If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably realized that it isn’t often I don’t like a concert I attend. I know what I like and I generally do a good job avoiding shows I wouldn’t enjoy. Last night, I entered NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom for Furthur with no expectations. A few hours later I left the venue wishing I had my $75 back and shaking my head in disgust.
There are three main elements that made for my bad experience – the crowd, the music and the venue, all of which were terrible. Now, let me start by saying I generally enjoy post-Jerry bands involving Phil Lesh, so this isn’t the opinion of someone who can’t enjoy a post-Jerry Dead-related concert. From the minute the band took the stage I sensed something was amiss. We’re talking about six quality musicians, but at no point did they hook up to create interesting music.
My biggest gripe is with guitarist Bob Weir who took his “forget the lyrics” shtick to a whole new level last night. Bobby struggled with the lyrics for a number of tunes that he’s been singing for decades which just killed any flow the band tried to develop. Keys player Jeff Chimenti and guitarist John Kadlecik also biffed a number of segments especially on parts of songs the sextet decided to rework. I have no problem with an artist reworking one of their songs, but when the whole crowd sings the coda to Mississippi Half-Step and the musicians on stage are still repeating a line that comes earlier, you’re looking for trouble. READ ON for more on Furthur…
Each day this week we’ve been sharing a new installment of our geekiest column, The Number Line, where we analyze the setlists from Phish’s recently completed Fall Tour. On Monday we examined the Fall Tour one-timers, on Tuesday we looked at the songs played on the tour by studio album and yesterday we detailed the covers Phish performed. Today, we’ll look at the originals the quartet performed on the 13-show run.
[Photo by Jake Krolick]
1991 – Days after the release of Undermind that Tomorrow’s Song was first played
283 – Times Llama – the most common song not played on Fall Tour – has been performed
78 – Shows since last Meat
67 – Shows since last Crimes Of The Mind
33 – Songs Played on Leg Two of the Summer Tour but not on Fall Tour (Grind, While My Guitar, Middle of the Road, Anything But Me, Billy Breathes, Bittersweet, CTB, Catapult, Forbin’s, Crosseyed, Mockingbird, Crowd Control, Destiny, Drums, HaHaHa, Harpua, Highway to Hell, HYHU, How High The Moon, I Didn’t Know, I Kissed a Girl, Icculus, Llama, Makisupa, Mound, Paul & Silas, Psycho Killer, Rift, Roses, Sleep, Sloth, Waves, Windy City)
25 (out of 26) Sets that closed with an original song
READ ON for more Phish Fall Tour Stats…
A few weeks ago, we told you that U-Melt had signed with Harmonized Records to put out their latest album, Perfect World. Shortly after signing the deal, guitarist Rob Salzer quit the band to attend to “medical needs and new personal endeavors” leaving his mates to find a capable replacement. Today, the band has announced Salzer’s departure and have confirmed that long time friend Kevin Griffin will join the quartet starting in February.
[Photo from 12/4 Soundcheck by Jeremy Gordon]
Griffin comes to U-Melt from stints in NYC-area jambands Reckoning and The Point. Not only does Kevin rip on guitar, but he’s also known for his sax and vocal abilities. It’s never easy to learn a six-year-old band’s repertoire, but Kevin has sat-in with U-Melt on multiple occasions and Salzer will work with him on the in and outs of the group’s music.
The Perfect World National Tour kicks off on February 12 in Ithaca and features an album release party at The Bowery Ballroom on February 20th in the band’s hometown – NYC. For a taste of the new album, head to the U-Melt MySpace Page which will be updated with a new track from the album each week. READ ON for the press release announcing the guitarist switch including the tour dates for the Perfect World tour…
The band’s combustible mixture of Malian tradition, highlife style, chunky grooves and amped-up rock kept the dance floor hot, and the frequent interjections on kora and soku grounded the proceedings in the earthy, raw sounds of West Africa.