Review: Benevento/Mathis/Fishman @ Drom

Having Fishman there for the celebrity factor was exciting—and the big guy undoubtedly delivered, looking as comfortable behind the kit as always and with Mathis adding plenty of supple undercurrent. Frequent Benevento collaborators Dave Dreiwitz and Scott Metzger were also along for brief turns–the former for a tender take on Ween’s Baby Bitch and the latter on an eerie, portentous-sounding dissection of Combustible Edison’s Carnival of Souls. There was, too, a projectionist who did trippy things with video cameras and often filmed the beatific expressions of the onstage personnel, matching them with zany colors, artsy collages and other visual enhancements.

But it was clear for all 80 minutes exactly who was in charge. Whether they’re his or by people he admires, Marco clearly loves these songs—loves how they sound, feel and taste—and has turned exploring every nook ‘n’ crannie of ’em into something vocational. Whether in such originals as Atari, Bus Ride and The Real Morning Party or in any of the night’s chosen covers—My Morning Jacket’s Golden, Deerhoof’s Twin Killers and the Zombies’ She’s Not There among them—Benevento seized the melody and explored with it as he saw fit, creating different moods and textures that all seemed both logical and adventurous. A lesser artist would attach flights of nutter piano and tricky rhythms to a melody for the sake of “jamming it out,” divorcing the melodic head from the improvisation and using choruses as mere bridges to the next freak-out. Benevento’s just a little bit more sophisticated that that; his approach in this type of scenario necessitates a sturdy melody—and thrives on finding out just how sturdy it is.

Marco Benevento Trio
November 8, 2008
New York, NY

Set: Golden (My Morning Jacket), You Must Be A Lion, Atari, Twin Killers (Deerhoof), Record Book, Bus Ride, She’s Not There (The Zombies), Baby Bitch # (Ween), Carnival of Souls * (Combustible Edison), The Real Morning Party

Marco Benevento – piano/keys/toys
Reed Mathis – bass
Jon Fishman – drumkit

# with Dave Dreiwitz on bass
* with Scott Metzger on guitar

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13 Responses

  1. The music was great until it was cut short by the cock smokers at this venue. Very very very tight group and highlight of the night was The Real Morning Party….fun fun tune. I hope to see these guys hit up the stage again sometime in the future…and play for atleast an hour and half…

  2. this should give you guys a better idea of what Marco, Jon and Reed were bringin….especially, from “The Real Morning Party”….

    it’s great to see Fish smilin’ and havin fun.

  3. Yeah the show was awesome but that venue was a little wierd. The sound was low and they turned the lights on right away killing all hopes of an encore… Did anyone else hear a “That’s All” (Phil Collins) tease or am I completely crazy?

  4. that’s too bad you guys got a short one. At Mexicali the next night they were having a bit of trouble with the piano originally so while Marco fiddled around with it, Fishman started banging around on the drums and Reed started up
    on the bass and before you knew it, the band was doing a 15-20 minute little impromptu jazz dinner set before the show even started around 8:30 or so. Then they went on around quarter after 9 and played almost straight full (with minimal breaks to introduce the band and whatnot) until 11:30 with a two song encore.

  5. jg, I heard same with regard to the Mexicali show (and that they’d also blown out Hartford the night before NYC). The reviews for Drom haven’t been good, folks; has anyone had a good experience there? I heard good things about the Charlie Hunter residency from a few months back but it ain’t the most comfortable place to see a show…

  6. ah that’s too bad Chad. It was really relaxed at Mexicali as people hung out and ate dinner or watched the Giants-Eagles on the tvs at the bar before the show started. Jon and Marco walked around to the tables to talk to their friends and during the show Marco told a story about how they had all eaten a huge dinner beforehand at his mother’s house in Jersey.

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