Rising rock phenom Marcus King brought his band to the Charleston Pour House last weekend, on September 24th, treating fans to a soul-drenched marathon set at the famed Charleston, SC venue. King’s show came as a late night celebration, as fans packed the house following the Umphrey’s McGee Chucktown Ball showing. King was his usual impressive self, as you can see from his guitarwork featured in the video below.The band also brought out a cake to celebrate keyboardist Matt Jennings’ birthday, only adding to the energy of the night. Check out photos from the show below, courtesy of Ellison White Photography. Load remaining images
Over July 4th weekend, Widespread Panic spent some time delighting Bend, OR with two great performances. With Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons on as support, it was no surprise that Joseph found his way over to Panic’s sets for some choice sit-ins throughout the weekend.One of those sit-ins happened to be during a great cover of the Neil Young classic, “Cortez The Killer.” Fortunately, Panic has shared some new pro-shot footage of the collaboration.Widespread Panic picks up their fall tour on October 21st, when they kick off a three-night run in Milwaukee, WI. They’ll be on the road throughout the season and more, so don’t miss out! The band’s full tour schedule can be seen here.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are currently on a world tour, with two nights at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom. Both nights are billed with support from BABYMETAL, a Japanese metal idol band comprised of three teenage girls whose vocals are backed by heavy metal instrumentation played by the Kami Band. All between the ages of 17 and 18, the girls made their worldwide tour debut earlier this year and have made quite the impression with their “kawaii metal” or “cute metal” that mixes together J-pop idol with heavy metal.With last night marking the first of their two nights with RHCP, the girls joined headliners for a performance of “Nobody Weird Like Me” from the band’s 1989 Mother’s Milk. Watch the full performance below, as captured by Michio SD:And more clips from YouTube user ARABS LiveReactions:For reference, check out “Gimme Chocolate” by BABYMETAL:Red Hot Chili Peppers return to the Manchester Arena tonight for their Getaway World Tour with BABYMETAL.[Photo via BABYMETAL Facebook]
Last year, Jesse Miller, Eli Winderman, and Charlie Patierno announced a trio in Philly called Octave Cat. The three have previously released a few tunes together, and have performed live once before at SummerDance Festival, but have never brought their collaboration farther than that. This will all change with their first-ever mini tour in March, starting from home in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s, and heading out to American Beauty in NYC, then finishing up at 8×10 Club in Baltimore. Check out the official announcement below:When not with Octave Cat, Jesse Miller can be found holding down the low end with Lotus and performing solo analog synth sets as Beard-o-Bees. Eli Winderman is the keyboardist for Dopapod. Charlie Patierno is the touring drummer for pop artist Mike Taylor, and has also worked with groups like Blue Method, Melody Gardot and The Roots.Octave Cat 2017 Mini Tour:3/17 Philadelphia, PA, Johnny Brenda’s – Tix3/18 New York, NY, American Beauty NYC – Tix3/19 Baltimore, MD, The 8×10 – Tix
As Jam Cruise 15 disembarked, and spirited cruisers spilled out all over the continental USA with the usual plethora of stories and glories, one tale really got to us. This is a story of a gen-pop Jam Cruiser who jammed with George Porter Jr. We’re talkin’ one on one, to shut down the Jam Room late one morning!This is a frank, open and honest conversation, a chat with a gentleman who is both teacher and student; a cat who is at once lucky, and grateful. This is a look into the lucid-dream turned rager-reality of one Chris Sgammato, an upcoming artist, and longtime Jam Cruiser. This a phenomenal player that quite literally personifies inspiration, and is a beacon of hope for aspiring musicians and Jam Cruisers alike. Instead of spoiling the story in my introduction, we’ll leave it to Chris’s own wonderful words to weave this touching narrative.Our own B. Getz caught up with him a few days after the boat pulled into port in Miami. Enjoy…L4LM: Chris, since people have gotten home from Jam Cruise 15, I have heard a lot about your sit-in with a certain legendary bassist late one night in the Jam Room. Please fill in our readers as to what the buzz is about with you and George Porter Jr.?Chris Sgammato: I owe almost all of my Jam Cruise Jam Room performances to Mr. George Porter, as he was the first Jam Room host to actually invite me up to play 4 cruises ago. I had been meaning to thank him for years, but I suffer from something I call the Gravity of Gratitude, where the anxiety over my perceived inability to adequately express the depth of my gratitude causes me to procrastinate that expression to the point of never actually achieving it. For some reason, I woke up on Day 3 of this Jam Cruise determined to overcome that deficiency, and I did. I sat down over my morning (afternoon, whatever) coffee and hand-wrote him a personal “Thank You” letter.Later in the night (morning, whatever), that wise old owl was laying down some serious knowledge on the subject of groove, and I happened to be next to him hammering out horn lines in a section led by Benny Bloom [of Lettuce]. The set ended, so I left the stage with the band beyond stoked that I had once again managed to hold my own with the headlining heroes. Much to my surprise, he called us back up onstage – or so I thought. He’d actually called just me back up. Mind you, he still didn’t know I’d written him that letter.[Video courtesy of Loren Wilson]Now, if the English language contained words sufficient to describe how I felt in that moment, I would use them. But it doesn’t, so I can’t. If I were to foolishly attempt such a description, it might include a mix of words like confusion, joy, awe, terror, and some word that will probably be invented on an upcoming Jam Cruise.L4LM: Let’s get the people up to speed with who you are and what you are about, Chris.CS: I’m a full-time private music teacher with 60+ individual lessons weekly. I’m also the lead vocalist / multi-instrumentalist of Displace. We’re a four-piece funk fusion ensemble based out of Tampa, Florida. Funny story: all of the members of my band actually jammed in the Jam Room this year. So Displace has sort of already played Jam Cruise – just not all at the same time, or on any scheduled sets, or anything remotely legitimate. So, alright, we didn’t even come close, because artist pass lanyards are kind of a thing. But we’d love to someday.L4LM: I understand that this is not your first time jamming ON STAGE on Jam Cruise. Or even your second. Sounds like this is a bit of a tradition. How did this all begin? And what’s it like to just get up there with your heroes and the heavyweights of this whole scene? Sounds like a dream come true, over and over!CS: A few years ago, my dear and quite possibly insane friend Jess Majeski told me about a music festival on a boat. She said I had to get on it, because she saw how I bust my ass at everything I do and she knew I would do cool things if I ever made it onboard. This sounded great and all, but I, being a musician with zero financial responsibility, laughed at her when she told me the ticket price. Of course Jess got the last laugh, because she bought me a ticket, effectively “miracle”ing me on the boat. Told you she was insane.I drank reckless amounts of coffee, sat in the jam room the first night with my sax case clearly visible, and listened intently while waiting like an anxious puppy to be called on stage. Several hours went by, and eventually the jam ended. No dice. The next night I returned, this time with my saxophone out of its case. Despite several requests from audience members that I storm the stage to play, I sat waiting for an invite that never came. I’m not one to disrespect an artist’s performance space by invading it uninvited. I left that night and started to come to terms with the fact that I probably wouldn’t get to jam because I didn’t have a piece of plastic with 6 letters on it dangling from my neck.The third night however, something amazing happened. A very awesome sound guy named Brandon had been watching me wait respectfully, and allowed me to come backstage to the artist area. George Porter Jr. was running the jam that night, and after a few songs he came offstage and said “go on, gitcha some!” I got some, and then I got some more, and then I kept coming back for more all night and almost every night of every jam cruise since. The only things that ever stopped me from playing were respect for other jammers, and a really strict stage manager who kicked me out after I played with Mr. Porter.L4LM: Wow. That’s absolutely mind-blowing to hear. What a ridiculous story! I bet you have some classics through the years, once the proverbial ice was broken. Take us through your personal history of Jam Cruise jamming highlights!CS: Nothing will ever top that first jam with George Porter Jr. I couldn’t stop smiling, because I’d waited so long for just one chance to play, and I knew that once I stopped the stage manager would catch me without an artist pass and I’d never play the Jam Room again. I played like it was my last time, because I was convinced it would be. That was incredible.Another memorable Jam Room moment came that same year, when I was able to sneak past the stage manager to be invited back up by the artists who remembered me from the night before. I can’t remember who they were now, because I didn’t recognize any of their faces at the time, but I do remember one particular drum fill that was so good it literally left me confused. I didn’t know who or what or where I was; it was so good I immediately became terrified that my reality wasn’t even real. When I saw him outside I told him what his drum fill did to me, and he laughed, thanked me, and told me his name was Adam Deitch.[Chris onstage with Roosevelt Collier, Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy)]My second year on Jam Cruise the famous “Dr.” Roosevelt Collier had me up for some musical healing on the night he ran the jams. He taught me the chorus melody seconds before kicking off the song, and the thrill of that performance is something I still tell all of my students about.One of my cooler performances came outside of the Jam Room when I was invited by Thievery Corporation‘s rhythm section “Hash” and Jeff Franca (aka Congo Sanchez) to participate in the Master Classes at Sea, and also later on Zach Deputy‘s reggae set. It was the first time I’d played on an artist’s scheduled set instead of just the Jam Room.It would be absolutely cruel if I failed to mention the crucial role that Nathan Moore, The Spot, and everyone who plays there has had on my Jam Cruise experiences. I have probably spent about as much time playing clarinet and sax with them as I have anywhere else, and there is something so comforting about those homely porch vibe jams. If you’ve never been around for the universal song ending, you need to spend more time there. I also had a great time this year sitting in with The Hip Abduction on sax, as well as MOORE’s full set on keys![Chris on clarinet with Nathan Moore, friends at The Spot, Jam Cruise 15. Photo- On the DL]L4LM: Which brings me to the post-Jam Room tradition, your patented sunrise sax serenade, to the greet the new day.CS: After the Jam Room closes down, nobody or their mother is ready to go to sleep yet! I’ll usually go finish out my night at The Spot before heading up to the top deck to greet the sun with a Sunrise Sax Salute. Then I get a BBC nightcap over some triangle hashbrowns and briefly consider sleeping.L4LM: I’ve seen you do this when I was onboard! I just didn’t know who you were (yet). And it didn’t matter either. Beautiful.[Video courtesy of Rose Velasco]L4LM: What, or who, inspires you? Musically, or otherwise, who puts the proverbial “battery in your back”?My favorite kind of artist is the one who gains awe-inspiring chops but never loses an approachable personality. You can be the most insanely talented musician on the planet, but if you’ve let a big ego ruin your character then all of the tasteful licks and endless groove in all the world can’t convince me to respect you.That’s why I’m such a huge Stanley Jordan fan. I watched him rip a hole in the space-time continuum in the jazz lounge, and hours later he was refusing my guitar because he said he wanted to sit and listen to my fingerstyle playing. George Porter Jr. is amazing as well; the man is a living legend, yet has enough respect for the art of music to jam with no-name musicians the same way he does everyone else. In fact, the collab set featuring Stanley Jordan, George Porter Jr., Adam Deitch, John Popper, and DJ Logic is my all-time favorite Jam Cruise set. I don’t think anything on Jam Cruise could top that, unless they booked that lineup again.[Photo: Funk It Blog]L4LM: Man, you’ve got a lot of balls, and even more perspective. And clearly so much gratitude. This was a story I am honored to have a part in telling, despite the fact I was not on the boat this year, I have certainly seen/heard you rip it up on sails past.Any parting words or motivations for the aspiring artists/players shedding in their bedrooms right now as we speak? How can they live out their Jam Cruise dreams?CS: First – get on the boat. If the ticket price looks high on first glance, you probably just need to make some lifestyle adjustments. I paid for my Jam Cruise ticket simply by not going out to eat a few times a month.This is just general life advice – don’t ever assume an invite. The greatest form of disrespect one can inflict on any artist is to invade their personal stage space uninvited.Stand there, wait patiently but LISTEN intently. If, instead of listening, you’re just waiting for your turn to speak, then go back to your cabin. You’re not in the right place.Just like having a condom in your back pocket, do not come expecting, but come prepared. Have your instrument ready, but never be expecting to play. Nobody owes you anything, so appreciate everything they give you – even if it’s just their musical wisdom, because this is invaluable coming from Jam Cruise artists!Finally, never be discouraged or disgruntled when staff tell you to stop. They’re just doing their job, which is ultimately in everyone’s best interests. I’ve been kicked out of the artist’s area in the Jam Room, I’ve been kicked off pianos throughout the boat, and I’ve been told to stop playing sax at sunrise. I always respectfully comply.The goal in music should always be to *add without subtracting*. If you can’t do that, then instead of adding your sound you should subtract it, and add your attentive ears instead!Some day I hope to have an artist pass, so I can add my sound without the fear of being subtracted simply because I don’t have a piece of plastic with 6 letters on it. Until that day comes, I’m happy to continue listening and learning to the legends of Jam Cruise!L4LM: Lastly, what’s up with Displace right now, and how can people hear you guys?We’re working on our third studio album and planning a national tour. You can listen to our two studio albums on Spotify and iTunes, plus we have about 30 live show recordings on our BandCamp. I think L4LM actually wrote about us once or twice too.L4LM: Indeed we did! And you’re right. Twice! Thanks for your time Chris, and for telling your inspirational story!Find more about Displace here, as well as Chris’s personal music page here!As told to B.Getz[Cover photo via Jennifer Baumann]
Pirate’s Choice founder/Ju Ju Fest producer Luke Quaranta is an accomplished percussionist the world over. The longtime Toubab Krewe badass New Yorker decamped to New Orleans a few years ago, and has immersed himself in the musical gumbo, as is the norm down there, bringing West African cultural flavors to his own Pirate’s Choice project, Keith Burnstein’s Kettle Black, and several other up and coming krewes. In anticipation of the massive Megawatt hit at Maison during this year’s Jazz Fest, B.Getz sat down with Luke to discuss that big show, as well as Toubab, Ju Ju Fest, his murderous NOLA posse, and how to achieve Zen whilst riding in the trunk of a car.L4LM: First things first, gotta wish you the blessed earth strong brother! Happy belated. What are you like, 32?L: Haha. 40, man, yea.L4LM: No way. You keeps it young and thuggin bro. I’da never guessed.L: That’s what’s up. My family name Quaranta means forty in Italian, and then I am turning forty, and my birthday was on Easter, so forty days of Lent, too. Lots of 40’s in my life right now.L4LM: We’ll be sure to crack a 40 of O.E. while I’m in your fair city. (laughs). Now, to the musics, as Benny Bloom would say. I’m super stoked to see JuJu Fest come together!L: Yea man. This year, this lineup came about in the greatest way. It’s an eleven-show program, including a show that L4LM is presenting on May 3rd at The Maison called “Megawatt.” All the JuJu Fest shows will be dope, but Megawatt, it’s just a ton of heavy hitters.L4LM: Word. You rang the alarm, huh?L: B. that all came together from Raja Kassis. Raja has a long history of playing a lot of reggae and dub music. Borahm Lee (Break Science, Pretty Lights), Josh Werner (Matisyahu’s original bass player, Lee Scratch Perry), and Raja played a ton of reggae and dub in New York back in the day, and they were talking about how “It would be dope to play a dub show in New Orleans during JazzFest,” and man, it just kind of took on a life of its own. Borham reached out to Deitch, and Adam Deitch was down. So then it was Deitch, Borahm, Josh, Raja, and Raja asked me and Weedie to do it. Then it was like “Wow this could be a real Afro Dub experiment.”L4LM: Y’all had me at soundclash. Seriously. Pull up!L: I’m sayin! And then we got Bajah, this cat that I have worked with in the past, and Raja has worked with quite a bit. He is a hip-hop artist that lives in New York and he has done stuff with a lot of people over the years: his own stuff, his own Dry Eye crew, The Roots, among others. So, you know Raja brought Bajah in and then we had a real show man, so we went to L4LM and we told them we wanted to do this show. But it’s a major show with a lot of cats on it, and we had the space already cause we were going to do JuJu programming at Maison.L4LM was stoked about it, and we were able to work it out and do the show, and we are all excited to include it as a part of JuJu Fest programming on our schedule. So we have Deitch, Borahm, Bajah, Josh, Raja, Weedie, and I. We got Khris Royal and Maurice Brown on horns. It’s going to be a hell of a show. We are going to do a bunch of Bajah’s material a lot of dub stuff and classics. It’s going to be a fun night and a fun experiment, man with all those heavy cats on it. L: Man, you got me there. That’s tough. It’s really hard to say, because you can’t go wrong at Jazz Fest bro. But I’m gonna go with the Original Meters at the Orpheum on first weekend. (April 29th). L4LM: You know this last question I can obviously only ask you, is can we expect you to grab a drum and get in the trunk of a car and show up at any shows to go zen on mofo’s?!L: Bro, you know it! Anything can happen. It’s fuckin’ Jazz Fest, man. I might end up in a trunk.L4LM: That’s one of the all time Jazz Fest ragers right there. That is like the essence of Fest. Word. I can get on? Get in the trunk of somebody’s car with your drum, and next thing you know, BOOM! There’s my man Luke on stage at Break Science. Bringing the Zen. It was the best shit ever. My man, you went deep. Like I said way back then, you went ZEN on ‘eem.L: Haha. That was fucking epic. I’m like “Was that even?” “Am I that same person?” That is taking it there!L4LM: Big love, mi bredda. I’ll see you in a less than two weeks.L: Thanks so much for the support B. and major thanks to Live For Live Music too. L: We are excited about the music we have. We did a bunch of editing and started to get a sense of what the album is going to look like. So this is really just a re-entry for the Krewe. We’ve got some other festivals on the books. We’ve got a number of offers that have come in. We will slowly be ramping up to touring and putting out this album and I’m sure people are going to see our name quite a bit more.Drew Heller, our guitar player, had a baby, and he has a really great spot right outside of Asheville and he’s playing with a bunch of other cats in Asheville. Justin Perkins, the ngoni and kora player for the band, is down in Miami, playing a lot with our original bass player David Pransky. They’ve been recording, and doing a bunch of shit. It’s been a cool couple years, everyone’s been doing their thing. I’ve been here in NO developing a lot of projects. We are really excited. It’s been in the works for a while.L4LM: You guys are in essence an Asheville band, for all intents and purposes. And if not an Asheville band, then by default a Bear Creek/Suwannee band, if I do say so. So lemme ask, why Jazz Fest, for Toubab Krewe?L: You know these shows came together and it was the opportunity to play Jazz Fest and we decided there would be no better return than at Jazz Fest, you know, playing late night shows, which has been one of the highlights of our career really. The Krewe is coming back together; new music released soon, new tour dates announced soon. I am really excited and for the Krewe to come together back in the mix. It’s been a while. It worked out really nicely to have the shows work in to JuJu Fest. L4LM: Real talk, this is Jazz Fest porn for a guy like me. Can’t wait to chant down Babylon with that band of rudebwoys! Now, please take us through the beginnings of JuJu Fest and what it is all about.L: So Raja Kassis, one of my best friends who plays in Antibalas, moved down here a couple years ago, and Sam Dickey, also a really good friend, moved down here just before Raja right after I did. We got together and started this group Pirate’s Choice to play a lot of Mandé styles, West African music. We had been playing together quite a bit over the years in New York, and both of those guys have sat in with Toubab Krewe and I ended up playing with Sam Dickey’s band Benyoro and recording on Raja’s debut album that he put out on Ropeadope. So when those guys moved here, we really wanted to play this music, play this style. So we started Pirate’s Choice and started playing in town and cats like Alfred Jordan playing drums and Eric Vogel playing bass with us, and then it came Jazz Fest ’15. L4LM: I saw that! I love that name. The Wahala Boys. Sounds real gangster like. I saw it on the schedule.L: Yeah it’s a cool band. Wahala (in places like Ghana, and Senegal) means basically… ‘The Bad Boys’ is what it would translate into. So this is a group of his, and we are doing a lot of seventies era West African funk, psychedelic funk and rock shit, so it’s a really great sound and great players. And then Sam Dickey started a band called the The Fu Fu All-Stars and that’s doing all kinds of Ghanian, high-life and gospel stuff in a brass band set up and that’s a really cool sound too. Weedie and I are playing percussion in both of those projects, so it’s just been a lot of fun. We have been playing together since 2006 and he’s one of my best friends too, so it’s been really dope being able to play a lot more with him here in New Orleans.It’s going to be cool to debut those projects and Weedie’s project, Weedie Braimah & the Hands of Time. I’m psyched for all them to be able to highlight these projects during JF. It’s going to be a great calendar, man, we have a lot of good shows, great venues. It’s going to be good times. I am excited to bring something different to Jazz Fest.L4LM: That’s exactly how I feel about the JuJu Fest calendar, Luke. It’s different and authentic and has lots of integrity and soul, and you guys aren’t appropriating cultures. You are paying homage to them, studying them, embracing the traditions, and delivering them to audiences that would never otherwise hear them. You know, there’s a difference between that and cultural appropriation. I feel like you guys are really mindful and respectful of the cultures and really put the traditions and the values first. You do the art, music and culture right and people know that shit.L4LM: I got two more questions for you. One question I am asking everyone I am interviewing for Jazz Fest is – besides your own hits, if you could pick one artist, Fairgrounds or night shows, Luke’s can’t miss hit, what would you pick?” L4LM: Man, Luke. You are in the zone, bruv! So many dope projects coming to life in the greatest musical city we have. Tell us more. What’s good with Weedie?L: B. we got a lot of shows with Weedie. We are doing Weedie’s birthday party. We are doing Weedie Braimah and the Hands of Time, the debut of his project along with Pedrito Martinez Rumba Project, so we got a Cuban/West African mashup night.L4LM: Weedie lives in NOLA now too, right? You guys are getting it in proper it seems.L: Well, Weedie also moved here about a year and a half ago, almost two years, so we got this real incubator here with Raja, Sam, Weedie and myself, playing a lot of these styles. Those guys are actually going to be debuting new projects as well, Raja started a band called The Wahala Boys with Terence Higgins. L: We wanted to highlight this music here in New Orleans. We have always thought this music needed to be highlighted more and have a brighter spotlight on it anytime of year. But we felt Jazz Fest would be the time to do it. You know there is so much African inspired music that has developed here in a way that is pretty unique to anywhere in the States really. The way it has stayed alive and morphed and changed into all these amazing styles, New Orleans and American styles of music, so we really wanted to highlight West African music and music of the Diaspora. We came together and started JuJu Fest and in that first year, you know, things really happened serendipitously.That first year, I presented a full day of programming at Purple Hatter’s Ball, which was at Suwannee, and at that time was the week after the second weekend of Jazz Fest. I presented Toubab Krewe, Sam Dickey’s crew Benyoro, and Raja’s group humanBEING, so because I had Purple Hatter’s Ball the weekend after, I was able to bring in all these artists about mid-week during Jazz Fest, and it was artists from Senegal, Mali, Guinea, all the artists from Sam’s group Benyoro, Toubab Krewe and humanBEING guys. Lots of mash up stuff. A ten show program over Jazz Fest that year and that was the inaugural year including Pirate’s Choice. L: Then last year we did it again and same thing: had a great calendar, had about eight shows, kept the thing going, had a great response, great crowds. It was just sick to present a lot of different music from the diaspora. Last year we had some Brazilian music, Cuban music involved. And this year, man! JuJu Fest came together this year with like eleven shows, and Megawatt. That one is gonna be insane. You know, shows by Pirate’s Choice and Toubab Krewe.L4LM: Yeah, Let me jump in on that. Obviously we wanted to highlight (how I came to know you through Toubab Krewe), and I think it’s safe to say a decent percentage of the community knows you from Toubab Krewe, so how did you put it back together for the gigs? Did you just reach out to the homies or was it more a concerted effort by the group? Is this a one off or are y’all going to take it back on the road, what’s the future hold for that effort?L: Yeah, Toubab Krewe, I have been dialoguing a lot with Drew (Heller) over the last few months, and we have been kind of planning to come back to playing, touring, putting out music. You know, we took a break in like 2015, we kind of started slowing down. We were doing some one offs and stuff, but we weren’t booking any tours. We cut an album right at the end of our ten-year run, touring pretty constantly. We cut the record, sat on it for a year or two, and really recently, maybe two months ago, I went up to Asheville and spent thee days with Drew and Justin Kimmel, our bass player, digging in to all that stuff, and we got some really great stuff. As told to B.Getz
As Phish’s 13-Night “Baker’s Dozen” run rolls on at Madison Square Garden, the question of what will be played–and what sort of outlandish covers will be busted out–has begun to embody the majority of the pre-show chatter each night outside of the World’s Most Famous Arena. At this point in the game, there is zero doubt in any fan’s mind that this is the pinnacle of Phish; an historic summer that will be discussed for years and decades to come. While Friday night’s “Double-Chocolate”-themed show (while still “miraculous” at times) may have showed a few signs of fatigue, the band came out in full force for Saturday’s “Cinnamon Glazed” gala and glazed on in dignified fashion. Mirroring the words and beautifully chaotic essence of Woodstock, an announcement rang over the PA throughout the arena pre-show; “WARNING, DO NOT EAT THE BROWN DONUTS!”Although we all love our a cappella openers and having our four favorites huddled at the front of the stage, it was a pleasant surprise to see the band hold their positions on stage and jump straight into an enormous “Llama” opener, marking only the second Gamehendge bust-out of the tour. Before the bouncing arena could catch their breath, Trey Anastasio kicked things up a notch with the infamous “duhhhh duhhh, duhhh duhhh” guitar intro, continuing along the path to the land of Lizards with “Wilson,” which garnered some brief but interesting improv.Watch the show-opening “Llama” below, courtesy of LivePhish:Just as “Wilson” came to a halt, the band powered through a standard “Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan,” with Mike Gordon hammering away on his Modulus as the band patiently worked their way through what’s become a favored heavy hitter off of 2009’s Joy. With Gordon once again keeping things rolling and taking charge, the band hopped into a bubbly “Ya Mar”, telling everyone what “IT” is; this crazy show of life that we’ve all gotten the gracious invite to.Next up was “Tela”–as if night 7 wasn’t already spoiled enough with first-set Gamehendge tunes. With Page McConnell leading the way, the wind from beyond the mountain swept across the Garden, and the second Saturday of Baker’s Dozen provided no time for “piss breaks” or chitter-chatter between jams.As the beauteous closing lyrics rang throughout the arena, McConnell took a stand and started up the sample for “The Birds” from the Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House, making a statement that the boys from Vermont are here to attack, and there is absolutely no turning back. A quick run through “The Line” and “Water in the Sky” gave fans a brief moment to catch their breath, and out of nowhere “Vultures” came moving in from the depths of the Phish catalogue for the song’s first appearance of the year.A blissful “Train Song” followed, with Phish showcasing their tear-jerking harmonies over the relative rarity, before effortlessly flowing into “Horn.” Finally, the band brought the first set to a close with a rare and thrilling cover of The Beatles‘ “I Am the Walrus,” making just its fourth-ever Phish appearance. As a beautiful Saturday first-set came to a close, it was hard to ignore a major theme of the set, ANIMALS! Whether Phish thinks we’re a bunch of animals for following this grandiose journey, or the City has turned into a zoo, this wild ride shows no signs of slowing down.Phish returned from the break with a set-opening “Blaze On,” marking yet another 20+ minute jam that will go down one of the best versions to date. The band took their time to patiently navigate through an adventurous and groovy rendition of the song, reaching multiple fiery hot peaks and resoundingly claiming its crown as the jam of the night. Trey Anastasio let it all hang out as lighting designer Chris Kuroda continued to blow minds, tilting his moving light rig back and forth as Phish’s center of gravity tilted throughout the evening.Watch the second set-opening “Blaze On” below, courtesy of LivePhish:Next, Phish glazed on into a powerfully dark “Twenty Years Later,” allowing Jon Fishman to take the lead as he crashed on his cymbals before fizzling out into a bold and interestingly-placed set two “Alumni Blues”>”Letter to Jimmy Page”>”Alumni Blues.” With Trey belting out “I’m ALLLLLLRIGHT” as the band played follow the leader with “HE’S ALRIGHT,” Anastasio took an extended pause before the band brought the bouncy rager to a close.For the remainder of the set, Phish delivered one of the most elegant one-two punch combos yet of their perfectly planned and completely insane 13-night run at the Garden. An immaculate “Meastick” brought any fan sitting to their feet, and the band took the jam out for a walk, with screeching guitar solos accompanied by McConnell’s synth-heavy licks, before dropping into a poignantly powerful “Dirt” that left this particular fan with tears on his cheeks. “Harry Hood” continued the blissful track, bringing another mondo second set of Baker’s Dozen to a close. After a continuous pattern of “Mountain Jam” teases and jams, it would have been a crime wrong to not include that during the intro to “Hood”–but Trey dropped in a bold tease of the Allman Brothers classic that had the sold-out arena howling at the top of their lungs.For the encore, Phish turned to its second consecutive Neil Young cut in the encore slot, covering an appropriately-placed “Cinnamon Girl” for just the fourth time ever, and the first since 1997. The boys absolutely nailed it and continue to prove that there is nothing that can get in their way at this monumental moment in rock and roll history. If you are lucky enough and have a ticket in hand for the last six shows of Baker’s Dozen, tie your shoes up tight and get ready for what is sure to be an unimaginable peak of this golden age for Phish.Hot Takes:Repeat Watch: Still no repeats and by this point in the run I think we can all agree that there will be NO repeats over the remaining six shows. Every song is getting taken out for the ride of its life and this trend will surely continue.Today’s Donut: Cinnamon Glazed [“Don’t eat the brown donuts” PSA announcement from Woodstock movie; “Cinnamon Girl”]We Tired Yet?: It’s the second Sunday of the run, and although the back and legs may have some aches, the best of the best is still yet to come!SETLIST: Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 6 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 7/29/17SET 1: Llama, Wilson > Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan > Ya Mar, Tela, The Birds > The Line, Water in the Sky, Vultures, Train Song > Horn, I Am the WalrusSET 2: Blaze On > Twenty Years Later > Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues > Meatstick > Dirt > Harry HoodENCORE: Cinnamon Girl[Cover photo via Dave DeCrescente]
Neon-Medeski is a collaborative project led by renowned artists, keyboardist John Medeski and eccentric bassist MonoNeon. During Jazz Fest this past spring, the project debuted at One Eyed Jacks, and after a successful performance, the group has announced that it will make its return during a late-night performance in April of 2018. In April, the lineup of Neon-Medeski will be rounded out by drummer Daru Jones, saxophonist Skerik, DJ Logic, and keyboardist Robert Walter. You can snag tickets to Neon-Medeski’s late-night performance at One Eyed Jacks on April 30th here. [H/T JamBase]
The funk all-stars of Lettuce and The Motet have recently been touring together, with The Motet joining Lettuce for a handful of dates across the U.S. in the last month and a half. These joint dates will come to close over the next few days, with both bands previously scheduled to perform in New York over the next three nights—tonight at The Paramount and two nights at The Capitol Theatre on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, for tonight’s show at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island, The Motet has had to cancel last minute due to travel-related issues caused by the snowstorm sweeping up the East Coast—meaning that tonight’s show will feature an extended Lettuce show sans an opener.As issued in a press release from The Paramount regarding these last-minute lineup changes:The Paramount announces that tonight’s show with Lettuce will still go on. Unfortunately, due to travel related issues as a result of yesterday’s nor’easter, The Motet will not be performing. Funk band Lettuce is in the building now and will perform live in concert tonight at 9 pm. Doors open at 8 pm. For customers who are unable to attend the show tonight due to travel issues and/or lineup changes, refunds on tickets for tonight’s show are now available at the ticketholders’ point of purchase – Ticketmaster or The Paramount Box Office. For any questions or concerns, you can call the venue at (631) 673-7300 or visit paramountny.com.On Friday and Saturday night, both Lettuce and The Motet will hit The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, for a highly anticipated two-night run. As previously reported, Relix will be webcasting the entirety of Friday’s show for free, so fans who want to get a funk fix but can’t make it to the venue should tune in at 8 p.m. (EST). Safe travels to The Motet, and see you at The Paramount tonight!
Vevo, the video-hosting service, was founded in 2009, aiming to compete with the monolithic video-streaming site, Youtube. On Thursday, Vevo has announced that it’ll be closing down its website and mobile apps, essentially conceding defeat to Youtube. In a blog post, the company notes,Going forward, Vevo will remain focused on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities. Our catalog of premium music videos and original content will continue to reach a growing audience on YouTube and we are exploring ways to work with additional platforms to further expand access to Vevo’s content.Despite closing down its streaming platforms, this announcement doesn’t mean that the company is calling it quits completely. Started as a joint venture between three major record labels, Vevo’s overarching goal was always to “grow the commercial and promotional value of music videos”—in fact, Vevo gained its name as an abbreviation for “video evolution,” notes Rolling Stone. Given this, the company has plans to continue advertising and sponsoring video premieres, albeit while transferring their content to their Google-owned streaming-service competitor and receiving a smaller slice of ad revenue.YouTube and Vevo’s long-embroiled battle has been ongoing, with Vevo resisting the major-streaming platform by running its own apps and website for years, and with limited success. In response, YouTube has fired back at Vevo. As explained by Rolling Stone, YouTube “recently took Vevo’s branding off its music videos, while also securing permission under a new licensing deal to sell Vevo’s clips directly to advertisers, cutting out the smaller company’s sales force.” With Vevo closing down its streaming operation, the company received a distribution deal from YouTube, which gave it a cut of revenue for transferring its content over to YouTube.This announcement comes on the heels of YouTube’s expansion, with YouTube unveiling YouTube Music this week—a music-streaming service with a free and premium-subscription service—as well as a rebranding of their premium video service, YouTube Red, which going forward will be known as YouTube Premium. (Subscribers to YouTube Premium will automatically get a subscription to YouTube Music.)[H/T Rolling Stone]