Phil & Friends, Capitol Theatre, Port Chester NY, 5.31.14

Reposted from The Capitol Theatre

Written By: Meredith Berke

Photos By: Scott Harris

ScottHarris_PLF_1000px-01861

This past Friday night, Phil and Friends played for an almost sold out crowd, aged young and old alike, for close to three hours. There were many friendly faces in the crowd, who greeted me with smiles as I walked into the theater. I began to feel that I had “come home” to a place filled with love and acceptance, as is common with a Phil show, and I felt the stressful week fall from my shoulders as I settled in.

Phil Lesh was joined by fellow Furthur band mates John Kadlicek, guitar and Joe Russo, drums. John Medeski and John Scofield rounded out the band with special guests Ross James and Nels Cline.

Ross James came out for the first set, with upbeat Grateful Dead songs such as a rousing New Speedway Boogie, and Turn on Your Love Light. Also played was Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. It is worth noting that many people in the crowd commented that the first set felt like a typical second set. This set was high energy, filled with great jams, and Russo’s drum playing was off the hook.

ScottHarris_PLF_1000px-01794

Nels Cline from Wilco, joined the band for second set. They opened with Cold Rain and Snow, accentuated a fun jam with Cline leading an almost rock-a-billy kind of groove. They went into a heavy jam before going into Eyes of the World. Phil sang lead, and Cline plucked the guitar soft and sweet, technically perfect.

Scofield, Kadlicek and Cline led us next to The Wheel, where they answered each other with their guitar licks, heightening the song for the crowd. It seemed that everyone was singing along. Kadlicek sang on the next song, So Many Roads, and the trio went into a sweet harmony with each other.

Overall, Phil played steady, Medeski was on the side of the stage surrounded by his keys, piping in from the organ, and Russo is just a monster behind those drums. Cline was the lead guitarist of the night, with Scofield and Kadlicek supporting, each of them throwing down some great jams throughout the night.

They ended the second set with Help> Slip> Franklin’s where Scofield let loose and Kadlicek sang on Help. They encored with Ripple, and Phil stayed classy to the end, by introducing all the the musicians by name, and saying “Thank you for joining us.” No Phil, thank you, and can’t wait for the next run, hosted by The Cap.

Advertisements

Gathering of the Vibes 2013 – Highlights – Friday/Saturday

This year started with me having my first ten day vacation since I don’t know when, and we began at The Vibes.  After the usual “get here, find the tickets there, park here, walk there, grab the cooler, don’t forget the tapestry, find some ice, text your friends, get to the stage, find your place” shenanigans, we finally settled in.   We got in on Friday, and saw John Scofield’s Überjam at the smaller Green Vibes stage.  We also said hello to about a gazillion friends.  This festival is held in the beautiful Seaside Park, Bridgeport CT – and since CT is my hometown state, this truly was a gathering of friends and family far and wide.  But, I digress.

photo by: Dino Perrucci

photo by: Dino Perrucci

Scofield is one of my favorites, and he jammed with Andy Hess, John Medeski, drummer Tony Mason, and Avi Bortnick. This was a heavy jam, filled with that roundabout guitar virtuosity that Sco is known for.  Scofield just released a new album, Scofield’s Überjam Deux I was thrilled to be standing infront of Sco, with the water behind me on a gorgeous Friday afternoon.  This was a beautiful entry into The Vibes.

photo by: Dino Perrucci

photo by: Dino Perrucci

Another highlight was Tedeschi Trucks Band.  TTB is touring to promote their latest album to be released on August 20 – Made Up Mind – and we were treated to a few new songs mixed in with their usual southern style bluesy Janis Joplin, slide guitar heaven. I realized that today I was being treated to two of my all time favorite guitar players, Scofield and Trucks, combined with Saturday’s Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) and Steve Kimock which could easily put me in guitar hero overload.  This is what Vibes is for.

It is a curious thing when one of the hottest sets are so under the radar, you incredulously look around you to notice that there is not enough people around you to witness what is happening on the stage in front of you.  This was Steve Kimock/Bernie Worrell’s set.  It was a hot day, no doubt about it, and there is hardly any shade, but it didn’t matter.   Continue reading

Bowlive 3, Night 1, 2.28.12

photo by: Michael Jurick

So, we’re back – the 3rd annual Bowlive held in Brooklyn’s own Brooklyn Bowl. This is the favorite time of year to be eating lots of fried chicken, hearing bowling pins crash while listening to some of today’s finest musicians in a room where only 600 can comfortably stand, or dance. The first night went off without a hitch. Here’s my recount – it gets increasingly harder to understand my notes as the night goes on….

Pre-show:
No real preshow for me. I got to the Bowl at around 8:15pm, the show didn’t start until 9pm. I dropped my coat and bag off, said some hellos, hit the ladies room, got a drink and settled in for the evening. Chatted with my friend and looked to the right of me, there was John Scofield talking with some people, no less than 4 feet from me. I noted it but couldn’t bring myself to gawk at him. He’s one of my guitar heroes-being so close to greatness made me nervous.

photo by: RuthRocks

First Set:
Soulive alone. The trio (Eric Krasno and brothers Neal and Alan Evans) just came off their three night Snowlive weekend in Boulder Colorado, and they sounded tight. Soulive usually sounds tight but tonight they sounded like they had tightened a few notches up. They played alone, and for the first few songs I was so enthralled I had forgotten guitarist John Scofield was going to join the stage.

The trio just nailed the first set of the Bowlive 3 run, my friend turned to me and said, “first set, eh?”. I laughed and shook my head. It had already gotten heavy with funk and bass… We were only a hour in.

Set break:

Bathroom Run. Smoke Break. Hit the bar. Get back near stage left.

photo by: RuthRocks

Set 2:

Alan introduces John Scofield onto the stage and off we go.

Nigel Hall joined Neal Evans on the keyboard before he grabbed the mic to sing a slow bluesy serenade.
Here are my notes on that:
Nigel slow serenade soulful sexy and raw. 10pm. Organ keys reverb right through The Brooklyn Bowl

Nigel wails. Scofield wails. Organ wails and a hot beat by Alan. Damn. Night 1 w the posse surrounding me, all goo love in the air.

First set. Jesus. It just started and it’s crazy funky souled up in here.

Scofield gives props to Soulive and particularly Nigel. Sweet. They go into Boozin’. Scofield is in love with Nigel. You can see it by his face.

Next, a crazy banter w Scofield and Neal. This rage officially melts the Bowl at 1022 pm.

Set Break: I’m kinda floating at this point. With permagrin wide I made it outside, chatted with friends, and realized I was starving. Good thing the Bowl has some good food.

I dropped my coat and winter crap back near my spot next to the stage and went for food. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had such an idea. So I hit the ladies room instead.

photo by: RuthRocks

Set 3:
Soulive comes on the stage, alone once again. I find a dark corner close my eyes and groove hard in anonymous land. I went there. But I was in dire need of food. So, off to the restaurant!

Food choice? The Beach french bread pizza. Oh my. Lord. Yum. Not for vegetarians but for a pork filled meat lovers delight? I highly recommend. Soulive plays while I wait for my pizza. Food!! Come quickly. They’re raging!

Continue reading

Bowlive III starts tomorrow at Brooklyn Bowl, NYC 2/28-3/9/12

BOWLIVE III:

The chatter and anticipation is humming here in NYC with the return of the 3rd annual Bowlive, Soulive’s 10 day residency at The Brooklyn Bowl. 

Soulive has announced in drips and drabs the special guests, and to be honest with you, this year sounds like the best yet.  I am excited to get it on with my bad self, and the hundreds of other bad selves dancing to great music, incredible jams, loud horns and shredding guitars.  Ah, let Bowlive III begin.

www.royalfamilyrecords.com Continue reading

Bowlive II, Night 7, Monster Jazz Jam: Scofield, Oteil, Kofi, Ivan and Marco

Jambands.com Review Here!

PhotoLog: Bowlive II – John Scofield and Ivan Neville (updated w/ Video)

Jambands.com review here!

Photo by: Rob Chapman

photo by: Rob Chapman

photo by: Rob Chapman

photo by: Rob Chapman

2010 Top Ten Shows

It was an exceptional year for live music. I am lucky enough to live in a city where music is a part of the lifeline, like matzoh ball soup and a good reuben, as much as we love to hate our mayor, and collective groans when the MTA hikes their fares. Here is to 2010. May we all have a healthy, prosperous and musically exceptional new year!

photo by: Karen Dugan

10.  Scofield, w/ Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Blue Note,  May 2010

9.  Jorma Kaukonen, Iridium, May 2010

8.  Wanee Funk Jam w/ Dumpstaphunk and The Funky Meters George Porter Jr, Russell Batiste, Cody and Luther Dickinson, Oteil and Kofi Burbridge, JoJo Herman, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Matt Grondin.

7.  Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble – birthday evening, August 2010

6.  Gov’t Mule, PC Richards Theater, August 2010

photo by: Robyn Gould

5.  Roger Waters, The Wall, MSG October 2010

4.  The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Wanee April 2010

3.  Jimmy Herring, Lenny White, Richie Goods Iridium, August 2010

2.  Pat Metheny Orchestrion, May 2010

photo by: Allison Murphy

1.  Another One for Woody, November 2010

Runners Up (I couldn’t fit them all in the Top 10):

  1. Deep Banana Blackout, Late Night, Gathering of the Vibes 2010
  2. Phish, New Years Eve 2010, MSG
  3. Les Claypool, Vibes 2010
  4. New Mastersounds, Mountain Jam, June 2010
  5. Furthur, Radio City Music Hall, February 2010
  6. Xmas Jam:  Warren Hayne’s Band and John Bell Acoustic, December 2010