The hallmark of a good band is its ability to perform in any setting at any time. Gigging at a local Occupy, the Chicago Afrobeat Project played to a sympathetic crowd, one almost expected to take in the confluence of funk, jazz and afro-stylings as the norm. If no one said anything about a post-racial America, they were thinking about it. Several months earlier, though, CAbP did a spot at the Beachland Park, a private beach club in Cleveland. Private might be too strong a word. There’s no gate, but there are fees for residents who use the park on a regular basis. It even has a clubhouse for gatherings. If one were to wander onto the narrow slice of land, which quickly drops away to some craggy shoreline, it wouldn’t be a tremendous shock to be queried by some off-duty doctor about what street the visitor called home. Good place to read a book, though. The Abbey Pub doesn’t bear much resemblance to either of those other two settings, but CAbP won’t have a difficult time being ingratiated to its audience. The band hasn’t been recording vigorously over the last three years, a 2008 EP being the last disc to hit the market. But the ensemble’s pair of full-lengths, mostly comprising extended instrumental numbers even as a couple vocals crop up, should provide more than an ample backlog to run through for the evening’s set. Animate Objects open. The Scene: Vibes that far north are bound to be reasonably relaxed, making for a dancefloor shorn of pretense. Of course, any venue with the word pub in its name begs for a few loud-mouthed drunkards. The Abbey’s VIP treatment, counting special seating, open bar and the always important appetizers offers a reasonable alternative to rubbing elbows with the 99 percent. Just remember to store away some of those appetizers for the next day’s impending hangover. (Dave Cantor)
December 31 at the Abbey Pub, 3420 West Grace, (773)478-4408, 8pm. $25 adv/$30 dos/$65 VIP.