Download the 01.27 New Monsoon show here.
Download the 01.27 Blue Turtle Seduction set here.
Words by: Nick Boeka :: Images by: Susan J. Weiand
New Monsoon & Blue Turtle Seduction :: 01.27.07 :: Fillmore Auditorium :: San Francisco, CA
Since the departure of bassist Ben Bernstein several months ago, and the free-agency acquisition of Ron Johnson (KDTU), New Monsoon has raised the level of their game. Not only has the rhythm section slimmed down and received a shot in the arm, the band as a whole has shown incredible determination to not allow structural changes to deter them from remaining one of the premiere bands in the jam scene. With relentless determination, they've hit the road hard in 2007. Ladies and gentlemen, meet New Monsoon 5.
Ron Johnson - New Monsoon :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
NM5 is the band sans Rajiv Parikh and Brian Carey. Without the tabla and Latin percussion base that has been fundamental to the New Monsoon sound, the remaining members have more space to fill. With Johnson's power-in-the-pocket bass, New Monsoon has harnessed their core sound, making them tighter than ever, and getting better with every show. This Fillmore performance - their debut headlining spot at the legendary venue - revealed the awesome power of the new lineup, and offered sit-ins from Parikh and Carey throughout the show. As a special hometown treat, Dan Lebowitz (ALO), also sat in throughout the night.
South Lake Tahoe's Blue Turtle Seduction started the evening off with a high energy set of fierce new-grass, rock and reggae-funk. Blue Turtle Seduction's lyrics tend to cleverly focus on the positives and always push the good vibe. Guitarist Jay Seals offered a new original, "Go Big or Go Home," midway through their set, which was received well by the capacity Fillmore crowd. After dropping a huge cover of Outkast's "I'll Call Before I Come," the band finished with a massive jam that left the crowed buzzed, primed for the rest of the evening.
Blue Turtle Seduction :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
New Monsoon took the stage to a sold out Fillmore crowd which was decorated with an abundance of flowers. The band threw out flower buds from the stage and the ladies (and Ron Johnson!) were wearing them in their hair. The smell of gardenias blended with the organic sounds coming from the stage. Four songs in, "Greenhouse" showcased Johnson with an extended bass intro. His elevated level of playing has given the band new depth and potential.
Guitarists Bo Carper and Jeff Miller have both shown an incredible amount of growth during the past year. Several times Miller could be seen offering face-melting electric guitar solos, falling to his knees or leaning out over the energetic crowd. Keyboardist Phil Ferlino also got a boost of energy at the Fillmore, as "Team Ferlino" gathered around his side of the stage all wearing tribute t-shirts during "Water Vein." The greatest improvement is with drummer Marty Ylitalo, who now provides the sole heartbeat for the band. He has synced up really well with Johnson, and judging by their interactions at this show they are clearly having a lot of fun.
Dan Lebowitz with New Monsoon :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
At various points, Parikh and Carey took their stations to play on selected numbers. They have both been taking time off from the road but showed at the Fillmore they're still ready to play. The last song of the first set, a raging version of "Traveling Gypsies," brought out ALO's Dan Lebowitz.
The second set featured more playing from Lebowitz, who offered concise solos on top of New Monsoon originals. Things started with a long jam before settling into "African Rain." After a well-placed and powerful "Alaska" featuring strong solos from both Lebowitz and Miller, the band paid tribute to Carey's new daughter, Isabella, with a solid cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic of the same name. A set closing "White Sky Rain" had the crowd applauding, cheering, almost begging for more.
New Monsoon :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
New Monsoon returned with Lebowitz in tow for a two-song encore that capped a successful hometown evening for the band. First, Pink Floyd's "Fearless" then the Monsoon anthem "En Fuego" had the crowd screaming to the last notes. At evening's end there was a happy buzz to the people leaving the Fillmore. With Ron Johnson firmly in place and fans flocking like never before, New Monsoon may have shattered the glass ceiling.
Blue Turtle Seduction Setlist:
Vaudeville, Tiache, What You Want, Go Big or Go Home, Roll 99, I'll Call Before I Come, La Leona, La Nieve
New Monsoon Setlist:
Set 1: Song for Marie, On the Sun > Had to Cry Today%, Romp, Greenhouse#, Patato's Mission#, Water Vein, Double Clutch, Traveling Gypsies*$#
Set 2: Deluge Jam#$* > African Rain*$#, Gelstream#*$, Copper Mine, Daddy Longlegs, Alaska$, Isabella#, White Sky Rain$
Encore: Fearless#$*, En Fuego#$*
# with Brian Carey
* with Rajiv Parikh
$ with Dan Lebowitz
% First time played *Blind Faith Cover*, Instrumental version
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