PAGE McCONNELL | 04.04.07 | NYC

Listen to Page McConnell on Rhapsody...

Words by: Martin Halo :: Images by: Rod Snyder

Page McConnell :: 04.04.07 :: Gramercy Theatre :: New York, New York


Page McConnell :: 04.04.07
Following the last Phish shows on August 15, 2004 at Coventry, keyboardist Page McConnell has been relatively quiet. While Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon have each gone on to participate in a number of projects, Page has remained almost silent. With his show on April 4 in New York City and self-titled solo debut set for release on Tuesday April 17, the silence has been broken.

The anticipation for Page's first show back was palpable and for the most part fulfilled desires. Welcoming back a slew of faithful fans, Page performed a short set that showcased material off the upcoming release. The album, which was recorded during the first half of 2006 in Vermont and New York City, features contributions by Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman. The touring line-up at the Gramercy included Adam Zimmon (guitar), Jared Slomoff (guitar/Fender Rhodes), Rob O'Dea (bass) and Gabe Jarrett (drums). Buried awkwardly inside of Midtown Manhattan, the converted film house swelled to its 800-seat capacity long before the house lights fell. Peering through spectacles, McConnell briefly greeted the audience, stepped behind an engulfing sea of keyboards and launched into "Back in the Basement."


Page McConnell :: 04.04.07
With bars located on opposite walls, the vibe was that of a bustling lounge rather than an intimate conversation between the artist and audience. A heavy haze rose from the stage as video projection screens displayed psychedelic charms on the walls above the stash of booze.

After an extended jam, "Runaway Bride" followed and the crowd eased into the new material. McConnell removed his glasses and took a quick swill from his beer before starting the piano opus, "Maid Marian." Melodic harmonies dominated this number and further unified the crowd's grasp for musical transcendence.

The performance was further enhanced by lighting director Chris Kuroda, whose post-Phish credits include the Black Crowes masterful reunion run at Hammerstein Ballroom in 2005 and New Year's Eve at Madison Square Garden later that same year. Kuroda casually smoked cigarettes behind the light board while his lights danced off the notes like playful fireflies on a moonless summer's evening.


Page McConnell :: 04.04.07
The jams were loose, held together by Slomoff and McConnell's foundation, which teetered on the verge of musical catastrophe with every passing moment. Now chugging along at full steam, the performance spiked with a jam led by Zimmon's guitar before giving way to "Close to Home" and a set-capping "Beauty of a Broken Heart."

McConnell returned to warm, affectionate waves of appreciation for his efforts to add another chapter to the Phish legacy. Beneath a spotlight, he delivered a beautiful rendition of "Strange Design" and the crowd exploded. The band reemerged for "Everyone But Me." As the music faded, people threw roses on stage, thanking McConnell for a good night.

JamBase | NYC
Go See Live Music!

McConnell's s official tour kicks off in Burlington, Vermont at the Higher Ground on May 30, and will keep the band playing mostly east of the Mississippi until mid-June.

Full tour dates available HERE.

http://www.pagemcconnell.com/

[Published on: 4/12/07]

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Comments

bsclowds starstarstar Thu 4/12/2007 06:07PM
+8 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I'm not sure what to think of this review..I wasn't at the show but it seems like the review didn't do the music justice. Interesting story, but not I wanted more of a concert review.

I wanna hear about the lyrics, how the band played together, what the crowd reaction was, etc and not when page took a sip from his beer

schwartzm starstar Thu 4/12/2007 06:35PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The band sounds good (studio), but I was never and am still not a fan of Page's vocals. We need a better review of the show!

Arturo star Thu 4/12/2007 07:13PM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Page drank a beer, Chris Kuroda smoked a cigarette and my cat's breath smells like cat food. That's fantastic.
And not to sound like I wear a grammar hammock, but...
"...Page McConnell has been relatively quite." Quiet?

Marcsmall Thu 4/12/2007 07:15PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Marcsmall

Yaaaaawwwwn

cliffcliffordjr starstarstarstar Thu 4/12/2007 07:15PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

cliffcliffordjr

Wow, I don't know what to make of this or of the above first two comments.

I thought the review was well written, but do agree, more about the lyrics, the band, and the crowd would have been nice.

Having seen Page's real first performance of this solo material at MOE.Down last September, I can tell you all as well that Page's vocals sucked at that performance. If you search this site, you can find my MOE.Down review and my thoughts of page's Performance there. Not that I am the only judge.

Overall, I think the review was well written. As a writer myself, I'll look to it as a model when I write. Nice Pics too.

I wanna be a fan. Hopefully I can catch one of his shows this summer, and be more satisfied.

jhacketh1 star Thu 4/12/2007 07:28PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

jhacketh1

I just listened to this show at sugarmegs.org and was actually "quite" impressed. A very diverse setlist with some hard rocking moments, some very phishy jams, and page's usual sentimental side that didn't seem too sappy. This will be a great warm up for phish reunion NYE 2008!

All Loving Liberal White Guy Thu 4/12/2007 09:56PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

All Loving Liberal White Guy

good write up. i'm kinda anxious and hopeful for vida blue to get another album out there. honestly, page was and is really the only member of phish who's solo/side projects have been really good.

i'm also wondering what we'll see first? will it be a phish reunion or the release of guns n' roses "chinese democracy" ?

The Grand Wazoo Thu 4/12/2007 10:15PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The Grand Wazoo

^^^^

I really like Mike's side projects with Leo Kotke way more than Vida Blue.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 03:38AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I thought vida blue was cool, but Page was bad about not paying attention to the other members or giving cues.
This is merely something I think I read on jambase back when VB was playing. I just liked the members of VB, and the cd has some rippin ass music on it. where's popeyes?? :P

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 04:07AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

u know. this review gives me hardly ANY insight into this performance. will a REAL PERSON tell me if it was any good?
thanks.

ScIFreak starstarstarstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 04:25AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ScIFreak

Yea I have to admit I kind of want to know how he sounds. But oh well all I have to do is wait for June 12 in Detroit, so I'll just be patient. I think after a good few years, they might want to reunite who knows. With Phish they were all Gods, now separated they are mortals.

waster Fri 4/13/2007 04:38AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

worst review ever.

jhrt3349 Fri 4/13/2007 06:36AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

jhrt3349

paul giamatti rises again!

Dnumde Fri 4/13/2007 06:45AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Dnumde

Leo is one of a kind. I wish i could have been there, but it just makes the anticipation that much more intense as i wait for his upcoming tour. Ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the board has returned!

torn&treyed Fri 4/13/2007 07:07AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

wow what a lame name for a song run away bride

funkmeup starstar Fri 4/13/2007 07:25AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

funkmeup

Wow he does look like paul giamatti with that hair.

There's some insight for y'all. Enjoy.

Michael9 starstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 08:17AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I went to this show and thought it was not just good but great. Memorable songs and strong jams for the entire show. Page took each element that made him interesting in phish and put it into his solo stuff while expanding on it. The band was good too. Page obviously played the most prominent role but everyone else in the band contributed. The rhythm section held everything down but didn't stand out too much. Jared played guitar and keyboard and basically helped page maintain the structure of each song. The guitar player was impressive and led some of the jams along w/ page. If you liked "page songs" or moments at phish shows you'll really like his new band. Also, after the show the consensus was that everyone in the audience was impressed w/ the band and thought the show was solid. Great show.

BigBear40 starstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 08:20AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

BigBear40

This show was a real treat. The majority of his new songs are good accompanied by solid jams. Some of them had a "Phishy" feel to them but overall they are just good tunes. There were 1 or 2 slower songs that need a little work or serve as a bathroom break. Page and Jared Slomoff harmonize really well and definitely compliment one another. Great to see Kuroda's lights again, he really knows the music. By the time the tour starts they will have worked out all of the kinks and all of you will be in for a real treat. There was camera crew that filmed the whole show. Here is to hoping they will release some of the footage.

mackadocious Fri 4/13/2007 08:21AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

mackadocious

Honestly I get bent out of shape when people diss Page, especially his voice. If you want to hear some garbage singing listen to Rob or Al from moe. or Chris Cornell. When Phish played I always wanted Page to do more singing. I thought his moe.down show was bangin'. I'll buy his cd next tuesday and I'll pay to see him again on tour. Page is El Hombre.

deadpig79 Fri 4/13/2007 08:26AM
Show -12 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Daddyphatsacks starstarstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 08:40AM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Daddyphatsacks

It's great to see one of our favorites taking his career in a new direction.

chasetc20 starstarstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 08:44AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

so impressive Page is incredible no matter who you throw him with

phalluscooper Fri 4/13/2007 09:46AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

phalluscooper

"The jams were loose, held together by Slomoff and McConnell's foundation, which teetered on the verge of musical catastrophe with every passing moment"

What does that mean? The show was great, mediocre, sucked...what?

ajerk Fri 4/13/2007 12:53PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ajerk

what about the MagicBurps.com

weirman029 Fri 4/13/2007 01:26PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

weirman029

... overall, i wouldve loved to have seen page do his thing, but if its just a page show, i would want more than just one set..... i understand he doesnt have all the material to work with, but idk, maybe some covers and some special guest... maybe a couple phish songs..... but it still sounds great!! strange design wouldve been amazing to hear

chrisprice star Fri 4/13/2007 02:38PM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
realimage starstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 06:05PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

It's good to see Vince Welnick back onstage.

dannymo starstarstarstarstar Fri 4/13/2007 07:20PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

the chairman is back

BGsteveBG starstarstarstarstar Sat 4/14/2007 06:03PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

BGsteveBG

Just bought my Page tickets today! I hope he chugs beer at that show. Vic theatre here we come!

All Loving Liberal White Guy Sat 4/14/2007 06:39PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

All Loving Liberal White Guy

Daddyphatstacks,

How come you ain't reppin' the mullett?!

knibbs Tue 4/17/2007 12:28AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

knibbs

loved Vida Blue, sure I'll dig this shit. Page is the man one of the reasons I've dug Phish for so long, can't wait for that Vic show in Chi.

PhishHookz Tue 4/17/2007 10:55AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

PhishHookz

THE F@*%ING CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS!
ITS ALL ABOUT PAGE RIGHT NOW! GET YOU TIX WHILE YOU CAN SUCKAS

redwhiteandgreen Tue 4/17/2007 03:38PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

redwhiteandgreen

Page is a great guy and has had a great musical career...This new stuff is ok at best...no offense, it's just like a solo Mick Jagger or Bob Weir album...in time we will realize this...support Page and go see live music, just please realise that there is much more vital music being made RIGHT NOW!!! Stretch yourselves out Jamband fans...Show the naysayers that we go deeper the Phish, the Dead, Umphree's etc.

apparition06 Wed 4/18/2007 12:09AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

apparition06

Zangaiwa,

Jambo, Sanibona, Welcome back Mr. Page McConnell! I love what you are doing for music and the scene and thanks for releasing your debut album. It means so much to us. It is great to see you having fun touring, composing more and recording again. I love your style and playing. Keep Rockin'....

A Fellow Music Lover and Musician,
Stephen Adamski

wraugustus1 starstarstarstar Wed 4/18/2007 02:36PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

trey who?? Page is like the George Harrison of Phish. A tremendous musician who never gets the respect he deserves. What makes him and George Harrison special is they can deal with that and make beautiful music about it! Long live Page and Mike, and Fishman for President in 08!!

EVILFUNK starstarstarstar Fri 4/20/2007 11:58AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

EVILFUNK

a big reason i took to reading my news about jambands here as opposed to say..RS, for example is that i want a fans perspective. someone who speaks my languege a bit. not some overpaid schmuck from the mass media...they all say the same things...these people are reviewing underpants in the fashion section the next day.... jambase and the jam sites offered a different perspective than the mass media. this does seem to be changing a bit theese days but this review reminds me of the old days when we were jam people writing for other jam people with no reguard for genere or industry bullshit.

id rather read a review that is less than perfect than one by a professional writer who is just regergitating shit they read in the bands bio, any day.

nikolaivaluev starstarstarstar Fri 4/27/2007 01:16PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Page done good. This album rules. Can't wait till Irving.

vernoislawnboy star Mon 5/7/2007 08:40AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

vernoislawnboy

when is the next phish show

Polkoka starstarstar Sat 6/2/2007 09:03PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I'm just glad Page is back in action, and i hope he stays in the scene for a long time. I still miss my phish.

Tom Law starstarstar Wed 6/6/2007 02:01PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Tom Law

I haven't heard the new album yet, but I did like the Vida Blue album. I didn't really the live stuff with Spam Allstars, though I did like the guitar player Zimmon's playing. Having quit the ganj lately I'm not sure I would like the VB album much now either. I liked when Phish played that VB song back on 2-26-03. In light of Trey's drug testing program for the next 14 months (one down!) I think any thoughts of a reunion are pure folly. Also, I listened to the TAB Chicago Theatre shows from '03 and it reminded me how much I like that band, which is essentially what Trey was doing as of this past March 9nth. His playing wasn't quite as strong recently, but not that far off and I'm confident that a drug-free Trey can get back to those June '03 levels if not better than that. One question will be if he can handle the pressure of performance without relapsing, as 'ol Red in the slammer might be a death sentence. I don't think you'll see any kind of tour until his testing program is done, which puts us at July of '08. In the meantime we might get another Seis de Mayo type of effort. The older they get though, the less chance of a Phish reunion. I thought Phish was very good at IT in 03' and if they could somehow be at least that good and never worse, it might be worth it. I doubt they could maintain even that level of performance and any less would just further damage their legacy like 2004 did. If Trey could write more rock-oriented music then I wish 70 Volt Parade could take another go at it. Otherwise, one more good 11-piece TAB album and tour would be cool. Maybe I'm discounting the cababilities of a 45+ Trey but I've felt that Phish is young man's music. I did see Ravi Shankar tear it up at 80 years old so who knows. Who here could really see Trey bust out a killer Divided Sky at 50 years old?
What do you guys think?