Flowmotion & Steve Kimock Band :: 12.31.04 :: Crystal Ballroom :: Portland, OR

Josh Clauson of Flowmotion
12.31.04 :: Crystal Ballroom
Quite a few people believe crystals inherit healing properties. According to those who claim to know, the opal can help the bearer discover possibilities, the sapphire clears mental garbage, and the rose quartz is good for expressing and soothing emotions. Steve Kimock's music inherits all of these same properties.

Prior to the musical medicine of the Steve Kimock Band, New Year's Eve in Portland began with an outfit hailing from Seattle. Flowmotion, a hard-touring world-funk group kicked off the last night of the year with hard-hitting cow funk interlaced with mesmerizing percussion breaks. Throughout the set, guitarist Josh Clauson, in a spiky white wig, matching furry boots, and shiny purple tights, released rapid funk leads from his Fender Stratocaster. By the time Flowmotion closed out their set, the sold-out Crystal Ballroom was brimming with 1,400 people ready to greet 2005 with open arms, but first... the Steve Kimock Band.

As a sweet little treat to kick things off, SKB opened with "Ice Cream." Sitting next to Kimock's arsenal of amps and guitars in the corner of the stage, a bouquet of crystals was illuminated. Under the soft lights of the chandeliers, the audience swayed to the clear tones from Kimock's Explorer, his red Fender steel guitar, and his custom Stratocaster with lipstick pickups. While Kimock had the crowd soaring on his leads, drummer Rodney Holmes's drum fills left many gasping for air.

Steve Kimock :: 12.31.04 :: Crystal Ballroom
At set break, an Oregon Country Fair troupe in full costumes and masks snaked through the crowd on stilts to the accompaniment of the hand drummers who had taken over the stage. The New Year's Countdown followed, and then SKB came back for an intense second set.

Kimock's quiet, un-animated stage persona is an odd contradiction to his inventive playing. His tonal palette is so vast it puts most guitarists to shame. Mixed in with the Kimock magic, Mitch Stein was granted two long solos during the set, leaving no doubt that he is much more than "just a rhythm guitarist." After a massive mid-set "It's Up To You" and a rousing set closing rendition of "Hillbillies," the band members grabbed their coats and returned to encore with "Five B4 Funk."

Steve Kimock Band :: 12.31.04 :: Crystal Ballroom
While many put faith in crystals to affect their world, there are those who find them nothing more than eye candy. It's hard to tell what will heal those who ail, but there was no question that the music of Steve Kimock and his band set the course for a peaceful, thought-provoking, amazing year.

Set List 12.31.04

Set I: Ice Cream, Cole's Law, Weapons Of Moose Destruction, Tangled Hangers, The Bronx Experiment, Malichi

Set II: A New Africa, Mr. Potato Head, It's Up To You, Dr. Zaius, Papago, Hillbillies

E: Five B4 Funk

All Words & Images by: Eric Segalstad
JamBase | Oregon
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[Published on: 1/3/05]

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