Freaks Ball XV, Brooklyn Bowl Jan 23 & 24, 2015

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Photo by: Scott Harris

Set lists and taper links are below.

There has been much chatter about the incredulous 2015 Freaks Ball JRAD shows.  Two sold out shows at The Brooklyn Bowl.  Lines around the corner. Chicken, pizza and beer freely flowing. Here is my take on what went down this weekend in Brooklyn.

Metzger, Hamilton, Dreiwitz, Benevento and Russo are monsters in their own right.  Metzger and Hamilton were switching the Jerry part (playing and singing) all night, in a tight succession.  This is not FURTHUR, which (to me) seems about a half step slower than needed.  This is not Phil and Friends, which again, seems a bit slowed down for me.  This is JRAD, a bunch of hot musicians playing an upbeat, quick paced Grateful Dead. Their energy sounds reminiscent of the cassettes I used to listen to, of the early day GD shows.  JRAD’s pace blew me away the first time I saw them, years ago at another Freaks Ball.  This is also why I continue to see JRAD again.

Night One of The Freaks Ball was the first time the band played all those tunes, and it is safe to say that for the rest of the JRAD tour, these songs will be in the rotation.  I particularly loved the Iko Iko > Mississippi Half Step > Sugar Mag.  It reminded me of a GD show in the late 80s.

All of these songs were executed perfectly.  They certainly didn’t sound like it was a first time performance. However, the audio is up on archive.org – you can decide for yourself.

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Photo by: Scott Harris

Second night, there seemed to be a shimmer in the room.  Electricity was bouncing before the band even hit the stage.  From the moment they hit the first note of Alligator, The Bowl was in blast off mode.  Jack-a-Roe was a super tune – need to go back to listen to that as well as Ophelia (what? Ophelia?)  Yes, Ophelia.

Second set though, I wanted a fancy Help>Slip>Terrapin (hey, one could wish right?)  Much to my surprise and chagrin, I got my Help>Slip.  Help was perfect, and then there was this riff, this jam, this hard squealing guitar before Slip that I still can’t get out of my brain.  It certainly wasn’t Slipknot, because they only did a few repetitions of Slip.  Metzger was crushing his guitar, and I have itched to hear it again since Saturday night.  This was one of the highlights for me.  Then Shakedown quite literally may have shaken down The Brooklyn Bowl. The crowd was loving it.

Then there was the closer, Mountain Dew.  The house was quiet and attentive on the musicians on the stage.  I was mesmerized, as were most of the crowd.  Hamilton on vocals was spot on.  Goosebumps type of spot on.

This weekend’s music bliss was palpable for everyone involved.  The Freaks, the audience, JRAD.  Wow.  Freaks Ball throws another amazing weekend.  Thank you Freaks.  Thank you Mr. Shapiro. Thank you Mr. Costello.  Thank you…goodnight.

Night One: Set List and Taper Link:

Taper link: Archive.org

Set 1:
01. intro/crowd
02. Alabama Getaway
03. Alice D. Millionaire ->
04. Greatest Story Ever Told
05. Black Peter ->
06. Lost Sailor ->
07. Saint Of Circumstance
08. banter – band intros
09. Big Railroad Blues
10. outro/crowd

Set 2:
01. intro/crowd
02. Feel Like A Stranger
03. Stagger Lee ->
04. Iko Iko ->
05. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo ->
06. Sugar Magnolia
07. Mission In The Rain
08. encore break/crowd
Encore:
09. They Love Each Other

Night Two: Set List 

Set 1
01. Alligator (SM) >
02. Caution Jam >
03. Liz Reed Jam >
04. Jack A Roe # (TH) >
05. Uncle John’s Band >
06. Ophelia $ (SM)
07. Ramble On Rose (TH)
08. Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line ## (SM)>
09. Bertha (TH)

Set 2
01. Music Never Stopped (SM) >
02. Cumberland Blues & (A)
03. Help On The Way (TH) >
04. Slipknot!>
05. Shakedown Street (TH)
06. Truckin (SM) >
07. Space>
08. Morning Dew (TH)

E
09. Brown Eyed Women (TH)

 

Ed note:  Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015.  It seems/feels like I’ve been away from View Skewed for a long time.  In 2014,  I was writing for other outlets – The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, as well as Jambands.com.  I also had my first article published in Jambase and finally had my first review PRINTED in Relix Magazine for my coverage of the Bear Creek Arts & Music Festival.  Overall, it was a good year for writing, but probably not my best.  Perhaps in 2015, I can change this trend.  As always, thank you for reading my words.

Dumpstaphunk, Brooklyn Bowl, March 23, 2013

579796_10151421223611575_2065743179_nHigh level notes:

  • The Bowl was packed – sold out, line out the door and holding because they were at capacity.
  • I did not have the fried chicken this time – I had the BBQ Wings. Still just as delicious.
  • I did not bowl this time. Last time I bowled a 43. I will not bowl there until I have practiced sufficiently to bowl over 43!
  • There was a bachelorette party in the crowd, I saw a blowup penis, bouncing up and down in the crowd. I tried to see if there was a reaction from Dumpstaphunk, but I think these guys have seen it all. No blow up penis is gonna change Dumpsta’s funk factor. Continue reading