Guitarist Rob Compa (Dopapod), guitarist Mike Gantzer (Aqueous), drummer Michelangelo Carruba (Turkuaz), bassist James Searl (Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad), and keyboardist Willy O’Riley (The Niche) have just announced an exciting three night run. The five-piece jammers will get together as the Borg Party, bringing some super jam action to the Northeast.The group is set to perform from January 12th – 14th, and they will start in Rochester, NY at Flour City Station, then make their way to Worcester, MA’s Electric Haze, and finish up at Hartford, CT’s Arch Street Tavern.For additional information check out the following event pages:Jan. 12th – Flour City StationJan. 13th – Electric HazeJan. 14th – Arch Street Tavern
[h/t – JamBase] When you’re a fan of Phish–or, really, any band–half the fun is nerd-ing out about your musical obsession with fellow enthusiasts. To show that “we are everywhere,” for example, fan art and lot t-shirts are omnipresent both at shows and in the real world, inscrutable to the uninitiated but amusing to those in the know. These references extend beyond beer cozies and into the mainstream with some regularity. Last week, the brand new episode of Criminal Minds featured a barrage of character names referenced Phish and the Grateful Dead thanks to episode writer/Phish fan Dania Bennett.Today, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur and Politico senior writer Jake Sherman, both of whom are self-proclaimed fans of the Phish from Vermont, slipped a couple seemingly ad-hoc references into a serious discussion on new Intelligence from the White House. When turning the conversation over to Sherman, Tur engaged him with a deadpanned “My friend, my friend” Sherman was visibly amused and taken aback by the reference, smiling as he talked about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes. But he managed to collect himself and return Tur’s undercover homage before the end of his segment, saying that he was “‘bouncing around the room’ a little bit” in response to the maddening news at hand. You can watch the clip below via Tur’s Twitter page:
***Tickets Are On Sale Now!***Brooklyn Comes Alive is now offering single day tickets, as well as a ticket payment plan for as low as $30/month. When checking out, just select “Monthly payments with Affirm” as your payment method. To find out more about ticketing, VIP options, and lodging, head to the festival website. On Saturday, September 23rd, as part of the musical smorgasbord that is Brooklyn Comes Alive, San Francisco-based roots-rock quartet Midnight North will be performing a tribute to folk rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The band, comprised of Elliott Peck, Grahame Lesh, Alex Jordan, and Connor O’Sullivan, are no strangers to CSNY’s material. Their cover of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” has become a fan-favorite selection in their live repertoire, and their note-perfect three-part harmonies hew much closer to the music of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and Young) than they do to the band’s closest literal relation in the music world, Grahame’s father Phil Lesh‘s Grateful Dead.Ahead of the performance, we got the chance to pick the brain of Elliott Peck (who contributes guitar, keys, and vocals to the band’s down-home sound on top of her duties as one of their principal songwriters), about the power of harmony, what constitutes strong songwriting, and her feelings on championing precision within a music scene dominated by the spontaneous and the unknown. Live For Live Music: Brooklyn Comes Alive is an event centered around sort of ‘the unknown’…doing something different. Different lineups, different songs, improvisation…the potential for the unexpected. But as a CSNY tribute set with your full-time band, Midnight North, your set at the festival is a a bit of an outlier. Just like CSNY, Midnight North’s original music has an undeniable quality of precision. The vocal harmonies are very much in the forefront, the songs are tight and written with mindful intent. Can you tell us a little about your feelings on crafting fine-tuned songs, especially in a community centered around improvisation?Elliott Peck: That’s a great question. We’re very inspired by music that does have a quality of improv. But we also really value the idea of a good song, consisting of good melodies and good lyrics. Because I think that, with the power of good musicianship and the ability to either stretch out the song or to keep it focused and tight really gives you an edge on all levels…You’re looking at all different angles of it.Especially with our latest record, Under The Lights, we start with a song very structured, and keep the improv and jam minimal for the studio record, with the potential of expanding certain setions, using them to go off into different territories when we play the songs live, which is what we tend do. What we say is, ‘We’re not a jam band, but we’re a band that can jam. [laughs]”PREMIERE: Midnight North Brings All-American Flavor In New Album [Exclusive Stream]“’Greene County,’ for example, one of the songs on the new record, we tend to stretch that ending as far as we want to take it. It’s a great ending we often use when we have guests come sit in with us. Scott Law recently played on that one, Phil Lesh played on it with us. We kind of meander that one through the ending and just see where it’s gonna go. So we definitely leave room for that in our songs, but we put the focus and the importance on a good studio song to start with.”L4LM: That was one of my biggest takeaways from Under The Lights—the strength of the songwriting. It seemed like your were very focused on making this a collection of solid, well-thought-out songs that stand up both on their own and as a set. That notion is what has everyone involved in planning Brooklyn Comes Alive so excited for your CSNY set. It really feels like a perfect fit for Midnight North. How did the idea for the whole tribute come about? EP: How that all started is we started doing a cover of [Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s] “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” at our shows maybe two, two and a half years ago. It was kinda one of those ideas where we’re sitting around late night, thinking, ‘What do we want to do next we want to do next?’ ‘What do we want to tackle?’ And our keyboard player [Alex Jordan] came up with the idea of ‘Suite Judy Blue Eyes’ because ‘we do these great three-part harmonies, and I think learning that would really challenge us in the singing aspect of things.’Watch Midnight North perform Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” below, via the band’s YouTube page:We sat around many late nights, drinking and trying to come up with the right harmonies…[laughs] Some pretty bad trial and error came out of that, but eventually we nailed down a kind of solid rendition of it. And actually, we kind of ended up pumping up the music of it a little bit and making it a little bit more ‘rock and roll’ than the original was, which lent itself well to being played live.So finally we pulled it out at a couple live shows, and the audience reaction was just…incredible. Like we never would have expected. People from our generation, and people that are twenty years older than us, equally just latched on to it and were super excited about it. Now, we get requests for it a lot. It’s kind of an epic song tune to learn, since it’s really actually four songs in one [laughs], hence the ‘suite.’ So this is has been a really great way to get audiences involved and interested and has been a great way to dive in and learn some really tough tunes. And it’s definitely helped us improve as singers, too. We had to put a lot of work into it.EXCLUSIVE: Grahame Lesh Talks Midnight North, His Famous Father, And Twiddle LoveL4LM: I can imagine. This is really a particularly tough group to tackle. It was sort of a super-group after all, and all these guys were hand picked for this project because of their proven abilities as musicians as well as singer-songwriters. Not to mention that CSNY had an interesting dynamic surrounding the music: The intra-band relationships there were famously strained and often hostile. All that has always helped lend CSNY’s work and legacy a feeling of significance. Maybe that’s part of why their popularity is so expansive, as you mentioned: This implicit significance that the music seems to have based on the star power of the people who created it. Or maybe it’s just that they wrote objectively great songs. What do you think about that binary in terms of writing music? Can you measure what makes a good song–a ‘classic’ song–simply by its musical merit, or does the context of a song’s creation play an inherent role in making a given song great?EP: Yea, good question–I think that’s the million question, actually, that we all as songwriters are always trying to figure out [laughs]…What really speaks to people? And I would say the ‘best’ songs, the songs that I’m a fan of and the songs that I’m most proud of having written, have to do with a level of authenticity.Its all about how, when something comes up in your life that’s true, that’s meaningful; whether it be painful, whether it be happy. It’s a moment that has an emotional impact on you, and therefore you feel like you can convey that to other people. And the hope is that you write that and other people listen and identify with it, and have an emotional connection as well. That, I think, is what speaks to the power of a great song.You can catch Elliott Peck and Midnight North performing the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young at the upcoming Brooklyn Comes Alive! Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive will turn three fantastic Williamsburg venues (Brooklyn Bowl, Schimanski, Music Hall of Williamsburg) and the surrounding city streets into a music lover’s game board for two full days on September 23rd and 24th. The unique homegrown event puts the focus on the musicians, curating dream team collaborations, tributes, and artist passion projects for two full days of incredible music both new and old.The 2017 lineup is set to include hand-selected band lineups featuring all-star musicians like John Scofield, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier (moe.), Bernard Purdie, Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield and Jesse Miller (Lotus), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Alan Evans (Soulive), Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven), Michael League, Nate Werth, Chris Bullock, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Jennifer Hartswick, James Casey, and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and scores of others!
Another night, another Baker’s Dozen master class from Phish. While the band has been working their way through thirteen nights at Madison Square Garden, they’ve revealed themselves to be at the top of their game musically, with top-notch jams, killer bust outs, and out-of-left-field covers being sprinkled (jimmied?) throughout each show.While Tuesday night’s “Maple”-themed affair didn’t reach the zany peaks of some of the more generally well-received nights of the Baker’s Dozen, it was another opportunity for Phish to showcase their skills as one of the best live outfits on the planet–and they did just that, with a first set that only got stronger as it went along and a second set that featured more of the locked-in jamming that we’ve seen throughout the run.Phish hit the stage, picked up their instruments and started up a sort of feedback jam with lots of distortion, causing the energy in the room to swell rapidly, before Trey Anastasio‘s piercing guitar broke through, as he delivered a powerful solo version of Canadian national anthem “O Canada,” channeling Jimi Hendrix‘s iconic rendition of the American national anthem at Woodstock for the night’s first maple-themed song. Lighting designer Chris Kuroda shined a spotlight on the Canadian flag towards the back of the room, and the crowd roared with approval as the flag’s red maple leaf towered over them. Next, the band then added their first “Crowd Control” in 51 shows, before offering up another maple reference with Mike Gordon‘s “Sugar Shack”. This was the third appearance for “Sugar Shack” in 2017, which made it a disappointment that Anastasio still couldn’t quite play the song’s composed section properly. “Sugar Shack” is just one of those songs that will seemingly always trip him up.Watch Phish’s show-opening rendition of “O, Canada” below via LivePhish:Trey and the rest of Phish made up for the sub-par “Sugar Shack” with an excellent take on the Los Lobos classic “When The Circus Comes To Town.” They followed that up with the sixth version of “Daniel Saw The Stone” since 2003, and the MSG audience bounced excitedly to the song’s bluegrass grooves. The song’s ending featured a huge solo from Page McConnell, with Kuroda showing off some bright, white “hero” lights as the Chairman of the Boards played us out. More Page followed, as his heartfelt ballad “Army Of One” was performed for the first time this year, and contained soaring guitar playing from Anastasio and perfect vocals from McConnell. Page knows how to write a song to his own strengths, and he sounded impeccable on this version of “Army of One.”The rest of the set featured classic and beloved Phish songs. “The Wedge” finally made an appearance at the Baker’s Dozen, before the band busted out “Guelah Papyrus” for the first time in fifty shows. This was a somewhat flubby version of the fan-favorite track. However, in the end, it was a successful attempt, with the band dropping into the ragtime classic “Maple Leaf Rag” for a brief moment before returning to “Papyrus” to finish the song.Older, more rare songs from the band’s Gamehenge era, such as “Wilson”, “Tela,” “Colonel Forbin’s Ascent,” and “Fly Famous Mockingbird” have all been performed the past few nights, so it made sense that “McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters” would make an appearance at this show. The song was performed with passion and precision, a powerful rendition of a rarity that many have chased for a long time. McConnell led a short jam at the end of the song, with some possible “Maple Leaf Rag” teases thrown into the mix.The “Limb By Limb” that followed harnessed the excited energy of the pair of beloved songs that preceded it and the band offered up their first major improvisation of the evening. This was a typically soaring version, with an exploratory build leading to a huge, sustained peak, with Anastasio ringing his guitar our while the band pushed and pushed until they seemingly exploded. Kuroda used his moving light rig to full effect on this one, adding to the song’s intensity. When they finally finished the song, Anastasio went straight into “Walk Away” by The James Gang, a blistering cover that the band has played only three times since 2013. When the Phish reunited in 2009, “Walk Away” was one of their go-to ragers, with many incredible versions appearing at shows from 2009-2013. While the song has become much more of a rarity, you couldn’t tell last night, as the band was simply on fire, as the “Tweezer Reprise”-esque jam built to a climactic peak several times before things were all said and done. After a somewhat uneven first set–albeit, a set with a super strong ending–the band took their bows and walked off stage for set break.Phish returned from their setbreak earlier than usual on this night, walking back on stage around 9:50 PM. They quickly started up TV on the Radio‘s “Golden Age,” which evolved into a twenty-minute powerhouse jam, another lengthy piece of improvisation at this Baker’s Dozen run that just keeps on giving. The jam featured an ambient, rhythmic portion, with chunky guitar and organ parts augmenting the groove. Jon Fishman was a machine on drums all night long, and his best moments came during the “Golden Age” jam. Finally, Anastasio leaned in with a filthy distorted rock guitar sound, and built the jam towards triumph. After the peaking jam, the band dissolved into an ominous ambience once again, before transitioning into the new song “Leaves,” making only its second appearance after debuting in Chicago earlier in the summer. Another tangentially theme-related tune, “Leaves” acted as a landing pad, offering a quick reprieve before returning to the Zeppelin-esque rock jams and blissful peaks on which they dialed in for “Golden Age.”Watch the second set-opening “Golden Age” below courtesy of LivePhish:Next up were the two biggest bustouts (or, really, one combined biggest bustout) of the night, as “Swept Away” > “Steep” was performed for the first time in 192 shows. “Swept Away” was short, of course, but beautiful. “Steep,” however, was remarkable, as the band took the short ballad–which usually falls in just under two minutes–and stretched it out to over twelve minutes long. The jam started off as in ambient faux-plinko space, reminisecnt of the band’s playing in 2010, before Gordon dropped some huge bass bombs. This whipped the crowd into a frenzy, and the band picked up on that excitement to give the crowd another huge improvised rock moment. Kuroda focused his lights behind the stage, and the combination of the energy in the room, the gorgeous jam from the band, and the unique and interesting lighting design combined to make this perhaps the top moment of the show.While the exciting “Steep” jam never amounted to a traditional peak, the band used this to their advantage, as Anastasio offered up some feedback as a dissolve before dropping into a raucous “46 Days.” The band used the hard rock style they had been focusing on throughout the evening to full effect on this one, with chunky power chords from Anastasio throughout the rocking version. After moving into a more ambient territory, Trey put down his guitar and ran over to the Marimba Lumina behind Fishman’s kit and started dropping some synth-bass bombs on the crowd. Eventually, Gordon and McConnell made their way over to the kid and joined Fishman for a full-band percussion jam. Last summer, the full-band percussion jam was becoming a bit overplayed, but as this is the only time it’s happened so far at the Baker’s Dozen, it was a welcome addition to the show. They kept it going for several minutes, with Fishman really showing off his improv skills before Anastasio mischievously ran back to his guitar to beat his band members back to their spots and lead the jam in a new direction of his choosing. He picked up on one of the rhythms that Fishman was repeating, Gordon and McConnell picked up on it too, and off they went for a few minutes before the jam was rip chorded in favor of “Piper.”Watch pro-shot video of “Swept Away” > “Steep” from the Baker’s Dozen below:“Piper” was science fiction-y, and weird–which is exactly how Phish has been playing over the past few weeks. The shows have been a mix of strange and out there jams meshed with uproarious rock climaxes, and this “Piper” contained all of those elements. The band seemed to drop back into “46 Days” during a high-energy moment, before Anastasio signaled a shift into “Possum.” The crowd resonded with huge waves of excitement, going absolutely wild for the classic song. “Possum” will always feel like one of Phish’s best songs, as they know how to take the song’s zany energy and exploit it to their best abilities. After a set filled with zig-zagging improvisation, “Possum” worked perfectly as a set closer.For the encore, Phish broke out David Bowie‘s Ziggy Stardust masterpiece, “Rock And Roll Suicide.” The song was debuted at last fall’s Halloween show in Las Vegas, and was performed for only the second time on Maple night. While many fans were wondering where the “maple” references were in set two (though you can spot a few if you extend the theme to the already-established maple leaves), the seven song set was filled with long moments of improvisation that most fans would kill to see. To satisfy those who wanted some extra maple, the band chose “Limelight” by Rush, Canada’s biggest rock band, as the post-show music.With only four shows remaining in the Baker’s Dozen, Phish is continuing to sprint towards the finish line. While tonight’s show will likely fade towards the bottom of the Baker’s Dozen barrel–in terms of both standout moments and theme-specific references–what’s clear is that Phish is going to keep the level of quality as high as possible throughout the Baker’s Dozen residency. This run has featured all of the best songs, the best jams, and the best energy on a nightly basis. Phish returns to Madison Square Garden tonight for night 10 of the residency, with the curious theme of “Holes.”Check out a full gallery of photos below, courtesy of Chad Anderson.Hot Takes From Night 9:Repeat Watch: Phish is still going strong. No repeats.Today’s Donut: “Maple” [“O Canada”; “Sugar Shack”; “When The Circus Comes To Town”; “Maple Leaf Rag”; Honorable Mention (leaves): “Leaves”; “Swept Away”]We Tired Yet?: Four more nights and we’re STILL ready for more Phish. BRING IT!….Can someone please get me some coffee?SETLIST: Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 9 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 8/1/17SET 1: O Canada, Crowd Control, Sugar Shack, When the Circus Comes, Daniel Saw the Stone, Army of One, The Wedge, Guelah Papyrus, Maple Leaf Rag, Guelah Papyrus, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Limb By Limb> Walk AwaySET 2: Golden Age, Leaves, Swept Away > Steep > 46 Days > Piper > PossumENCORE: Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide Phish debut; instrumental. Phish debut; performed solo by Page.We’ll see you back here tomorrow, as we continue to re-sample all the donuts on our way back to the Garden for New Year’s Run 2017-2018. For a list of pre-show plans and late-night after-parties, check out our guide here.13 Days of Phishmas 2017:Night 1 – “Coconut” – 7/21/17Night 2 – “Strawberry” – 7/22/17Night 3 – “Red Velvet” – 7/23/17Night 4 – “Jam-Filled” – 7/25/17Night 5 – “Powdered” – 7/26/17Night 6 – “Double Chocolate” – 7/28/17Night 7 – “Cinnamon” – 7/29/17Night 8 – “Jimmies” – 7/30/17Night 9 – “Maple” – 8/1/17 [Cover photo by Rene Humer/Phish From the Road]Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 9 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 8/1/17 | Photos by Chad Anderson Photo: Chad Anderson In just 5 days, Phish will make their triumphant return to Madison Square Garden in New York City for their traditional 4-night New Year’s Run at the world’s most famous arena. To date, the band has played the storied midtown Manhattan room 52 times–usually surrounding New Year’s Eve–and among those 52 are some of the more exciting and memorable performances they’ve ever turned in. In 2016, we counted down the days until New Year’s Run with “The 12 Days Of Phishmas,” a festive collection of our favorite Phish shows at the Garden over the years. But that list was made before the Baker’s Dozen, Phish’s unprecedented run of 13 straight shows at MSG featuring nightly donut-based themes, surprise covers and bust-outs to cater the setlists to the flavor du jour and, oh yea, NO REPEATS, culminating with a “championship” banner being raised to The Garden’s rafters on a day officially designated as “Phish Day” by the Mayor of New York. The Dozen was a different kind of beast: It’s difficult to pick apart the individual shows and rank them among the band’s other 39 MSG performances because these 13 shows were so inextricably linked. Those 17 summer days in the City almost felt like one long show, and so it only felt right to extend this year’s Phishmas by an extra day and relive the Baker’s Dozen as a complete set–sampling one donut at a time, the same way it was originally tasted. By the time we’re done going back through the Baker’s Dozen spoils, we’ll all be primed and ready to add four more shows to the list, rounding out 17 in ’17–the biggest, baddest year of MSG Phish we’ve ever seen. Our Official Guide To Phish New Year’s Pre- And Post-PartiesWe’re now past the mid-point of our Baker’s Dozen Phishmas–into the back half of the donut box. By this point, the secret was out: something very special was happening at The Garden. In the blink of an eye, each of the remaining shows–all of which had tickets available at the box office at the start of the run–were sold the f*ck out, and the horde of restless fingers in the air on 7th Avenue was steadily growing each night. Fans eagerly awaited the announcement of a new donut each morning, and made their calculated theme predictions for each successive show in kind. And with 8 shows down and not a repeat in sight, the list of songs still on the table grew shorter and shorter each night. In hindsight, the second half of the Baker’s Dozen was, in many ways, the most “predictable” stretch of shows Phish has ever played. More so than ever before, we went into those shows knowing loosely what to expect. But of course, that didn’t stop Phish from continuing to exceed our expectations anyhow…So much fantastic ground already covered, yet still so much to come–the second half of the Dozen was uncharted territory in the Phish Universe, boldly going where no run had gone before. Come along, relive that (not so short) trip with us, and remember that euphoric feeling of being in the thick of the Baker’s Dozen. Merry Phishmas to all!NIGHT 9: Maple8/1/17Review by Gideon Plotnicki Load remaining images
Empire Records, the 1995 cult classic about a group teenage record store employees trying to save their independent retailer from being gobbled up by a large corporation, is being reworked as a Broadway musical. Rolling Stone reports that the organizers of the production are aiming for a 2020 premiere.Originally a critical and commercial flop, Empire Record featured impressive young cast that included future stars like Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler. While the film never really caught on with its intended Gen X audience, its assortment of misfit characters and their quotable one-liners have found a second life as a niche favorite for many millennials. Additionally, the film is known for it’s ’90s alt-rock soundtrack, which featured tunes by The Cranberries, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Cracker, Better Than Ezra, and Gin Blossoms.Interestingly, diehard fans of Empire Records may notice that today—April 8th—is Rex Manning Day. Named for the fictional washed-up ’80s pop star who drops by the record store for an autograph signing, Rex Manning Day has developed into an internet meme celebrating the day (in the film’s universe, of course) that Manning’s visit to Empire Records took place.Rex Manning – “Say No More Mon Amour”“The film has developed a cult audience over the years, and addresses issues that people of all ages can identify with,” the musical’s producer, Bill Weiner, told Rolling Stone. “It also evokes an interesting period in time, the Nineties, where the music business was changing – and a lot of people remember that as part of their youth. I knew we had something when I would tell people about the show and consistently see faces light up – everyone has a story, whether it’s that they saw the movie 10 times, stole the video cassette from an older sibling or the soundtrack was the first CD they ever purchased.”The Empire Records musical will be written by the film’s screenwriter Carol Heikkinen, who will adapt her script for the new format. Zoe Harnak will handle the music and lyrics.
On Sunday night, Primus hit the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, performing a headlining set that housed the entirety of their new album, The Desaturating Seven, in addition to takes on a number of fan favorites from throughout their extensive catalog of work. Joining Primus was Mastodon, the Atlanta-born metal group—back in January, the two groups announced that they’d embark on a joint tour over the summer, with the Red Rocks show serving as the tour’s kickoff—as well as All Them Witches, a band that will be joining Primus and Mastodon for select dates in the upcoming tour.Ahead of Primus’ headlining performance, Mastodon took the stage for one extended set. The band’s fans were well-represented, with the band feeding off the energy of the enthusiastic, sold-out crowd. Standouts of their set spanned the band’s history, including a take on fan-favorite “Ember City”, a relatively new tune off 2014’s Once More ‘Round The Sun, and “Mastodon”, an older tune off 2004’s Leviathan. Toward the end of their set, lead guitarist Brent Hinds thanked the audience for their support, hilariously noting that “We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our cold, dark hearts,” which he followed up with the declaration, “We love marijuana.”Once the house lights dimmed ahead of Primus’ headlining performance, the crowd greeted the band with chants of “Primus sucks,” a chant that would reemerge during the break before encore. Opening up the show, Primus drew from 1990’s Frizzle Fry, offering up the classic tune “Too Many Puppies”, which was used to bookend a brief take on another older song, “Sgt. Baker” off 1991’s Sailing The Seas Of Cheese.Primus – “Too Many Puppies”[Video: cramx3]After this opening combo, Primus’ zany bassist and frontman, Les Claypool, addressed the sold-out venue, declaring that “Red Rocks sucks. I’ve never been to a more boring, uninteresting venue,” which was met with laughs and cheers from the crowd. From there, he explained how lucky the band felt to be performing there, in addition to thanking Mastodon for joining them for their tour, describing their tourmates as Vikings and explaining the “debauchery” the band gets into during tour, “like backgammon and Trivial Pursuit.”As an intro into the next song, “Last Salmon Man”, Claypool continued with his meandering speech, which touched upon global warming, marijuana as a cash crop, and Northern California’s export of water to Southern California—the latter point, he explained, was the inspiration for the song. Following the 2011 Green Naugahyde hit, the group moved into another Frizzle Fry classic, “Groundhog’s Day”, which featured a cacophonous opening, sliding grooves, and a precise and calculated solo from guitarist Larry LaLonde. Wrapping up this opening segment, Primus landed in a hypnotic and pulsating take on Frizzle Fry‘s title track, much to the delight of the audience.Primus – “Last Salmon Man”[Video: Jeremiah Rogers]“Groundhog’s Day”[Video: Jeremiah Rogers]In September of 2017, Primus released their ninth studio album, The Desaturating Seven, the band’s first album of original material since Green Naugahyde in 2011. Given the band’s recent release and their efforts to promote the effort and familiarize fans with the new work, it was fairly unsurprising when the band started in on the first track of the new album, “The Valley”. The tune offers up the exposition—narrated by Justin Chancellor on the album—of The Desaturating Seven, which was inspired by the 1978 children’s book, The Rainbow Goblins, and capitalizes on the eerie story about goblins and rainbows.After a brief break between “The Valley” and “Frizzle Fry”, Les Claypool reemerged to the stage wearing ram’s horns while Primus drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander took the time to don monk-like robes. With the stage set following “The Valley”, the trio quickly moved into the album’s second song, “The Seven”, which explains that the “desaturating seven” are the colors of the rainbow. As the band worked through the tracks on their newest album, the screens behind them showed scenes from the book, further immersing the crowd in the fantastic, goblin-filled world in which the story takes place.For “The Trek”, Larry LaLonde switched over to an acoustic guitar for the song’s opening, before the band landed in the tune’s galloping beat and dramatic changes between dark, bounding verses and spacious, more ambient sections. The ground then deftly transitioned into “The Scheme”, continuing on with prominent, marching beat of “The Trek”, before landing in “The Dream”. After the song’s intro, it built to a powerful climax, its powerful guitar underpinned by Les Claypool’s intense bassline.“The Trek” > “The Scheme”[Video: Jeremiah Rogers]An abrupt stop and a staticky intro marked the beginning of the “The Storm”, as the graphics matched the tune with depictions of rain. Eventually, the screens began to show images of a gorgeous coastline, while the song itself opened itself into a spacey and slide-heavy portion before arriving in the grinding weight of the tune. Ominous throughout, the song built to a frenetic, fast-paced jam which was met with huge cheers from the crowd.As Primus’ play-through of The Desaturating Seven began to wrap up, Tim “Herb” Alexander started off the final song, “The End?” with a steady and sparse drum solo, with Claypool and LaLonde slowly adding in. With Claypool stationed on his upright bass, the tune reworked the familiar themes from the album, with guitarist LaLonde eventually returning to the acoustic guitar for a cascading solo to end the album in full.The trio departed the stage momentarily at the end of The Desaturating Seven before Claypool returned to the stage and thanked fans for “engaging in our goblin party.” He continued, “Now that we are in a goblin mood, I don’t see the moon, but I do see rocks, and I feel content that we got to play with the Vikings of Mastodon.” Claypool, quirky as ever, introduced the band’s next song as “an obscure number, I believe by Neil Diamond” before offering up their 1995 fan favorite “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”.The heavy-rock tune signaled Primus’ sprint to the end of their set, which they followed up with “Welcome To This World”, off 1993’s Pork Soda. With a meandering intro, the band then offered up another of their most celebrated songs, “My Name Is Mud”, with Claypool laying out a truly virtuosic bass solo, casually strolling around the stage and milking the audience’s response as he continued his rapid-fire playing to end out the song. Finishing out their set and quickly approaching the curfew of 11 p.m., the band ran through a high-energy take of another fan favorite, “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”, much to the delight of the crowd, before departing from the stage. For the band’s truncated encore, they offered up yet another classic tune, “John The Fisherman”, giving drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander the time to shine with the song’s opening drum solo before tearing through the high-octane song.“Welcome To This World”[Video: Jeremiah Rogers]Primus’ headlining performance at Red Rocks on Sunday night confirmed to fans that the band’s latest album has staying power in their catalog. While the band has always had a penchant for theatrics, the group’s play-through of The Desaturating Seven was a voyage in and of itself, delighting and captivating the sold-out crowd with its whimsical, if not dark, storyline. Paired with exceptional musicianship, the album’s focus on narrative could come off as cliche or overdone, yet Primus was attentive to let the music speak for itself, making for a truly exceptional experience.Wisely, given the focus on new material, the group bookended their performance of The Desaturating Seven with an onslaught of fan favorites from their older catalog, ensuring that older fans would hav their taste of Primus’ mainstays to keep them content and open-minded to their newest studio effort. With Mastodon sharing the bill, the group’s tour-opening performance bodes well for the rest of the run. Make sure to catch Primus and Mastodon when they come to a city near you; you won’t want to miss out. And as always, Primus sucks.Setlist: Primus | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 5/6/2018Set: Too Many Puppies > Sgt. Baker > Puppies, Last Salmon Man, Groundhog’s Day, Frizzle Fry, The Valley, The Seven, The Trek, The Scheme, The Dream, The Storm, The End?, Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver, Welcome To This World, My Name Is Mud, Jerry Was A Race Car DriverEncore: John The Fisherman[Image: Primus]
Phish continued their summer tour last night with their second and final night at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center. The band delivered a rocking, song-centric first set followed by a more improv-oriented second set, completing an impressive two-show stint at the west coast venue at which Phish has played the most shows since reuniting in 2009.Set one started off the with one of the band’s most consistent songs from the past few years,”Roggae”. Having last appeared as a show opener at Deer Creek on 8/2/1998—nearly two decades ago—”Roggae” fit perfectly in the leadoff position, jump-starting the crowd with bass bombs from Mike Gordon, soaring guitar playing from Trey Anastasio, and a general cohesive feel from the band as a whole. Acknowledging that cohesive attitude, Phish followed “Roggae” with several versions of old-school favorites “Tube”, “NICU”, and “Runaway Jim” before moving into the classic pairing of “The Horse” and “Silent in the Morning”.Following that strong opening, the band debuted an uptempo new song dubbed “Keepin’ It Real” (according to the LivePhish recording of the show), sung by Gordon and featuring a confident backbeat from drummer Jon Fishman. When @Phish_FTR tweeted the name of the tune as it was being played, they listed it as “Keepin’ It Reel“, immediately evoking thoughts of the interactive “Reel” that Mike has brought along on his last few solo tours. Only time—and some official lyrics—will tell if it actually ends up being “real” or “reel” (or, like some of Phish’s multi-layered lyrics, both—lookin’ at you, “Sing Monica”). All we really know at this point is that the song is good fun.The rare ballad “Driver” (the first since 7/16/16) allowed the band to slow things down for a moment before picking them back up with a high-octane version of “Saw It Again”, which saw keyboardist Page McConnell continue to include samples from the Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House Halloween show in the song’s sinister breakdown.Shifting gears, “Ocelot” came next, giving way to the first impactful improvisation of the evening. The bouncy, patient jam was the perfect platform for Anastasio, who ferociously latched onto the band’s deep-pocket groove for an impressive solo and an early-show highlight. Gordon’s “Waking Up Dead” featured excellent playing by McConnell, who added inspired flourishes on his clavinet throughout the song. It’s hard to overlook the off-key vocals that often plague “Waking Up Dead”, but the band makes up for it with an intricate jam section that, while it has shown a lot of promise, hasn’t yet reached its full potential. It is, however, showing more and more signs of evolution with each version that Phish plays.“Backwards Down The Numberline” may be polarizing for many Phish fans, but when it’s played well it is one of the band’s best songs, and they showed that off on Wednesday night, delivering a spot-on version with a blissful peak that drew huge cheers from the sold-out San Francisco crowd. Phish then brought the somewhat uneven first set to a close with another sentimental rocker, the Big Boat standout “More”.To start set two, Phish offered up their second-ever rendition of “Set Your Soul Free”, originally debuted by Trey Anastasio Band last October in Las Vegas. Introduced by Phish this past weekend on their first of three nights at The Gorge, the band made quick work of the new song’s structure and moved into a groovy and ethereal jam that found Anastasio toying with his delay loop pedal while McConnell laid down layers of synth pads, Fishman and Gordon meditatively keeping time behind them. Finally, Anastasio emerged with a melodic lead that McConnell started doubling, eventually allowing for Anastasio to move on to some psychedelic guitar stabs. The band shifted significantly when Fishman kicked the drums into double time, moving the jam into full-fledged Type II territory. The driven, funky improvisation continued for several minutes as “Set Your Soul Free” pushed toward the 24-minute mark before dissolving into “Twist”.“Twist” featured some strong full-band improvisation, with Gordon leading the charge as Anastasio and McConnell followed his every move. The short-but-sweet jam made way for a rare “Makisupia Policeman”, which featured round-robin solos from McConnell, Gordon, and Fishman. Continuing with the rarities, “Makisupa Policeman” was followed by an intense “Scents and Subtle Sounds”, which saw Anastasio throwback to “Machine Gun Trey” for a raucous and exciting reading of the Undermind gem. Out of nowhere, Phish moved into an extra-delicate version of “What’s The Use?”, the ambient fan-favorite from The Siket Disc.From there, the band made quick work of “The Wedge” before going into overdrive with “Possum”, which featured a particularly atonal guitar solo from Anastasio, building the tension wildly before he finally released, whipping the crowd into a frenzy one last time to wrap up the second set. For the encore, Phish capped their San Francisco stint with one of their most beloved songs, “The Lizards”. The Gamehendge-era cut elicited a huge roar from the crowd, and the band delivered a faithful version that put a fitting cap on a memorable two-night run at the Bill Graham Civic Center.Phish returns this weekend with a two-night run at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. For a full list Phish’s upcoming summer tour dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Phish | Bill Graham Civic Center | San Francisco, CA | 7/25/2018Set I: Roggae, Tube > NICU > Runaway Jim, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Keepin’ It Reel, Driver, Saw It Again, Ocelot, Waking Up Dead, Backwards Down The Numberline > MoreSet II: Set Your Soul Free > Twist > Makisupa Policeman > Scents and Subtle Sounds > What’s The Use? > The Wedge > PossumEncore: The Lizards
Today, Tedeschi Trucks Band has officially released their latest album, SIGNS, their first record since 2016’s Let Me Get By.The 11-track album was co-produced by TTB leader and guitarist Derek Trucks along with Jim Scott and Bobby Tis, and includes all original songs which were recorded live on two-inch analog tape at their Swamp Raga Studio. TTB brethren Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Doyle Bramhall II, and Marc Quiñones also appear on the record.As the band notes in a press release, “Signs confronts loss, heartbreak, and politically troubled times with a credence and conviction that puts the group’s undying world-class musicianship and collaborative spirit on full display. It’s a genre-defying collection that runs the gamut from uplifting soulful anthems to bittersweet ballads and driving rock and roll.”During the recording process, the group lost several of their mentors: Leon Russell, Col. Bruce Hampton, and Derek Trucks‘ uncle and original Allman Brothers Band drummer, Butch Trucks, followed by Gregg Allman later that year.“How their passing affected me,” Trucks told NPR, “was that there was the wanting to do it right and wanting to carry on whatever parts I learned from them that I could carry on. The music they made was of a special time and place. I’m never going to recapture that stuff, but I’ve certainly been able to take the lessons I learned from them.”To celebrate the release of Signs, Tedeschi Trucks Band will play an intimate album release show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on February 20th (Tickets available here). They’ll continue to bring their promotion of the album with tour dates throughout 2019, including a 4-night, 2-weekend residency at Washington, D.C.’s Warner Theater. The sold-out first weekend of the band’s D.C. residency kicks off tonight.You can listen to the new Tedeschi Trucks Band album, Signs, below:Tedeschi Trucks Band – Signs – Full AlbumSee below for a full list of Tedeschi Trucks Band’s upcoming tour dates. For more information, head to the band’s website.Tedeschi Trucks Band Upcoming 2019 Tour Dates2/15/19 – Washington, D.C – Warner Theatre SOLD OUT2/16/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre SOLD OUT2/17/19 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre SOLD OUT2/20/19 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music Howard Gilman Opera House SOLD OUT2/22/19 – Washington, D.C – Warner Theatre2/23/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre SOLD OUT2/26/19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia SOLD OUT2/28/19 – Birmingham, AL Alabama Theatre3/1/19 – Augusta, GA – William B. Bell Auditorium3/2/19 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium SOLD OUT4/2/19 – Paris, FR – L’Olympia4/4/19 – Eindhoven, NL – Muziekgebouw4/5/19 – Winterbach, DE – Salierhalle Winterbach4/7/19 – Copenhagen, DK – Amager Bio4/8/19 – Stockholm, SE – Cirkus SOLD OUT4/10/19 – Oslo, NO – Sentrum Scene4/11/19 – Copenhagen, DK – Amager Bio SOLD OUT4/12/19 – Randers, DK – Vaerket4/14/19 – Bochum, DE – Rurhcongress4/15/19 – Hamburg, DE – Mehr! Theater4/17/19 – Milan, IT – Teatro degli Arcimboldi4/18/19 – Trieste, IT – Politeama Rossetti4/20/19 – Zurich, CH – Theater 114/23/19 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique4/24/19 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg4/26/19 – London, UK – The London Palladium SOLD OUT4/27/19 – London, UK – The London Palladium SOLD OUT5/10/19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater5/11/19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater SOLD OUT5/12/19 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Civic Theatre5/14/19 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Convention Center5/16/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre5/17/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre SOLD OUT5/18/19 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre5/21/19 – Sacramento, CA – Memorial Auditorium of Sacramento5/23/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater of Seattle5/24/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater of Seattle5/25/19 – Salem, OR – LB Day Comcast Amphitheatre6/11/19 – Osaka, Japan – Osaka Archaic Hall6/12/19 – Nagoya, Japan – Zepp Nagoya6/14/19 – Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo Dome City Hall6/15/19 – Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo Dome City Hall6/16/19 – Tokyo, Japan – Tokyo Dome City Hall6/28/19 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place *6/29/19 – Boca Raton, FL – Mizner Park Amphitheater *6/30/19 -St. Petersburg, FL – Al Lang Stadium *7/03/19 – Orange Beach, AL – Wharf Amphitheater *7/05/19 – Charleston, SC – Volvo Car Stadium *7/06/19 – Simpsonville, SC – Heritage Park Amphitheater *7/07/19 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion *7/09/19 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek *7/10/19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann Center *7/12 – Marshfield, MA – Levitate Music Festival *7/13/19 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion *7/14/19 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center *7/16/19 – Canandaigua, NY – CMAC *7/17/19 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap *7/19/19 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion *7/20/19 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at the Heights *7/21/19 – Aurora, IL – Riveredge Park *7/23/19 – Rochester Hills, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheatre *7/24/19 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park *7/26/19 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks *7/27/19 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks *7/30/19 – St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre *7/31/19 – Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater *8/02/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre *8/03/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre ** 5th Annual Wheels of Soul tour with Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope (Additional dates to be announced)View Upcoming Tour Dates
On Wednesday night, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros continued their early-2019 trek with a performance at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati, OH.The show got underway with “Friend of the Devil” followed by the tour’s second rendition of Bob Weir/Rob Wasserman collab “The Winners”. Weir’s Blue Mountain track “Lay My Lily Down” came next, followed by “Me and My Uncle”, “Loose Lucy”, and “Eternity”. Set one came to a close with a smoothly segued “Ashes and Glass” > “Don’t Let Go” > “Ashes and Glass” segment that foreshadowed the fluid playing to come in set two.The second frame kicked off with “Playing In The Band”. That moved smoothly into another segue sandwich which took the crowd through “The Music Never Stopped” and into “Easy Answers” before returning to “The Music Never Stopped” for a brief reprise. Next up was Weir’s classic pairing of “Lost Sailor” > “Saint of Circumstance”, which moved seamlessly into Wolf Bros’ tour debut of The Beatles‘ Revolver classic, “Tomorrow Never Knows”. The segues continued as the band moved into “Wharf Rat” and “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad” to cap the nearly non-stop set. Finally, the band returned to the stage to deliver a “Touch of Grey” encore.You can listen to a full audience audio recording of the show below:Bob Weir and Wolf Bros – 3/6/19 – Full Audio[Audio: Archive.org user MYJIBBOO]Bob Weir and Wolf Bros continue their tour on Friday, March 8th with a performance at the newly renovated and reopened Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia, PA. For a full list of upcoming dates, head here.Setlist: Bob Weir and Wolf Bros | Taft Theatre | Cincinnati, OH | 3/6/19Set One: Friend of the Devil, The Winners, Lay My Lily Down, Me & My Uncle, Loose Lucy, Eternity, Ashes & Glass > Don’t Let Go > Ashes & GlassSet Two: Playing In The Band > The Music Never Stopped > Easy Answers > The Music Never Stopped (reprise), Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance, Tomorrow Never Knows > I Need A Miracle > Wharf Rat > Going Down The Road Feeling BadEncore: Touch of Grey
The 50th annual edition of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is now in the books. While the event has been going on for half a century, this year’s edition saw a notable change in format, adding an additional Thursday worth of music to the schedule. The extra day was originally added to accommodate a specially-ticketed headlining performance by The Rolling Stones on Thursday, May 2nd. However, when the Stones (and their initial replacement, Fleetwood Mac) had to back out due to band member illnesses, the festival converted the day to a regularly-ticketed day a the Fairgrounds headlined by Jazz Fest regulars, Widespread Panic.PHOTOS: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2019 Weekend OneWhile the Stones plans didn’t pan out, the festival still found success with their extra day—so much so that they’re keeping it on the schedule for 2020. In a notice posted to the festival website, organizers revealed the dates for next year’s Fest (Thursday, April 23 through Sunday, May 3), including the newly introduced additional Thursday. They also revealed that approximately 475,000 people attended the event’s eight days this year.PHOTOS: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2019 Weekend TwoWhile we won’t know who’s playing for some time, it’s exciting to hear that this bigger, badder Jazz Fest format is here to stay, at least for the time being.[H/T New Orleans Advocate]