I covered Bowlive IV, night 3 for The Royal Family Records. My recap was on Brooklyn Bowl’s site and The Royal Family’s site, so that was cool. Here’s the words below. -M
Bowlive IV #3 Recap w/ Nigel Hall, James Casey, Igmar Thomas, and More : Tuesday’s 3/12 show w/ Booker T Jones & More
Bowlive alum Alecia Chakour Band opened the evening on this Bowlive Night 3. Chakour had her own special guests, the stage was filled with musicians including Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum (sax, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings) and Igmar Thomas (trumpet.) Chakour’s vocals got the crowd ready for what was about to happen this evening.
By the time Soulive took the stage, it was a little after 10pm, the sold out crowd loosened up with a funky, ten minute “Steppin.” Kraz starts to soulfully play The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” before the stage erupts from Neal Evans’ keyboards. During Kraz’s shredding solo, the audience were singing “All the lonely people” to the band. What a moment!
Special guests James Casey (sax, Lettuce/Trey Anastasio Band), and Igmar Thomas, (trumpet) both from Bowlive’s past, joined the stage for “Lenny” and “Vapor”, where on Thomas was literally smoking his trumpet. No Joke.
DJ Logic then joined the stage and spinned with Soulive on “Tuesday.” Nigel Hall then came out to end the set, and played keys with Neal. It was more like a Nigel/Neal keyboard showdown. At first there were three hands on the keys, and that went into a dance, where Nigel and Neal switch sides with each other at the keyboard. I thought I saw Nikki Glaspie (drums, Dumpstaphunk) peeking behind James Casey and Igmar Thomas with a tambourine in her hand. The whole band was smiling, the crowd was smiling, it felt like family. Someone told me it felt like home. It was certainly beginning to feel that way.
Just when you thought it was setbreak, Alecia Chakour comes back on the stage to sing duet with Nigel. If you haven’t seen them before, Alecia can sing exactly, on Nigel’s level with her heavy duty pipes and her vixen voice. At one point, Nigel gets on his knees and sings to Alecia, like he’s begging, the crowd goes nuts, the moment had finally arrived at the Bowl. This was the quintessential Royal Family Records/Bowlive magic that has become commonplace here in Brooklyn in March.
DJ Logic spinned old-school Motown hits while the rest of us got ourselves together for the second set.
The Soulive Trio came out blasting first song from second set with “Upright.” Neal’s bassy keys gets the crowd pumped for what will become Dance Party USA. Al just keeps that beat strong and steady, and bounces his head with every beat. James Casey returned, front and center on the stage, for his incredible sax solo, turning up the heat even more. And then, finally, Nigel took the stage, his keyboard was placed exactly where Robert Randolph’s pedal steel was the night before.
Nigel was joined with Lettuce’s guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff, and we got into a funky fast groove with “Gimme A Sign,” the crowd and the band alike looking like they were just having much fun, beaming at each other. Hall then dedicated the next song, “Never Gonna Let You Go” to Brooklyn, now that he’s moved to New Orleans, and he voice sounded just like Stevie Wonder, and where Shmeeans shredded his guitar in his first solo of the evening.
Nikki Glaspie takes over Al’s drumkit and Ron Johnson (bass, Warren Haynes Band) for “Leave Me Alone.” There are now three members of The Warren Haynes Band on the stage, for “Baby We Could Have It All” where Nigel wails into the microphone, then he leaves his keyboards for “Too Much,” while singing and dancing around the stage. Casey plays another crazy sax solo and The Bowl goes nuts.
There was a great banter between Kraz and Nigel when they both went against each other from Kraz’s guitar and Nigel’s voice, Kraz playing, Nigel singing. Phew. They played a great “Too Much>Pass It Around>Too Much” together with Kraz also singing along.
Nigel and Soulive end the set their beautiful Tears for Fears song, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” and we all danced until after 1am. Nigel Hall turned into James Brown for the funkiest James Brown Medley encore and then DJ Logic took over, spinning records till 3am.
Bowlive IV is off the next couple of days, so we can compose ourselves for next week’s 5 Bowlive shows featuring the great George Porter Jr. and Leo Nocentelli of The Meters, Booker T. Jones, John Medeski, Bill Evans, David Hildago, The Shady Horns, and I would bet even more unannounced guests. Bowlive IV starts on Tuesday, so get your tickets and get your rest until then!
Gimme A Sign
Never gonna let you
Baby I do love you
Leave me alone
Rule the world (logic)
James Brown medley