The Slip put on another stellar show last Friday, March 23, at the Broadway Studios in San Francisco, a nice step up from the dingy Last Day Saloon, where they last visited. After a groovin set by mood food, The Slip took the stage and never looked back.
The audience was treated to a new instrumental to start off the first set and segued into an inspired "Honey Melon." The vibe inside this packed house began to lift while several folks outside were crossing their fingers in hopes of getting into this sold out show. Other highlights from the night included their take on Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-a-ning", and fan favorites "Cumulus" and "Alsoa" from their debut release, From The Gecko. In addition, special guest Grayson Farmer joined the band on trumpet for "Moral Decay" helping the trio make a connection for a better reflection, and he took it up a notch! As an added bonus, DJ Tobiwan spun turntable grooves in the back room during set break to keep the vibe alive.
The Slip’s cerebral style has the ability to envelop the audiences’ ears and minds in an effort to take them to a new level. The trio is made up of Brad Barr on guitar and vocals, his brother Andrew Barr on barefoot drums, and Marc Friedman on bass. Their sound is infectious and has the ability to stimulate the imagination of the audience. Their growing grassroots following adds to the vibe surrounding this strong jazz-oriented trio. Brad and Andrew's facial expressions make it obvious that these brothers are completely feeling the music and letting it flow through them, not from them. Brad’s new effects box emanates some incredible sounds, which allow his guitar to mimic sick DJ effects. The way that Andrew changes meter and produces syncopated drum beats is the perfect foundation for the jazzy interplay of Marc and Brad. With eyes closed and feet bare, the rhythm just bursts outward from the depths within.
The Slip treated California to a great week of music starting in San Diego and continuing up the coast to Santa Cruz, San Francisco and finally Arcata, before hitting Ashland, Seattle, Eugene, and Portland this weekend. The tour picks up again next week in the Midwest as The Slip sweeps through Minneapolis, Madison and Ann Arbor before heading back east. Those lucky enough to hit JazzFest this year should take note of their late night set on Friday, May 4th with Lake Trout at the Parish @ House of Blues, should be smokin! Make sure to plan ahead and get tickets early on to avoid getting shut out. You can also enter to win tickets to just about any of the remaining shows on the tour by visiting JamBase's Slip Spring Tour Giveaway.
If you don’t have a chance to catch The Slip live, do yourself a favor and pick up one of their albums. Their first album, From the Gecko is one of my favorite albums to pop in my stereo when setting out on a road trip. Does, the band’s second studio effort witnesses the bands maturing process as the focus is more centered around their improvisational jazz talent. And to catch them live on your computer, be sure to check out a great fansite at theslip.net to take part in their new Gnellie file sharing community, which is helping fans across the world to share their favorite live moments.
One interesting note that I gleaned from keeping my ear to the stage...The Slip was one of the bands to play at Phish’s summer festival in Oswego, NY in 1999, and caught the attention of some in the Phish organization, including lumpy headed drum tech Pete Carini. In fact, this gig allowed the band to develop a relationship that led to the Slip being only the second group ever to lay down tracks at Trey’s Barn in Vermont. The vocals for the album will be recorded in New York after this tour ends, and the the forthcoming album is sure to be a winner. You won't hear more than one or two of the new songs on this tour, as the boys are still working on the lyrics during all that free time driving back and forth across America.
Keep your eyes peeled for your next opportunity to catch The Slip at a venue near you!
- Jeff Levi, at Muir Beach