Next up! Spooktacular!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1/30/10 Rod & Reel Club, Stafford Ct

I awoke Saturday morning with a screaming migraine which forced me into a self-imposed quarantine consisting of copious applications of ice packs and Excedrin. Deb and Carol were sweet enough to write up their thoughts and observations on the party the band played Saturday night. Carol handled the introduction, and Deb more than ably tackled the setlist and review. Greg was also kind enough to supply some photos for the post. I better watch myself, it looks as though I could be esily replaced.

We arrived on the coldest winter night, to a small hunting house lit up by a full moon, in the middle of nowhere, which turned out to be the center of the universe for the family, friends and musicians invited by Bill and Andy. By all accounts, these 40 year old twins and all their friends had a very happy journey going Backwards Down the Number Line.

The boys opened with a great jam. It was clear Jeffrey loved the room - he played with abandon all night, loved the intimacy and the crowd's dancing and support, the whole band did. They then rolled into Pick Up the Pieces. The partygoers had alread been hooked from the first jam onwards. Jeffrey was on fire, Jason took a bass lead with pleasure, and Jake picked it up with a chunky, funky drum solo. This led into Guillotine Machine, where Jake's already-gravelly voice only enhanced the groove and delivery. Jeff was off the charts with flourishes and, what does one call them? , tremelos? This led into Virtual Circle, where Jeff continued to flame through, delighting the crowd. Cissy Strut was next, a real crowd pleaser with full, rich sounds and an impressive bass solo which signaled for us all that Jason was warmed up! This progressed into Cissy's Delight - Jake was the master of ceremonies here. The revelers sang along at one point; I think Jake teased a Happy Birthday rap-thing. Second-to-last before the break was Shakedown Street. The jam-part began predictably enough until Jeffrey went into a dreamy, rich groove with a haunting treatment of chords and pedal work. The first set finished off with Milktoast Man - equally rich. The pace was slower but not the intensity nor the attention to detail. Jake's vocals maintained, sustained the reggae groove.

After a short break (of course the boys weren't tired at all) Jason jumped into Break on Through which brought the revellers quickly back up from the downstairs food spread. Then, Deep Monster Trance. Jeff was relentless here with screams and trills. The male faction of the crowd kind of stood and stared - you know the stance. The boys were completely in tune with one another and gave Jeff freedom with his spooky, sparkly threads. Tokyo Tea was next. Big, broad brushstrokes here with funk in the middle and color all around. Jeff was reaching here with his siren guitar and Jason offered up sweet and steady harmonious progressions. Jeff even brought in a little teaser (Bach? Beethoven?). Jake wisely kept the pace slower and smoky. Three quarters through Toko Tea, the inevitable happened: Jason popped a string. A short commercial break lost the crowd for a couple of minutes, but they were back at it in full force for the trifecta: Killing Time, Purple Trees, and Backwards Down the Number Line. KT was the perfect way to suck the crowd back in. Jeffrey and Jake gave the expression "wall of sound" new meaning in this intimate lodge atmosphere. Purple Trees was a delight - clean but decorative delivery here. Lots of flourishes on Jeff's part, and Jake was tight as ever with his drumming. This led into Backwards Down the Number Line which turned into a big love fest. Here was Jeffrey's last chance to preach to the choir and he did so with the same abandon he'd displayed all night. It was, by an measure, a great show! A well-informed group of party-goers (many had done their youtube homework, etc.) really inspired the boys because they were so enthusiastic and receptive.

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