Medeski Martin & Wood | August 17, 2003 | Chicago, IL
Chicagoans spend all winter dreaming of summer nights. They dream of beach
volleyball and movies in Grant Park, Cubs games and BBQs. They dream of outdoor
festivals thrown every weekend in one neighborhood or another. And when Medeski Martin & Wood are headlining a weekend-long fest, they dream of dancing and
MMW's performance at the Goose Island Festival on Sunday, August 18, 2003 at
the A. Finkl & Sons Steel Company was an energetic one. With openers like
The Pharcyde and Indie-trance band, Tortoise, MMW came out knowing they needed to
bring it during the last chance to dance (trance), and bring it they certainly
While spacey at times, the show had rhythms and beats that gave the crowd plenty
of opportunities to get funky. With arms and legs flying, hippies had no trouble
getting lost in the erratic drumming of Billy Martin, while the more conservative
held on to the steady basslines that Chris Wood used to run the show. Wood's
performance was particularly ambitious and charged, lending a solid foundation
to each tune.
As usual, Medeski's solo moments on keys were incredible highlights. His high-pitched
blues riffs giving the crowd moments of clarity only to be clouded by an electronica-style
space funk to follow.
Amidst complicated and dense arrangements, the trio fed off each other's energy
and passed this to the audience. "Uninvisible," the title song to
MMW's latest album, was a crowning moment of the show and songs like "Nocturnal
Transmission" and "The Golden Lady" were a treat as they made
rare appearances. The band seemed thrilled by the unique opportunity to play
a small outdoor venue in Chicago (since not many of them exist!) and did a full
hour-and-a-half set before encoring with the popular cover, "Hey Joe."
Throughout the gig the trio was tight and the musicians were present, allowing
the crowd to kick it harder than your average Sunday night.
Words by: Samantha Hanford
Images by: Adam George
JamBase | Chicago
Go See Live Music!
The Golden Lady
E: Hey Joe