Amfibian played Friday night at the Pearl Street NightClub. With a packed house, a solid groove, and a seven-member band, what else could one want?

On December 1, a little known band called Amfibian strolled into Northampton to perform before a sold-out crowd at the Pearl Street NightClub. Amfibian, a seven-member band from Princeton, New Jersey, rocked for nearly two hours. Coming on stage after Addison Groove Project, Amfibian quickly noted how excited and friendly their audience was. Loosened up by the Addison Groove Project’s funky sounds, the crowd quickly picked up the beat of Amfibian’s fun and groovy opener Flare. The stage presence of this seven-member band was rather intimidating. 3 guitars, one bass, one keyboardist, two drum sets - yet no instrument dominated another.

Amfibian is truly best known for their lyricist Tom Marshall, whom doubles as keyboardist and vocalist. Tom Marshall, lyricist for many Phish songs, and good friend of guitar virtuoso Trey Anastasio is more often than not the main draw to Amfibian’s shows. However, let it be known, Amfibian is not a tribute band to Phish, on Friday night they clearly proves their talents by performing their own personal songs with depth, grace, and undoubtful talent.

Songs such as Appreciate and Olivia’s Pool proved that this new band (only 6 months in the making), whose members all have day jobs, truly know how to use tickle their instruments and combine their personal sounds to one easy flowing jam. With guitar solos, drum solos, and excellent lyrics, Amfibian left the stage for intermission leaving the crowd yearning for more.

The second set opened with Back To Mesopotamia and then went straight into an older song called The Wedge, a Tom Marshall original. Many fans sang along to the slow song with hard guitar rifts, and shortly thereafter the audience was surprised by a guest musicians. Amfibian brought out a guest musician from the local area to perform the sweet song Brian and Robert. The guest musician Mark Mulcahy added much to Amfibian’s sound with his unique talents on the harmonica. Bringing a faster pace and louder tone, Amfibian quickly changed mood into the more lively fast paced sound with songs like The Way I Feel and If I Can't Turn to You.

The Way I Feel, quite possibly the best song of the night, had lyrics that seemed to brings back nostalgic memories to the crowd was also undoubtedly the most energetic of the many songs that night. Ending the second set with If I Can't Turn To You, Amfibian had proven their talent over and above what any participant in the crowd could have expected. For a band that has been playing together for merely two years, Amfibian proved that it is truly the talent of each member that makes conjoined music sound so good.

Coming back on stage for an encore of Drunk By Noon and Face in the Crowd, the new fans were given one last chance to get down and to say “goodnight” to the band. After the closure of the music the band members stayed after to shake hands and thank the crowd. They answered questions and gave more insight about their tour plans. For now Amfibian is only touring around the Northeast and has no plans to perform for New Year's Eve. However, they do plan to continue to play into the New Year and will definitely be coming back to visit Northampton again.

Amfibian performed a night of fun, excellent music, pleasing the sold-out crowd, themselves, and even the bartender. They're a great band with excellent songs and fantastic lyrics. Amfibian is a band not to be missed or ignored.

Caroline Fullmer
Courtesy of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

[Published on: 12/1/00]

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