After patiently waiting over four years for Phish to reunite, we admit, we got a little excited. Now with two legs of a summer tour behind us and the Hampton shows feeling like they were actually about four years ago, it’s time to regroup and look around a little. Our other favorite bands have been playing too and it’s time to see what we missed.
Sure, Phish may have snagged the headlines throughout the summer, but there have been no shortage of big shows and bust outs around the horn, so lets share the wealth and see what’s been going down.
Frog Legs – The Disco Biscuits, Mariaville, NY 7/18/09
Billed as “The Perfume vs. Tractorbeam” at this summer’s Camp Bisco, the Disco Biscuits treated fans to a set of instrumental non-stop jamming and creative twists on their originals. Don’t quote me on this, but essentially Tractorbeam plays jammed out lyricless Disco Biscuits mayhem, whereas The Perfume takes the existing material and transforms it into alternative genres like honky tonk, techno, hip hop, etc. Here we have a sample from the Perfume in the form of a fun “Devo” version of Frog Legs.
Mantis Ghetts – Umphrey’s McGee, Des Moines, IA 7/15/09
Presumably named as such because it would make for some mean backround music to a ghetto gangsta rap tune (or not), Umphrey’s McGee busted out Mantis Ghetts for the first time ever at the great highway 80 food oasis, Des Moines, Iowa. Mantis Ghetts made for an exciting bust out as its only previous circulation came in level 8 of the special downloads made available by the bands innovative PUSH technology in conjunction with the recent studio release of Mantis. This all-instrumental beat-driven jam maintains the same dark feeling throughout, but remains fresh all the while with dueling guitar melodies, a big buildup, and an eerie keyboard lullabye to close it out.
READ ON for more jam band bust outs…
See Me, Feel Me – Assembly of Dust, Bridgeport, CT, 7/25/09
To close out their performance at the Gathering of the Vibes, AOD melts into the Who’s epic tune from Tommy, See Me, Feel Me, and rips it apart. Former Strangefolk frontman and Emusic exec Reid Genauer does a nice job emulating Roger Daltrey’s tough to handle vocals; guitarist Adam Terrell provides blistering lead work; and the whole band keeps the energy rising throughout.
Other One – moe., Asbury Park, NJ 7/4/09
When it comes to holiday celebrations, the rest of the religious world may place the most emphasis on big dogs like Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Eater, Passover, and so on, but jam bands celebrate with a different pecking order: 1) New Years Eve, 2) Halloween, and 3) the 4th of July. This year, the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ played host to one of the summer’s finest Independence Day celebrations with moe. handling the main duties followed by late night festivities by U-Melt.
moe. provided a great first set highlighted by their first Other One in 115 shows. While clocking in at just four minutes, it’s four dark angry minutes. Of all the thousands of bands that have covered the Dead over the years, moe. plays some of the coolest interpretations, because they really do not hold back on the lead guitar. Whereas most guitarists tend to try to emulate Jerry’s more laid back psychedelic style, moe. just simply makes it sound like moe. This Other One segment cuts off rather abruptly as it is part of one giant segue first set, so if you like it, definitely grab the whole set. It’s quite epic.
Atlantic City, U-Melt, Asbury Park, NJ 7/4/09
Later that night, U-Melt succumbed to a longtime desire to cover the Boss by playing homage not only to the USA, but also his native digs for a local New Jersey crowd. U-Melt is probably better known for their complex compositions and fluid improvisation, but this cover shows that keyboard player Zac Lasher really commands a great voice. Obviously, Lasher does not sound exactly like the Boss, but he sure sings this song well and the bouncing piano accents only add to this uplifting treat.