I was more pumped for this show than I’ve been for a long time. It’s been several years since I last saw Terrapin Flyer and it takes me back to the college days when I first started really expanding my musical boundaries at places like the now closed Kinetic Playground. And what could enhance this grateful dead experience more than adding Mark Karan of Ratdog and Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band!
Another reason to be excited was the venue. I fondly remember Martyr’s for being home to a weekly cornmeal show while I was in college and was excited to be seeing one of my favorite members Wavy Dave!
I showed up to the sold out show about half way through the first set and the crowd was going absolutely nuts. Everyone dancing and singing, smiles on every face , and it was easy to see why! The sounds of the grateful dead filled the room as Mark Karan and Melvin Seals showed off everything they had learned and cultivated while touring with Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia.
The most memorable part of the show to me was Melvin Seals. The ease with which he seems to play the keys is unbelievable. Unbelievable music comes from what seems to be little to no effort. It literally looks like his arms and hands aren’t even moving sometimes! Unreal. The man is truly stands out in the show and adds a layer to the Dead’s music that could only have come from playing with Jerry for 15 years.
The members comprising Terrapin Flyer at this show were:
Wavy Dave Burlingame – Bass
Mark Karan – Lead Guitar
Melvin Seals – Hammond B3
JP Nowak – Drums
Doug Hagman – Rhythm Guitar
Set 1 –> Harder They Come, TLEO, Big River, Brother John, Waiting For A Miracle, Good Morning Lil Schoolgirl#, Dear Prudence#, Breadbox (# Kris Nowak on guitar)
Set 2 –> Shakedown@ > Thats What Love Will Make You Do@, Drove Ol Dixie Down, Highway 61, Tore Up, Lucky Ole Sun, Lovelight, OMSN (@ Janis Wallin on bass and Jim Farmer on drums)
E –> Sugaree
Summer Camp 2013…will we hear the Main Squeeze? Let your voice be heard.
Set: Sign, Seal, Delivered, I Wish, All I Do, Too High, Livin for the City> Boogie On Reggae Woman> Contusion> Sir Duke, Love In Need Of Love Today> Higher Ground.
There are no certainties in life, but good music speaks volumes. I know this much…Summer Camp could used to get “squeezed”. The Main Squeeze, hailing from Bloomington, IN recently relocated to the Windy City and have been showing off their chops honed overseas in China, and down in Manchester, TN at a weekly Martyrs residency on Chicago’s north side.
For the third installment the quintet decided to bring out even more funkiness to the mix with a tribute to the sweet voiced lyrically masterful legend himself Mister Stevie Wonder. Corey Frye did major justice to the Rock Hall of Famer by elevating his vocals to near perfect harmonies. His energy and enthusiasm to the craft and a musical mentor are apparent in the passion he put forth throughout the set. He even donned the trademark shades and cracked a joke midway through the set jesting “It’s so dark with these on, I don’t know how Stevie did it.”
Speaking to keyboard/keytar player Ben “Smiley” Silverstein he explained due to a uppity neighbor near their practice space that liked peace and quiet over a late night rehearsals, they only had one real “run through” before the show! Amazing. However, these guys are professionals and know the songs backwards and forwards so the night went off without a hitch. Playing together for 3+ years they really have a comfortable flow and feel of when each should step out front to solo.
Having checked out Janis & Friends Stevie Wonder Tribute set at Abbey Pub for Halloween I was eager to see how their set stacked up, both from what songs they played and how they put their “twist” on what now are such iconic songs. They only thing that was missing besides the costumes (YouTube Jaik Willis as Big Bird for a laugh) was a horn section. Yet The Main Squeeze had a number of healthy keyboard solos where Silverstein really shone. Paired with mean electric guitar fills and a bass that kept the low end tight I really enjoyed this evening immensely.