Words & Images by: Guy Shechter
The New Deal :: 01.22.10 :: The Paradise :: Boston, MA
I walked into The Paradise 10 minutes after opener Big Gigantic had taken the stage and the venue was already full and bumping. It's awesome when a band sells out a show, but it's even better when everyone shows up to check out the opener. Big Gigantic laid down some groovy beats to a full house of people who clearly wanted to dance. This was the first time I ever saw a drummer and saxophone electronic duo, and they pulled it off very nicely. Dominic Lalli layered various rhythms using his keyboards and then he would solo over it with his saxophone, and the whole time Jeremy Salken improvised beats on the drum kit.
| Darren Shearer - The New Deal :: 01.22 :: Boston|
The New Deal excels in the live arena. Most of their set is improvised and when they play you can really hear and feel how the band feeds off the crowed. Some jams are short and some are long, some explosive and some exploratory, all depending on the crowd's reaction.
New Deal shows are usually fast paced dance parties from start to finish, and while this show definitely had its raging high energy moments, parts of it seemed more moody and introspective. The jams would sometimes slow down and stretch out, and I noticed a lot of hand signal communication going on between the band members. After taking us to space and back they would begin slowly building the energy back up, rising higher and higher until the band and crowd climaxed in one of those epic moments where everyone goes nutty and dances as hard as their arms and legs will allow. Controlling the energy of a show is something all bands strive for and The New Deal have certainly mastered it. After all, the highs wouldn't seem as high without the lows, and thus it's always important to keep just the right balance.
As in any trio, each member really has to hold his ground musically because each person has a very distinct role in the music. Jamie Shields created the melody with his unique sound and style, stretching his hands out like an octopus all over his multiple keyboards and effects. Dan Kurtz kept the rhythm going with his hypnotic bass lines, usually feeding off the drum but often trading riffs back and forth with Shields. Darren Shearer kept the beat going all night long (quite the work out) ranging from low to high tempos and using all the tools he had at hand, be it drums sticks, tambourines or beat boxing.
| Jamie Shields - The New Deal :: 01.22 :: Boston|
After nearly two-and-a-half hours, The New Deal finished their set at 1 a.m., blowing through the encore and playing the second set right up to the curfew. By the looks and sound of the crowd, it was clear the band left everyone wanting more. This was only the second show of the tour, which continues until the end of February, so make sure you check out The New Deal when they come to a venue near you!
JamBase | Boston
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