, Wind & Fire’s well-known hit “September.” Saxophonist Billy Walls let loose during many solos, wailing out a variety of improv that made the crowd go wild with whoops and applause every time.

Singer JT Krohe did an excellent cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” punching out high notes that I could not even dream of hitting. Whenever singer Mahlika Hale took the microphone, I was blown away by her incredible range of singing. Her soulful cover of Adele’s “Rumor Has It” gave me shivers, and had the audience humming and nodding along.

The biggest standout music moment was Chozen Few Band’s cover of “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang. Of course, they cut out all of the nasty parts (which happen to fill most of the song), but left the fun “hip, hop, hippy, hip, hop” parts that everyone adores. Since this is one of my favorite songs, I got up to show off my awkward dance moves.

Band members threw out frisbees and glow sticks periodically, intent on only sharing the toys with children who were dancing near the front of the stage.

Later in the show, there was also a Sugardale hot dog race (no doubt, a shameless plug by the company), where three people in hot dog costumes ran around the field. Eventually each hot dog was surrounded by swarming children and at one point, the onion-themed hot dog was tackled to the ground. The family-friendliness of the show was really nice for the kids, but at times made the event seen geared towards children exclusively, especially when Chozen Few Band sang “Bingo” and later had children dancing on the stage.

Then again, maybe I was still just a little spiteful about not getting a frisbee.

Every type of person could be seen, and even some non-humans too. I saw at least five dogs, which were allowed under the conditions that they were leashed and that their owners cleaned up after them. There were also two horseback riders who handed out fliers to passerby.

Some booths lined up behind the stage selling food. The kettle corn and gyros were tempting, but the prices were not. Regardless, they seemed to get a ton of business from the hungry audience.

All in all, the event was a success. It had to be, considering the amount of people that actually showed up in the rain. Chozen Few Band really knew how to include everyone in their show and get people into their groovy music. There was no better band to kick off WOW’s diverse 2013 lineup.