We took a break last week to dive into the archives and came up with a poster from 2019 that celebrates a long-running event that (like so many other things) can’t happen in 2020. Artist and musician Erin Page sings and plays guitar for the band Reivers and also creates illustrations and other art (commissions welcome!) out of her studio in Avondale. For years she’s been the primary artist creating posters for the annual Jeff Buckley tribute hosted by venue and restaurant Uncommon Ground. The tributes began in 1998, the year after Buckley’s death by drowning, and in 2000 Monica Kendrick recommended that year’s event in her Reader column Spot Check.
Buckley performed his first Chicago show in February at Uncommon Ground, then just a small coffeehouse in Wrigleyville. Greg Kot praised that set in his Chicago Tribune obituary: “Buckley wasn’t so much entertaining the room as revealing intimacies in a voice like an androgynous angel.”
Over the years Uncommon Ground’s tributes have featured a variety of musicians and fans showing up for Buckley—including his mother, Mary Guibert, who’s been a special guest for several of them. The event has evolved into a two-day affair that donates a portion of its proceeds to the Old Town School of Folk Music’s scholarship fund.
This week’s poster was created for the 2019 tribute, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of Buckley’s only studio album, Grace. For the past few years Uncommon Ground has been livestreaming its Jeff Buckley tribute shows to accommodate Buckley’s international fan base, so thankfully there’s a recording of this concert to check out. While you’re watching, consider tipping your waitstaff by donating to the GoFundMe pages for employees of Uncommon Ground’s locations in Lakeview and Edgewater. And if you live in either area, you can also take advantage of curbside pickup or delivery from one of the restaurants.
The Reader continues to accept submissions of made-up posters for made-up gigs, made-up posters for shows that really happened, posters for livestreamed shows, and posters for concerts where the audience can attend in person (with safety guidelines in place).
To participate, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact information, and original design or drawing (you can attach a JPG or PNG file or provide a download link). We won’t be able to publish everything we receive, but we’ll feature as many as possible. Your submission can also include a nonprofit, fundraiser, or action campaign that you’d like to bring to the attention of our readers.
Not everybody can make a gig poster, of course, but it’s simple and free to take action through the website of the National Independent Venue Association—click here to tell your representatives to save our homegrown music ecosystems. Both those Uncommon Ground GoFundMes appear on the Reader‘s list of fundraisers for out-of-work or underemployed staffers at Chicago’s venues. And don’t forget record stores! We’ve also published a list of local stores that will let you shop remotely.