Last month, Umphrey’s McGee announced a major winter tour, with support along the entirety of the run from New York-based instrumental prog/funk rockers TAUK. While there were a handful of crossover performances along the tour, the two bands got to really fuse during some key TAUKing McGee late night parties. The first such event of 2016 occurred on January 22nd in New York, NY, just moments before a major blizzard would cover the city in feet of snow.Inside B.B. King Blues Club, however, there was no shortage of steaming improvisational jams to keep fans dancing well into the night. With Jake Cinninger and Joel Cummins in tow, TAUK busted out a cover of Bonobo’s “Cirrus.” Enjoy the jam below:TAUK continues their winter tour in Burlington, VT this Wednesday, March 2nd, before meeting up with Umphrey’s on March 11th in Seattle, WA. The two bands will also join up for one more TAUKing McGee show, at the Major Rager in Augusta, GA on April 7th. More information about that event can be found here. For more about TAUK, head to their official website.
Load remaining images On a beautiful summer night in Des Moines, Iowa, the Brenton Skating Plaza hosted an excellent rock show from Umphrey’s McGee yesterday, June 29th. The venue doubles as a place to go ice skating in the winter, but with the sun out and a slight breeze blowing into the large tent, the stage was set to rage with Umphrey’s McGee. The Wednesday night show to kick off UM’s summer tour was simply excellent.The first set opened with a standard “Andy’s Last Beer.” As per custom, the band tried to get the crowd to clap along with the relatively complex time signature of the bridge, unsuccessfully. Guitarist Brendan Bayliss, responding to the crowd’s effort, gave the sign of mediocrity with his hands and a smile on his face. “Walletsworth” followed, and veered from its normal mold by having a very short but cool jam before the final chorus.The middle of the set continued with standard versions of “Push the Pig,” “1348,” and the newer-tune, “Upward.” The highlight of the first set was “The Haunt.” A song that doesn’t get played nearly as much as it should, Umphrey’s rocked it hard before wandering out into improvisational space. As they jammed, they maintained the energy from the song. Guitarists Jake Cinninger and Bayliss worked off each other feverishly, which isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but keyboardist Joel Cummins did a great job of going toe-to-toe with them as he was banging out some of the highest notes that his keyboard would allow. The song slowly dissolved into just the keys themselves, and from there Cummins took it into the set closing “Fussy Dutchman.” It was a cool segue and the instrumental proved a great way to end the set.With the sun waning and lighting director Jefferson Waful ready to do his work on the tent ceiling, the second set began with a fun version of “40s Theme.” Perhaps Umphrey’s most reggae tune followed in “FF.” With the slow rhythm and the searing vocals, the song opened up afterwards and allowed for the band to go into exploration. The jam was fun, and slowly they built it up and up and up. The song that began as “FF” was clearly well beyond it at this point, but even a seasoned and veteran Umphreak couldn’t have guessed what would have followed. From reggae to metal, Umphrey’s jammed into the ending of “1348.” It was so unexpected and so cool and just one of those moments where everyone thought, “THIS is Umphrey’s!” It was a great segue and the best part of the show. Following that heat, relatively pedestrian versions of “Conduit,” “Hangover,” “Domino Theory,” and “The Floor” filled the second set out. “Dump City” was also in there, with some excellent albeit short improvisation.To close the night the band encored with “Higgins,” and it received the treatment. The jamming was great in the song; fans only wished it were longer. It was a great way to cap the night in the middle of Iowa. If Umphreaks are heading East, the band will be playing in Milwaukee tonight at Summerfest with a special Joel Piano Hour before the show. If Umphreaks are heading West, they no doubt will converge upon Red Rocks this weekend. And if Umphreaks are not heading anywhere and yearning for UM, the Red Rocks shows will be streamed here.Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee at Brenton Skating Plaza, Des Moines, IA – 6/29/16Set 1: Andy’s Last Beer, Walletsworth, Push the Pig > 1348 > Upward, The Haunt > The Fussy DutchmanSet 2: 40’s Theme, FF > 1348, Conduit > Hangover, Domino Theory, Dump City, The FloorEncore: Higgins[Setlist via All Things Umphrey’s, photos via Ojeda Photography – full gallery below]
You may not know Andy Carroll‘s name, but if you have ever seen a full scale The String Cheese Incident production, wandered the Electric Forest, or the Suwannee Hulaween’s Spirit Lake you certainly know his work. Serving for more than a decade as Cheese’s lightning director and de facto art director, including some of their legendary “Incidents,” Carroll has since moved away from the knobs and slides of the light board and is now responsible for some of America’s most impressive fusions of art and music.For the Suwannee Hulaween, which will be held at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL from October 28-30 (tickets and more info here), Carroll curates Spirit Lake, a veritable cornucopia of natural art installations, free floating fractal imagery, fire breathing dragons and things beyond imagining. A simple stroll around the shore is akin to wandering through portals into parallel, psychedelic dimensions of mad creative expression.Before opening new vortexes for the incoming hordes of Hulaween faithful to explore our own Rex Thomson caught up with Carroll to learn the path that led him to his place as one of the finest art directors in the industry. Enjoy!Live For Live Music: It’s amazing how inspiration can affect different people different ways. While onstage inspiration gets turned into sound, in the fields you help folks turn their inspiration to physical arts. Do you see any difference in the creative well springs, or is it all one shining light of creation?Andy Carroll: That’s a good question. In a way it all comes from the same place, and in a way it doesn’t. One thing that is definitely different is how we interact with the different kinds of art. Music is in the air, the art I deal with is something tangible. You can interact with it, be surrounded by it. People connect with it in different ways.L4LM: Some of the efforts of you and the team of artists you have assembled have become permanent installations in the Spirit Of Suwannee Music Park. How does it feel to contribute art that will be enjoyed by people for years to come?AC: It’s nice, but we are more concerned with making new art. We will be bringing back some of what we have done in the past, but we are focused on making new wonderful, crazy things for people to enjoy.L4LM: One of the things I liked best about the installations you do is the use of indigenous materials to create intricate all natural display. How do you decide what elements of the region to focus on?AC: I love incorporating nature into our installations. Any chance we have to bring the world around the music into the decorations, we’re happy to do it.L4LM: Let’s get some perspective on your personal artistic viewpoint. What’s your artistic background?AC: I don’t necessarily have one. I was into art, and I was encouraged by my parents to pursue art, like drawing. I got into lighting live music. I was with the String Cheese Incident for sixteen years, up until just a couple years ago. It was during that time that I kinda got tossed into doing art on a large level, to the point where it became a career.It started with the lighting world, the concert lighting world, but over the years as the art crept in more and more it really transformed what I was doing into a different experience.Now I focus not so much on the music, but what happens between the stages. My focus is to make it so there is more immersive, interactive stuff for the patrons to enjoy other than just going to the concert.It makes the whole experience this incredible new thing that is just continuing to unfold before their eyes. Each year brings out new things from artists who are from all around the world. I love working with these artists and designers to make this a truly next level experience for the people. It is super fun, but it’s not the way I envisioned it going. It came about so organically… right time, right place I suppose.L4LM: Artists are known for their mediums. Would it be fair to classify what you do as designing interactive outdoor displays?AC: That would be a fair way to describe it I guess. Really what I do is to try and make it so artists can share their craft with the world.L4LM: For a project like Hulaween, you bring teams of artists assigned to different areas. How many people would you say end up working on projects you’re overseeing?AC: Oh wow. I’d say it’s a couple hundred all together between the artists, lightning crew and so on. Actually, that’s one of the hardest parts of what I do, organizing and coordinating who goes where and when.L4LM: It’s always the most difficult part of being in charge… organization.AC: Exactly. And you know artists…no offense to them, I am one myself…but artists can be difficult. Artists have these fantastic creative minds but when it comes to thinking logistically…getting them organized is really a challenge. Keeping these people on point, it’s difficult. But these things have to get done by the time the show starts. The show MUST go on.There’s a timeline we have to stick to…so we have to keep everyone working full time to get these things done by the time the curtain goes up, so to speak. Everyone is pretty good about bringing it in on time. We make it happen. L4LM: What’s the process like to bring an idea to you and the event and see it turned into a reality?AC: There’s a range of ways. Between random emails or calls…some see me at the events and hit me up there. On the website we put out a call for artist submissions. I get lots of messages that are basically “Yeah…I’m so-and-so and here’s my idea. Can we make this happen?”Then we get into a back and forth, and try and figure out whether it’s a good fit, and whether we can make it happen. I really try and include just about everybody. I feel like it is a good opportunity for the people who want to be involved in this world. I try and find a place for them in Spirit Lake. And sure, maybe it’s just a small little nook, but they get to have the experience. Planning their art, pitching their art, bringing it and sharing it with everyone…that’s a pretty enriching experience. It can really turn them on, and I want to give them that opportunity. Then there’s a lot of artists I’ve wanted to work with for a long time at other events, like Burning Man or whatever. I’ll reach out to them and say “Hey, we’ve got this event on Halloween weekend, it’s amazing, your art is amazing, let’s try and work it out.” There’s these art things that go viral on Facebook and social media, and I’ll try and track down their name or their website. Then I basically reach out, “cold call” them, and try and get them to do something with us. Sometimes they’re local, sometimes they’re on the other side of the world. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. But now I have this epic roster of artists in my Rolodex that I talk to throughout the year. Between the random calls to me and the random calls I’ve made and the random calls to me, it’s built up pretty quick. Sometimes I’ll have this list of five artists that I really, REALLY want to work with and I’ll be totally disappointed if I lose even one of them. And that happens, but three other ones I hadn’t even just pop up. It always seems to work out great. And the more this event goes on, the more people who hear about it, the more artists see what’s going on and think to themselves “Wow, that would be really cool to be part of.”L4LM: You have a great canvas for them to work on as well.AC: Yeah, The Spirit Of Suwannee Music Park really adds to the experience as well, obviously. My friends and my wife, they all went to school in Florida. When those friends find out what I do, they go “Oh my god! I’ve been going there since I was a little kid!” People love that place, and that connection helps a lot too.It’s a draw on its own. People are ready to go there just to be there. And then when we add in a really cool event like Hulaween, that just makes it all the more cool.L4LM: One of the recurring themes in your art environments is my favorite element…FIRE! Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to play with it?AC: Yeah, totally. But it’s so primal. It gives light, it gives warmth. It’s awesome to have this event at The Suwannee Music Park where we actually can have fire. Most places don’t even allow it at all. Between fire marshals or whoever…and dry weather years, it’s tough to get it approved almost anywhere. I know Florida can have dry weather years too, but it’s usually pretty well hydrated. And we always take the proper precautions as well. But it’s super fun and I love it. Everybody loves fire. It totally takes things over the top, and I am very happy to be bringing it back this year.L4LM: Is there an overall theme to the madness or is it just chaos?AC: Not necessarily either, actually. We’re more just about general creativity. We want people to be inspired. And we want these artists to bring that inspiration, whether from something they saw at Spirit Lake last year, some other event or just out of their own imaginations to Spirit lake. I love the feeling of knowing that someone was inspired by something they saw and brought art into their own regular lives. I like thinking that someone was inspired by something they saw, and went home and had that thought, like “Oh my gosh! We could do that! You know we could do that! We’ve got all those materials piled up behind your house that’s been sitting there for ever. We could do that!”I love that sort of general creativity. But with it being on Halloween, we do have that scary, fun vibe to play with. I like starting with the waves of creative passion that flow free through the artists, and to find something in that that we can make real. I want artists to bring their work to Spirit lake, and for that to turn the next group on.L4LM: Any hints you can drop about this year’s mayhem to come?AC: No specifics, other than it’s going to be super awesome. There are some amazing new things coming from previous artists and new things from new people that take stuff in directions we haven’t even thought of going before. It’s gonna be amazing, but I just can’t give it away yet. You’ll have to come see for yourself!L4LM: Well, judging from how few tickets are left, I’m guessing there will be plenty of people getting lost inside the world you’re helping to create. Thanks for taking some time from your mad scheming to chat with us about the fun to come at Hulaween.AC: Thank you! I’m really looking forward to this.For tickets and information about Suwannee Hulaween, head to the official website. Photos for this article were taken by Dave Vann for a Spirit Lake feature that ran in 2015.
With the recent release of his Blue Mountain album, Bob Weir is gearing up for a short, cross-country tour in support of the new release. Dubbed the “Campfire Tour,” Weir was slated to play with a small ensemble that included The National’s Aaron Dessner. Today, however, Weir announced that the lineup for his tour would be slightly changing, due to a family emergency with Dessner.With Dessner unable to perform, Weir called up his old friend Steve Kimock for the job, joining Weir on guitar and lap steel. Additionally, Jon Shaw of Shakey Graves and WOLF! will also be joining the band, lending his multi-instrumental talents on mandolin, piano, upright bass and backing vocals.The tour kicks off on October 7th at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, CA, followed by a jaunt across the nation in support of Blue Mountain. Check out the tour schedule below.Bob Weir Blue Mountain Campfire TourSan Rafael, CAMarin County Civic CenterOctober 7, 2016Oakland, CAFox Theatre OaklandOctober 8, 2016Los Angeles, CAThe WilternOctober 10, 2016Upper Darby, PAThe Tower TheatreOctober 12, 2016Brooklyn, NYThe Kings TheatreOctober 14-15, 2016Port Chester, NYThe Capitol TheatreOctober 16, 2016Nashville, TNRyman AuditoriumOctober 19, 2016
Last night, Widespread Panic continued their three-night stand at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, CO, treating fans to more bust outs, covers, and highlights for this Halloweekend celebration.The show opened with “Coconut,” which was busted out earlier this year. This was the first time the song opened a show since 2007, giving the show a special start for the fans. “Dirty Business” made its first appearance of 2016 in that first set as well, and the band rocked it along with hits like “Sharon,” “Sell Sell” and a set-closing “Tail Dragger.”Though the second set was full of great Panic jamming, it was the show’s encore that truly provided the highlights of the night. The band opened up their encore with a cover of The Doors’ “L.A. Woman,” played for the first time since Halloween night of 2007. Nine years later, and the band really nailed it! Check out video of the bust out below, courtesy of MrTopDogger.Finally, the band continued their Black Sabbath streak with “Iron Man” to close out the show. “Iron Man” was another big bust out, as the band hadn’t played that since Halloween of 2011. The song marked the band’s seventh consecutive encore with a Black Sabbath cover, one for each night of this fall tour. All eyes are on tonight’s show, as fans wonder how this Sabbath theme will play into the Halloween performance.Check out the full setlist from last night below, courtesy of PanicStream.Setlist: Widespread Panic at 1STBANK Center, Broomfield, CO – 10/29/16Set 1 Coconut*, Holden Oversoul, Sleepy Monkey, Dirty Business** > Sharon, Sell Sell, Cease Fire, Jamais Vu, Tail Dragger (76 mins)Set 2 Surprise Valley > Tie Your Shoes > Surprise Valley > Blackout Blues, A Hard Rain’s A~Gonna Fall, Chainsaw City***, Mercy > Drumz > Hatfield, Love Tractor (80 mins)Encore L. A. Woman**** > Iron Man***** (14 mins)Notes* Last Opened 4.15.07 ~ Columbia, SC** LTP 10.25.15 ~ Milwaukee*** Jennifer Kreps on Shakere**** LTP 10.31.97 ~ NOLA ~ 1,462 shows ~ The Doors***** LTP 10.31.11 ~ Chicago ~ 309 shows
Just two weeks after their coveted run at Madison Square Garden, the beloved jam band Phish headed South for their second annual trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico. Heading into their only scheduled shows of 2017, Phish performed a strong opening night for the fans who made the trip down to Mexico.The band opened with their anthemic “Free”, as the lofty track encapsulated the freedom of the beachfront performances. The band continued with a nature-esque theme through the early part of the set, as they played Mike Gordon’s “Yarmouth Road” before bringing out “Sand” and the “Theme From The Bottom,” Phish then veered into their first cover of the night, “Funky Bitch,” before rocking out on tunes like “Undermind” and “NICU”. They continued the set with the relative-rarity, “Horn,” before closing out the first set with an all-out funk rager in “Wolfman’s Brother.” All the while, drummer Jon Fishman donned a “luchador” Mexican fighter mask that matched his well-known blue-and-red donut pattern, only bringing up the energy for the exciting performance.Watch “Free” below, courtesy of LivePhish.As to be expected, Phish let loose with a jam-heavy second set that focused on improvisational work from all four band members. They opened the set with the thematically appropriate “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing,” a number that waded into minor-key dissonant melodies before cruising into the funky rock rhythm of “The Wedge.” With the backdrop of palm trees in lieu of the band’s recent LED displays, songs like “The Wedge” truly found their place on the beach in Mexico.Watch “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” below, courtesy of LivePhish.The set continued with “Fuego,” a true highlight of the performance. This version of “Fuego” veered quickly into exploratory territory, as Phish worked into a melodic and uplifting jam session that was highlighted by Page McConnell‘s light touch on the keys. This was an all-time version of “Fuego,” approaching 20 minutes and veering heavily into uncharted waters.Phish ultimately reeled in the second set with a familiar “Prince Caspian,” keeping the melodic and lofty energy high throughout the lighthearted number. They continued to deliver some great jamming within the song “Twist,” which included a tease of the popular, and all-too-appropriate song, “Tequila.” Trey Anastasio worked out the melody, seemingly on the fly, but kept locked in the groove throughout the duration of the “Twist.”As the “Twist” jam continued to build, Trey gradually shifted the song into another great tune, “Seven Below.” The mellow vibes of “Seven Below” kept fans on their toes, before the band brought the set back into a classic from their catalog, “Golgi Apparatus.” The song was absent from the recent MSG run, and certainly brought smiles to the faces of those in attendance. They closed out the set with the absolute rock energy of “Run Like An Antelope,” a perfect ending to a great, flowing set of music.The encore saw the band bring out another rarity, “Contact,” a fun song from the Junta days. Finally, they ended the show with a ballad, choosing “Bug” as the last song of the encore. Though a slower song, Phish milked “Bug” for all that it’s worth, ending the night with an uplifting jam to send the fans home smiling.Phish will return to Riviera Maya for two more shows during this exciting run. Check out the Phish.net setlist, below, as well as a full gallery from photographer Chad Smith.Setlist: Phish | Barcelo Maya Beach | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 1/13/16Set 1: Free, Yarmouth Road, Sand, Theme From the Bottom > Funky Bitch, Undermind, NICU, Horn, Wolfman’s BrotherSet 2: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > The Wedge > Fuego > Prince Caspian > Twist > Seven Below > Golgi Apparatus > Run Like an AntelopeEncore: Contact, Bug Load remaining images
For the second night running, Gov’t Mule brought some pure guest-fueled fun to the shores of Runaway Bay in Jamaica. The band ultimately put down three sets, and though some were shortened by heavy rains in the area, nothing could thwart the pure rock and roll energy of the headlining band.The show’s opening set that came packed with covers of The Beatles, ZZ Top, and David Bowie as the first three songs, as well as a big version of “Mule” with saxophonist Ron Holloway in the mix. Set two would feature more special guests, including Nicki Bluhm for a pair of songs and some guitarwork from Marcus King on a cover of “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Watch Mule’s video of “Simple Man” below.After cutting the second set short during Bluhm’s performance of “Somebody To Love,” the band returned with a third set post-rain delay. After “Birth Of The Mule” with Holloway, the band welcomed out the Island Exodus Singers, Island Exodus Horns, Neal Evans, Alan Evans and Jack Ryan for a performance of the P-Funk classic “Flash Light.” They kept the energy going on “Pass The Peas,” though the Singers left the stage for the instrumental tune by The JBs. In their stead came Eric Krasno, completing the lineup for Soulive on stage with Gov’t Mule.Krasno would stay on stage for “Mountain Jam,” where guitarist Marcus King lent a hand to the Allman Brothers’ classic instrumental. Unfortunately, the mountains were no match for the rains, which returned to ultimately cut short the show without an encore.Check out the full setlist below, courtesy of Gov’t Mule.Setlist: Gov’t Mule | Island Exodus 8 | Runaway Bay, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica | 1/15/17Set 1:And Your Bird Can SingJust Got PaidRebel RebelThelonius BeckDolphineus >Painted Silver Light >Child Of The EarthGame Face with Birdland teaseCapturedMule with Ron Holloway, Jungle Boogie/Getaway teasesSet 2:Mr. High & MightySteppin’ Lightly (Reggae Version)Simple Man with Marcus KingWild Horses with Nicki BluhmSomebody To Love with Nicki Bluhm***Set ended due to rain.***Set 3:Birth Of The Mule with Ron HollowayFlash Light > with Island Exodus Singers, Island Exodus Horns, Neal Evans, Alan Evans, & Jack RyanPass The Peas with Island Exodus Horns, Neal Evans, Alan Evans, Eric Krasno & Jack RyanMountain Jam with Marcus King, Eric Krasno & Jack Ryan***There was no encore due to more rain.***Island Exodus Singers (Nicki Bluhm, Machan Taylor, Mini Carlsson & Debrissa McKinney)Island Exodus Horns (Ron Holloway, Justin Johnson & Dean Mitchell)
South Floridians enjoyed a beautiful evening under the stars at this past Saturday night’s A Day At The Beach Concert Series at the North Beach Bandshell in Miami Beach, FL. With performances from Roosevelt Collier’s Phunk Factory along with a rare stateside performance by legendary James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley & The New JB’s, fans were grooving all night long.Roosevelt’s Phunk Factory featured various South Florida musicians, including Chad Bernstein of Guitars Over Guns on trombone, Jim Wuest of The Heavy Pets on keys, event organizer Jose Elias of Spam AllStars and Nag Champayons on guitar, Kenneth Earl Walker II of The Lee Boys on drums, Leo Brooks on bass, Sonny East on guitar, Steve Kornicks on percussion, with Alejandro Elizondo on vocals for “Move On Up” and Derrick Lee, also of the Lee Boys, offering vocals on “Standing On Shaky Ground” & “Superstition.” Enjoy video of their performance, compliments of CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS.Headlining the evening, Fred Wesley & The New JB’s took the crowd on an hour and a half odyssey of jazz/funk classics including Fred’s own “Bop To The Boogie” and Earl King’s “Trick Bag,” before inviting Roosevelt Collier and Chad Bernstein back to the stage to close the set with a cover of fellow James Brown saxophonist Maceo Parker’s “Pass The Peas,” James Brown’s infectious “Gonna Have A Funky Good Time” and set closer “House Party.” Watch the final three songs, below.[Images provided by Susan Caplan Photography]For fans of the Roosevelt Collier funk, don’t miss his performance with guitarist Rob Compa (Dopapod), bassist Chuck Jones (Dopapod), and drummer Isaac Teel (TAUK) coming up on Friday, February 24th at American Beauty in New York, NY. The band will be performing a very special tribute to Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, honoring the short-lived super group with funky takes on their classic music. You can read more about the music here, and details about the event can be found on our calendar.
Setlist: Spafford | Bluebird Theater | Denver, CO | 4/1/2017Set One: Backdoor Funk , People, Minds Unchained, Parody > It’s A Bunch, All In , Beautiful DaySet Two: Take Your Mama, The Postman > Palisaides > Electric Taco Stand > Leave The Light OnEncore: Galisteo Way > Electric Taco Stand Mike’s Song fake out intro,  With Jaden Carlson, Spafford and Mungion made their way to Denver, Colorado, over the weekend, performing at The Bluebird Theater on Saturday. I was lucky enough to make it to their Saturday performance, a sold-out show that packed the Bluebird. As someone who had never seen Spafford live before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect; while I’ve met many self-proclaimed Spaffnerds, I’d never previously taken the time to get a true sense of what the band is all about. I realize that was a mistake now, following the smokin’ Saturday show.To kick off the night, Spafford started out their April Fool’s show with the opening riffs of Phish’s “Mike’s Song,” a power move that had the crowd roaring at the start of their set before the band quickly but decisively dropped into “Backdoor Funk,” with guitarist Brian Moss grinning and announcing “Gotcha!” From this quick transition on, the members of Spafford were truly dialed into one another, treating the audience to a consistently tight performance.As this was my first show, one thing that stood out was the group’s remarkable ability to change their sound on the drop of a dime without the transitions feeling jarring or abrasive. The range of the genres they covered during the show was expansive, with jams infused with nods to reggae, funk, classic rock, metal, and jamtronica throughout. What’s interesting about Spafford and what sets them apart is that they distinctly honored each of these sounds, with a given jam dropping from a frenzied, shred-heavy climax into a funky bass-driven groove with decisiveness and clarity.Evidenced throughout the night was also the fact that Spafford draws inspiration from a bunch of other jam bands on the scene; however, while this is probably true of many jam acts, Spafford made clear these musical influences. After the “Mike’s Song” tease, the jam segment of “Backdoor Funk” settled into a smooth and laid-back, electronic-tinged groove reminiscent of the Disco Biscuits, with Red Johnson on the keys leading the way with his cascading synth. Later in the show, as the band jammed from “Parody” into “It’s A Bunch,” you could clearly hear the influence of Umphrey’s McGee calculated prog-rock imbued at points into the improvisation.Halfway through the first set, Jaden Carlson, the Boulder-based prodigy, joined Spafford for a take on “All In.” Carlson dropped a number of soaring guitar solos in between verses of the triumphant song before the song’s improvisational section, which mediated between more fluid segments emphasized by tumbling guitars and forceful rock-fused recapitulations. Following the song’s end, she departed the stage to thunderous applause, leaving Spafford to continue to do their thing on the track “Beautiful Day.”Seeing Spafford on Saturday was a treat, leaving no doubts as to why the band has been so steadily moving up the ranks of jam bands on the scene. While other bands may try to take all their various influences and mesh them together, Spafford celebrated a diversity of genres while putting their own special twist on them. Many groups mumble but Spafford enunciates, and it’s clear that their fans love them all the more for it. Plus, the group was beyond tight, with the high-caliber musicianship of their members allowing them to pull off such a range of styles in a way that was not just effective, but also refreshing.You can check out photos from Saturday’s show below, courtesy of Peter Wallace. You can also watch a video of Jaden Carlson and Spafford during “All In” below, courtesy of the Jaden Carlson Band. Spafford continues their tour through to the summer, with a bunch of dates across the Midwest and East. You can check out their website to see if they’ll be hitting a town near you. Load remaining images
Arcade Fire are currently on tour for their Infinite Content Tour, rocking across the UK and Europe in support of their upcoming album Everything Now, co-produced by Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter – due out July 28. The indie rockers are having a ton of fun, as displayed through the video below from Thursday night’s show in Edinburgh, Scotland. After a huge show at the Corn Exchange, the band surprised fans with an impromptu jam in the middle of the lobby. They even handed out cups of water to the thirsty fans! It was a trust artist-fan experience.Watch the fun in the video below, as taped by David Price:Setlist: Arcade Fire | Corn Exchange | Edinburgh, Scotland | 6/8/17Wake Up (Acoustic), Everything Now, Signs of Life, Here Comes the Night Time, HaïtiRebellion (Lies), No Cars Go, Neon Bible, Suburban War, Month of May (Tour debut), Ready to Start, Reflektor, Afterlife, We Exist, Creature Comfort, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) [‘Damian Taylor Remix’ intro][H/T CoS]