Last night was yet another special treat – Jackie Greene and many friends @ the GAMH. Set 1 was Jackie Greene + band + Mark Karan (the guitarist from rat dog). This is when I confirmed that I’m a fan of Jackie’s talent, but not as much of his songs. I shy away from Ballads, and of most of straight ahead rock. Its just who I am – I’m not a lyrics kinda guy.
Set 2 was an acoustic mini set with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, doing all dead tunes. It was quite nice really – the lack of musical clutter grated ample space for the musicians to shine. There is no bassist like Phil – thats for sure. I was amused watching the deadhead crowd dance madly to a stripped down acoustic set.
Set 3 was a deadheads wet dream. Jackie’s band + Phil and Bobby + Mark Kann + Steve Molitz on keyboards. Jackie’s bass player strapped on a guitar, which meant there were FIVE guitar players on the stage for the 80 minute 3rd set. It actually sounded pretty solid considering how muddy I thought it would become. Jackie’s players did excellent minimal comping leaving space for the rest of the guys to dominate. You couldn’t wipe the smile off the drummers face – he was SO pumped. He didn’t know all the changes, but he made up for it with rabid enthusiasm. A solid Shakedown opener got Seth and I dancing as hard as you can dance at a dead show. Which is to say – medium. More then a hippie shuffle, less then getting dollars thrown at you.
Casey Jones (JGe on vox)
Me & My Uncle (Bob on vox)
Ramble on Rose (JGe verse, all on the chorus)
Cassidy (Bob vox)
Box of Rain (Phil vox)
Don’t Let the Devil Take Your Mind
Closer to You (Jackie at the organ)
–Enter Phil, Bob, Particle Dude and Karan–
New Speedway Boogie
On Friday night, I was introduced to:
And in a maybe slightly over-enthusiastic frame of mind I claimed I would make a audio remix of the video.
So I did.
Riding off of the bliss of the Friday night show, we started Saturday off right with Pancakes @ It’s Tops. After that, we could do no wrong. It was a perfect day complete with naps and more excellent music.
We started off the evening at Cafe du Nord, catching the first Ledbetter and his Best Bet set in a long time. Joe was in good form, flanked by many of our talented friends.
Then it was back to the independent for the Tim Reynolds Trio and Dumpstaphunk. I’ve been really into funk for the past couple years, and these guy deliver. The whole place was getting down. It was funktastic. I even met Tony Hall, which was random. I imagine him putting my cd on and thinking “what the f is this? why would someone give me this?”.
Stina was sitting courtside on the bench for the latter half of the show, so I was occasionally getting up in it with her while she sat. Later on a dude gave her a dollar to stuff down my drawers. The funk was on.
I was pretty pumped to see the Bill Kreutzmann (drummer for the Greatful Dead), Scott Murawski (guitarist for Max Creek), and Oteil Burbridge (bass player for the Allman Bros) trio at the independent. To see a show with Zaq is always a special occation, and I wagered that I was going to enjoy this more then actually seeing the Dead this summer.
The show was absolutely outstanding. It exceeded my high expectations, a truly rare occurrence. The trio would start a song – a Dead cover or an original – and after chorus they would gallantly head over to the other side. It was intensely fluid, flowing from space to space with almost delicious abandon. At any moment, one the three players would take a left turn, and everyone would immediately follow suit. It was intensily exciting to go along for the ride. The range of these musicians was far and deep, and the spaces they visited were vast and often too fleeting.
It was also a rare opportunity to appreciate what an amazing jazz drummer Bill K is. A lot of the tunes really swung, with wide open pockets propelling my body to fill in the gaps. I was dancing like a madman one moment, then doing interpretive dance the next. The only downside was the abundance of dirty hippies. The show didn’t sell out till the day of, so all the dirty hippies were able to pick up tickets. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of the hippies, but not of the dirty ones.
So yeah, I had a GREAT time. Here’s a brief sequence I caught on the camera – they are actually back to back captures.
Nightmares on Wax has produced some interesting downtempo-esque albums in past few years. I don’t necessarily love them, but there’s enough innovation and creativity buried in their tracks to keep my attention. There are not a ton of high profile downtempo electronica producers – so when I saw that they were doing their first tour in the US, I figured I should attend. Maybe inspiration would follow. You never know. The Herbalizers were good like that.
I was suprised by the quantity of folks looking for tickets outside the venue. On a Wednesday night, to boot. I took that to be an encouraging sign. Talk about your hipster audience though.
Maybe I’m just a jaded concert junkie (ok, I know I’m jaded concert junkie), but I’m seriously unimpressed when the backup “band” consists of a “DJ” occationally hitting the “play” button on his laptop. I even glanced at the software – it wasn’t anything powerful like Live – it was basic DJ software. The “DJ” barely did anything, and during a few numbers, he literally didn’t do anything on the computer – he was busy singing along.
There were two additional singers, one very attractive and charming lady with an exceptional voice, and another dude who was ok. It was definetly higher energy set then I expected, which was nice for my groove monkey. I didn’t leave terribly inspired though, an hour into their set. I think most people had a wonderful time, and will rave about the show. The problem is that my music snobbery has no off switch.