The doors opened, tickets were purchased, and the lady, the boys, fam, and I were able to hit a handful of shows in the past few months. Masks up, gents. Then grab a beer so you can sing along. TRIED TO GRAB CLIPS FROM ALL THE SHOWS!
Billy Strings (Wang Theater, Boston): I’d been waiting to see the Kid Strings for some time and was incredibly impressed. The band was so in sync it was as if they had been jamming for decades. Every band member (bass, mandolin, banjo and Billy on guitar) not just Billy’s phenomenal vocals and signature plucking + ripping solos were certified eagle scouts themselves. Go see this man and enjoy the future of music as we know it blowing up before our eyes. They broke into several incredible jams that just brought the arena to its knees, hanging on every next note. The lights were incredible You can taste the Dead influences and jam band vibes they give off. Also, they play really whatever the fuck they want, and that’s just fine with me.
Little Feat (Portland, ME): The Feat bring a combo of soul, funk, rock and roll, jazz, southern blues and cajun vibes to each one of their albums. And this was my favorite show I’ve seen all year. I had no idea what to expect, despite them being a favorite of all time for certain. I believe they had 4 of the original 8 members remaining, but good lord in heaven did they put on a show. State Theater, center balcony with a perfect view of jam to jam to jam. I think they played every one of my favorite tunes, no lie. If they come to town, don’t miss out. Even if you aren’t familiar with their style, you will surely be impressed to say the least. Can’t say enough, will never forget this show long as I live.
Check out: Waiting for Columbus (One of the greatest R&R albums ever recorded), and their Feats Don’t Fail Me Now album, to start 😉 The below video may be the best thing I have heard all year…
Phish* (Atlantic City, NJ): Watched from a monitor (extenuating circumstances kept me from attending, to my great dismay – despite tickets purchased). But man – still my favorite band in the land and for good reason. You can’t truly replicate the level of continuity with a group of dudes still putting it out there for 2.5+ each night, in perfect sync, ready to jump into every and any jam that comes their way. Impressed as always.
TAB – Trey Anastasio Band (Thompson’s Point, ME): It’s like a WELL PACKED SANDWICH of incredible horns, very positive vibes, killer keys, drums, jazzier, and bluesier than your traditional jam band setting that cannot be missed. Next time they’re in town – don’t forget to buy! This is my 3rd TAB show and I cannot emphasize this enough as they have something for everyone to enjoy without the spaciness that draws people away from jam band(age)
Tedeschi Trucks Band (Orpheum, Boston): You know my opinion so I won’t ramble. We had some killer seats near the orchestra but was actually very refreshed to hear them both playing a lot of their new stuff but also a variety of covers I’ve never heard them play. Susan T sounded terrific and was the star, Derek a bit more subdued than recent shows we’ve seen but certainly had his share of jamming – and any jam from that brother is a sight to behold. I also LOVED how they dove deep into some jams which is a newer thing for them – great direction for the band and looking forward to #10.
Jack Broadbent (Passant, Cambridge): Saw this new fella at a small jazz club down an alley in Cambridge with max cap 30 people. Grabbed the last seats in the place and was incredibly impressed. Like a grungier, more soulful brit with a sharp tongue ripping tall boys and better guitarist (he played a mean slide), at that. He ended up opening for and playing with Little Feat in fact which was killer. Keep an eye out because I see major popularity coming.
Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros (Red Rocks, CO): Phenomenal performance from Bobby and Co. Red Rocks adds to the experience of course but it was the music that grabbed me. He played an absolutely outrageous setlist from Estimated Prophet to China Cat and everything in between. I was in heaven watching this and definitely a favorite of the year. He brought the horns in and I was VIBING on every note.
Kaytranada (HOB, Boston) – Admittedly, my biggest disappointment of the year. Not sure what was going on, but the visuals were weak, transitions were poor, he replayed the same songs in his encore and while I loved his edits he played I expected much more from a show I waited years for.
Yotto (Bijou, Boston) – This was a hell of a lot of fun! Bijou is a funky club, undoubtably. But the boys were out in force and the vibes, even from the opener, were incredible and we all had an awesome time. Best way to describe the tone was something akin to progressive, dark house. I danced the night away baby, and the lights were impressive for a small act. Finding the lesser known DJs and more underground vibes are what I have been into lately and am much more interested in seeing perform.
More to come…