Sweet Home, Chicago!

crumbler's Journal

Shawn Kellerman (w/ Marquis Knox) * Beale on Broadway * STL * 5/14/10
Urban blues at its finest. Shawn Kellerman is a hella guitar player. Marquis Knox is a signer and guitar player as well. Good stuff. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 5/15/2010 1:13 AM
Dogtown Allstars * Broadway Oyster Bar * STL * 5/14/10
Funky as ever! Still convinced that the keyboard player is awesome but full of himself, but the drum solo near the end of the last set proved that the drummer is nothing more than common. Not that I'm that good, right now, but nothing told me that I couldn't be that good if I didn't practice for a few months. I want to see a drummer that does things that I can't ever dream of doing. But still funky as shit! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 5/15/2010 1:09 AM
Gov't Mule * Vintage Vinyl * STL * 2/8/10
Sure, it was an easy way to sell some new albums - buy a CD or LP and get in on an exclusive performance by Mule at one of the coolest record stores in the STL. I was already planning on buying the CD so I could get the guys to sign it, so no loss for me. Only about a 20-minute set highlighting the better songs on the new album. What was cool was the intimacy of the show; all of us were able to hear jokes between Warren and audience members. After the 4 songs, the band stuck around to shake hands (Warren seemed done with it by the time I got to him) and get autographs from the band. Danny was the most responsive to me, encouraging me to come see them again at Summer Camp in May. Not bad for a Monday. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 2/9/2010 11:27 PM
Gov't Mule (w/ Jackie Greene) * The Pageant * STL * 2/6/10
Ok, Warren Haynes is god. Or at least related to god. Maybe an illegitimate child to a mortal mother, kinda like Jesus but less publicized... Anyway, that's a given. But his bandmates aren't any slackers. The drum solo in the middle of the 2nd set was a bit ostentatious - don't get me wrong, he's good but it didn't flow out of the jam that preceded it very well, the way the Dead would put Drums and Space into the 2nd set. This band is definitely of an older generation, paying homage to Allman Bros, Beatles and Stones (too bad I had to have a friend inform me that the encore was a Stones song > Beatles song > Stones song) but they kick major ass. Down home, blues-rock at its hardest! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 2/7/2010 4:51 PM
Umphrey's McGee * The Pageant * STL * 2/4/10
Nomination for best drummer in the jam scene: that guy from Umphrey's! Holy shit, these guys got some guns - drummer and both lead guitarists had me floored last night in STL. I've seen these guys before, but it's been a long time. Like 7 years. So it was like seeing them for the first time again. And I guarantee they weren't this good back in the land of 2001! I didn't know any of the UM songs but I was screaming along anyway. A few tasty teasers (Don't Fear the Reaper) and a nice 1st set closer of David Bowie's Fame kept me invested in a crowd filled with Phreaks. Their following was strong last night, and I'm ready to pledge my loyalty too! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 2/5/2010 5:22 PM
Keller Williams * The Pageant * STL * 01/30/10
Hearing Keller play the Dead's Shakedown Street changed the way I hear the song. Great part of the 2nd set, as was an animated version of Breathe, Best Feeling and the 1st set's Rehab. Yes, the song by Amy Whinehouse. Keller Williams is a dish best served solo. He has traded a lot of the acoustic instruments for an electronic drumpad and select toys including a chaos pad. All in all, he did the dance party thing that seems to be invading every facet of jam scene quite well. Really added a new aspect to his jams. The Boom-whackers during the 1st set were a nice touch. All and all, Keller's playing is effortless and that's what I paid to see and hear - good playing. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 1/31/2010 2:16 AM
Low Brass Spectacular Concert * The Sheldon * STL * 1/19/10
The St. Louis Low Brass Collective provided plenty of fundamental harmonies with the best trombone, euphonium and tuba players in the greater STL. Highlights included the trombone section of the St. Louis Symphony performed an arrangement of Mozart's "Magic Flute" - I didn't know trombones could move that fast! Other selections spanned every genre from jazz to funk to the deep, resonating harmonies of Mahler echoing from the bells of 30-some instruments - like a human organ! Best part of all, it was FREE! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 1/23/2010 8:33 PM
John Maxfield Band * Felix's * STL * 1/16/10
John's songs are distinctive with enough high energy to keep you bouncing or tapping your fingers through the set. His guitar and piano playing are both natural and seemingly effortless while singing. Bass player was equally spot-on. Drummer left something to be desired. Even though the room started clearing out soon after "Left and Right" - think that was the name of the opening act (an average dual-guitar/singer act whose vocal harmonies were lacking) left the stage, JMB was better. Technically, groove-wise, ... Vocals were still problematic, but at worst tolerable. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 1/17/2010 2:25 AM
The Bad Plus * The Bistro * STL * 1/8/10
If you Google "progressive rock - free jazz - fusion", The Bad Plus should be the group that Lala plays. These guys are incredible, from their non-conformist harmonies to the laissez-faire improvisation, increasing and decreasing through each piece like a breath. Playing for a packed house at St. Louis's Bistro, my first live experience with these guys was a set full of originals, none of the interpretive covers of rock standards for which this group has come to be known. These originals, though, completely explored the spectrum of possible textures, timbres, harmonies and volumes and for that, my ears are still in heaven. Ethan Iverson's piano uses the harmonic language of a schizophrenic. Reid Anderson's bass is more the sentimental poet than the metric time keeper. David King on the drum set is a tornado of rhythm, continually moving around and through. Even though the music hardly found a groove, I found myself moving to its swirling, spaced-out jams. The night was capped by 2 encores, first an original and finally the group's signature rendition of Black Sabbath's classic, "Iron Man." 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 1/9/2010 12:20 AM
Trans-Siberian Orchestra * All-State Arena * Rosemont, IL * 12/26/09
About half-way through the show, I wasn't sure whether the $47.50 ticket price for myself, 7 family and friends was a waste or not. The second half of the show reassured me, though. The first half was this Christmas-operetta, narrative with songs interspersed, and all I kept thinking was "shut up and play the music I payed to hear." The narrative was difficult to hear, some story about an old Russian bar, drinking Stoli and recounting a story about an Angel at Christmas-time. I payed to hear the rockin arrangements of Christmas favorites, like Joy to the World, Carol of the Bells and others. A brief break separated the two halves of the concert to introduce the many musicians on stage, including at least 3 guitarists, bass guitarist, violinist, 2 keyboardists, 6-8 vocalists, narrator and a string section of 6-8. The second half was WHAT I PAYED FOR - hard rock versions of classical favorites, including Beethoven's 5th, Pachelbel's Canon in D, Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and a demonic rendition of Orff's Carmina Burana. What makes this a great show is the production value. LOTS of lights, times pyrotechnics, multiple stages, moving stages and laser lights reminded me of stories I've heard about Pink Floyd shows back in the day. I couldn't see myself seeing this show every year, but it was a good show, and satisfied the tastes of everyone I took. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 1/2/2010 3:18 AM
Emmitt-Nershi Band w/ The Northwoods * 2720 * STL * 12/10/09
I've seen Salmon once. I've seen Cheese once. It made sense to see Emmitt-Nershi. Sweet twangy sense. I know Cheese's music better than Salmon's, so I figure the songs I didn't recognize are Emmitt's; Nershi high-lights included "Jellyfish," "Restless Wind," "Black Clouds." Drew Emmitt laid it down with "Whipping Post," whose dementedly howling rival those of Jeff Austin. Banjo player Andy Thorn was indredible! Bass guitarist Tyler Grant took a few solos, but a vast majority of the time was pretty evenly divided between Billy's guitar, Drew's mandolin and Andy's banjo. Opening act was The Northwoods, deserving note for their new sound featuring up to 3 guitars and dual beat-boxing (like KW but no loops)! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 12/11/2009 11:22 PM
Papadosio * Pop's Blue Moon * STL * 11/19/09
I've wanted to see these guys for more than a year now, having heard about them from a thread on JB, and I was blown away! They're more jam-tronica than I gathered from the "Light of the Stars" EP, but they pull it off with minimal pre-fab samples and lots of live jamming. SOLID. In a word, solid. Every member of the band was in integral part of the mix, and none off them faltered. All bass was live and it was funky. The drummer played too much in the pocket for my taste, but didn't miss a beat and technically sound. Guitarist played simples lines, sometimes repeating verbatim, much in the STS9 vein, but they were performed flawlessly, letting him lay in effects and samples using a keyboard and some sort of DJ rig. The 4th side of the quadrant was provided by a Jeremy McDonough of Jizzam laying in effects, samples and comping on an organ, 3 keyboards and a laptop. His energetic playing was matched by the wild hair, bright red bow tie and blinking christmas-light vest. WAY TOO GOOD a band to only fill a room with 30 people. They could have played 300. At least. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 11/22/2009 12:54 AM
Trampled by Turtles w/ Backyard Tire Fire * Blueberry Hill * STL * 11/14/09
Trampled by Turtles may have sold some tickets due to an unusual name, but they packed the Duck Room Saturday night at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis with good ole' fashioned bluegrass pickin.' I would have liked to hear an upright bass, but an acoustic bass guitar was a new twist on a traditional design. Great fiddle and banjo solos, solid bass, guitar and mando were in the mix but not prevalent... Vocal harmonies were warm and in tune. It's astonishing that five guys sitting in folding chairs can get a room full of people to move like they did. Maybe not outright dance, but definitely move. Even though they stayed seated the entire time, they generated more energy than the electric Backyard Tire Fire did afterward. Overall, TBT covered the gamete, from beautiful ballads to frantic, trampling barn-burners. The room cleared when Backyard Tire Fire came out. Their brand of southern rock might have been the right match for another night, but following the raw energy of a bluegrass show was not what I was looking for. I stayed, and was glad I did, for many of the songs were memorable and the band had a great crunchy, distorted wall-of-sound (maybe a bit loud), reminiscent of the Wallflowers. In addition to catchy originals, Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and a Traveling Wilburys cover gave the crowd something familiar to grab onto. Not what I was expecting, but still a tasty show. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 11/15/2009 12:36 AM
EOTO * Old Rock House * STL * 10/28/09
Yeah! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 11/15/2009 12:36 AM
Redass Jones & the Goldbondsmen @ Venice Cafe * STL * 7/24/09
WHO?? This is the funnest little band, as long as you can tolerate classic country done in a stripped-down, rootsy folk style. Their book is almost entirely 50s/60s country, except for what might have been the lyrics to the Beatles' song set to completely different music. In addition, they'll tease the jams with a variety of more current popular themes, such as interjecting just the introduction to Crazy Train into the middle of a tune. Good, down-home fun! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 7/28/2009 6:15 PM
Rusted Root (w/ Devon Allman's Honeytribe) * The Pageant * STL * 7/27/09
RUSTED ROOT IS A GOOD SHOW. I have to say that since this is the 2ND journal entry I've written; my first inclination last night when I got home was to rip on them. I guess my biggest criticism is that their tempos change so drastically and the world-rhythm-jams that I listen to them for are way to brief. Well, except for their anthem, Ecstasy, which they used for their final encore last night and hyped the crowd into a frenzy TWICE. They finished it up, but went right back into it one more time. Great way to end the show. There were also good renditions of Send Me On My Way, Who Do You Tell it To and inspirational covers of Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl and an amazing Superstition > All Along the Watchtower > Superstition. I had to give them props for pulling off Superstition with all its Stevie Wonder soul without a keyboard player! There alone would be reason enough to find this mp3. In general, I didn't hear enough improvisation and soloing for my taste, but the playing was solid. You figure, with 3 guitarists on stage at a given time, at least one could shred some strings for us. But no... All things considered, though, the band (except for Dirk. What's up, dude?) came out to the merch room while the final notes were still sounding in the Pageant. The meet-and-greet was a nice sign of the band's loyalty to its fans. Sure, they suggested that we guy the new album for them to sign, but they were just as happy to sign djembes or ticket stubs or to talk about playing at Mississippi Nights when it was still open here in St. Louis. Cool down-to-earth people. If Root was the main course, then HONEYTRIBE WAS A TASTY APPETIZER. Honeytribe and their fearless leader Devon Allman laid it down! Think of a 3-piece Black Crowes. With an extra shot of blues. Real basic blues songs with crazy shredding overtop. And quality, too. Check these guys out. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Mon 7/27/2009 10:35 PM
Madahoochi * Halo * STL * 7/16/09
"We'd like to thank moe. for opening up for us. They did a great job," jested 'Hoochi's singer/drummer. Even though they were the after-show set at Halo, this band rocked it out! Jamming in and out of both originals and hella-covers such as Led Zeppelin's "Immigration Song" and a 2-song montage from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, this 5-piece kept the party raging long after moe. left the stage next door. I've never seen a bar full of patrons dancing as much as we did for 'Hoochi. Clean transitions between styles, tempos, cool drum/percussion collaborations, space to funk, funk to space. This was the first time I've seen this band, but I'm gonna make a point to see them next time I can. 1 Comment :: Permalink :: Fri 7/17/2009 2:50 PM
moe. * The Pageant * STL * 7/16/09
I'm speechless. It's the next day after the show, and I'm still picking my jaw up off the floor. That show was nuts. DOWNLOAD THIS SHOW! I didn't see Jim at the Peoria show I made last year, so I was happy to see him on the vibes, xylophone, guitar, bass and he even sang a song late in the 2nd set, which Al announced was the first time they performed it. The song was alright, but there's a reason why Jim doesn't sing on many tunes; oh well, he has to get his feet wet sometime if he wants to start singing too. I can only criticize him because Al, Rob and Chuck's vocals were Dy-no-mite! Killer tunes, many of which I didn't know but they kept me moving the entire night. Another item to note included Al bringing out the double-necked electric mandolin/guitar late in the 2nd set. Although there were balance issues at first and we couldn't hear it at first, Al and the sound-guy got it working and it was a nice addition to a frantic bluegrass jam. As if 3 hours of moe. weren't enough, Madahoochi kept the party ragging at Halo afterwards. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 7/17/2009 2:34 PM
Dead Confederate (w/ The Domani International and Bad Veins) * The Firebird * STL * 07/15/09
The Domani International and Bad Veins were a nice appetizer for the main course that was a set (albeit short) by Dead Confederate. Both opening acts were indie/emo in sound, Bad Veins experimental in being only a 2-piece guitar and drums with prerecorded samples played off a reel-to-reel and vocals through some sort of vintage P.A. system. Refreshingly original. There must be some dark, delicious magic in Athens, GA, home to both Dead Confederate and Widespread Panic. Dead Confederate cast its spell over a crowd of 60-70 at The Firebird in St. Louis, more like a room with a stage than a music venue. DC's spell is a psychedelic trance, the crowd swaying to the distorted, laid-back grooves that remind me of the Deftones or a grunge-influenced Pink Floyd. I just recently discovered DC's most recent album, "Wrecking Ball." I don't know many of the lyrics, nor could I discern them over the thick wall of sound created by distorted guitar, booming bass (possibly due to the Firebird's sound system), organ and solid drums. What was obvious, however, were the vocal timbres of Hardy Morris - everything from sweet falsetto to haunting howl. The front man backed up those sounds with evident emotion on stage. Haunting melodies connect a patchwork of spacy reverb and distorted buzz. I can't tell if much improvisation was done, but there were solos. Notes, however, were less important than the quality of distortion and dissonance. That quality rose and fell throughout the set, a product of the collective sound being produced. If sound had a weight, then that would have been some heavy shit! Songs off the new album included "Heavy Petting" and "The Rat" among others. Check these guys out. They will be big. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/16/2009 3:27 AM
Phish * Alpine Valley * WI * 6/21/09
more to come soon 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/9/2009 12:48 AM
Phish * Alpine Valley * WI * 6/20/09
more to come soon 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/9/2009 12:47 AM
Phish * Deer Creek * Noblesville, IN * 6/19/09
more to come soon 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/9/2009 12:45 AM
SLSO * Powell Hall * STL * 2/8/09
Ok, another change of pace from jam/groove music. Went today to see the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for the first time. Being a trained musician who's lived in the STL for nearly 5 years, I should have gone before now. Regardless, this concert has me thinking about getting season tixx. The first half of the concert included Tippett's "Suite in D"(Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles) and Elgar's "Cello Concerto in E minor." All around good playing on these two selections, including a virtuosic performance by SLSO principal cellist Daniel Lee on the Elgar. The Concerto was a subtle portrayal of skill and prowess, possibly the softest concerto I've ever heard. The second half of the program is what's gonna keep me coming back for more - Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No.5 in E minor." The hall was filled with warm tones and brilliant brass flourishes as the symphony delivered Tchaikovsky's vision of triumph and tragedy with power and fervor. Being a horn player, I'm going to listen most to the brass section; the horn solo in the 2nd movement was smooth and flowing. Although the orchestra didn't seem to articulate together during parts of the 4th movement, it was an all-around pleasure for the ears. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 2/8/2009 7:23 PM
Powertrip * Fubar * STL * 2/7/09
Ok, break from the norm, this band is heavy metal. I got called out by some friends, and I'm glad I went. All around good musicians except for the drummer who didn't stray too far from the pocket all night. The sound is my big complaint. I remember from my teenage years that the metal community places a lot of value on making your ears bleed due to excessive volume, but can it at least be balanced? The bass/guitar/drums balance was so high that all the lead guitar parts could barely be heard and the vocals couldn't be understood except when the singer screamed "fuck you!" I'll give it up to the singer who nicely alternated between growling, screaming and actually singing. Yes, actual singing in a metal band. Props to him. Props to the band in general. The sound guy should be fired. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 2/8/2009 12:31 AM
Alabaster Brown * The Shanti * STL * 11/15/08
Grooving, all night long! Especially Superstition > Thank you > Superstition... Also a nice rendition of Traveling Light (WP), I think, but I could've just heard one of many references to WP and GD. Last encore an excellent Rolling Stones cover. This show reminds me why Alabaster Brown is one of my favorite St. Louis bands. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 11/16/2008 12:15 AM
Mario Pascal * Meskerem Restaurant * STL * 8/2/08
Mello reggae/soul vibes from Mario Pascal and friends. Mario's voice is from the heart, doing great justice to covers of Bob Marley, and his guitar playing is simple and elegant. Bass player and percussion accompanied him well, with some fair saxophone soloing behind. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 8/3/2008 4:09 PM
Bockman & Rusted Root * Live On the Levee * STL * 8/2/08
Heard a lot of good things about Bockman, so I was looking forward to seeing them. Kinda Indie-pop rock didn't impress me. There were some good grooves, drummer was tight, guitarist used feedback very effectively, but no good soloists. Couple guests on stage, 1 singer and 1 of the corniest trumpet players I have heard in a long time. Rusted Root was refreshingly everything that I remember. They played a bunch of new tunes I didn't recognize, but they were quality. Didn't have the back-up singers and such until later in the show. Ecstacy was a highlight, as was the last encore (2 encores for a show that only lasted 1 1/2 hours? a little bit dramatic) Send me on my Way. The crowd didn't seem that into the performance, until the before mentioned songs, then they got moving. But even still, lots of people that were there 'cause it was a free concert, not 'cause they liked the artists...such is the case for summer city festivals, I suppose. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 8/3/2008 12:25 PM
Alabaster Brown * The Shanti * STL * 08-01-08
1. Alabaster Brown is the best kept jamband secret of STL. I still have to see Madahoochi to make sure, but they're damn good. 2. 1st set was funky, but sensible in a Grateful Dead way. 3. Small show. 20 ppl tops. So maybe playing each other's instruments isn't that unprofessional compared to the situation. But... 4. Props to the bass player 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 8/1/2008 11:20 PM
moe. * Landing Center Stage * Peoria, IL * 7/29/08
Driving up to Peoria from STL through some major thunderstorms with not much visibility and the car getting blown left and right may have sent some fans home, but not me. I had FAITH. Faith that even if the rains didn't subside, the show would still go on, and a great show it would be. Well, the rain did stop, but not until after 8, planned show time. The crew was still raising the rig and prepping equipment, so the band finally took the stage around 8:30/:45. Only took a short set break, and finished the encore around 11:45. High energy show! I haven't seen em since '02, so anything would've been good, but this was fucking awesome! Got way up close on Al's side. Kinda sweaty, but we were all dancing our asses off. Even the songs I didn't know got me into the groove. Some highlights included Rebubula and Moth. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/31/2008 10:30 AM
Dogtown Allstars * Venice Cafe * STL * 7/26/08
The guys brought the house down! 2 sets of funky, back-beat-driven, shake-your-ass-if-you-got-one jams! Great renditions of classic tracks, such as Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," were a highlight along with some great playing. The band's grooves are solid, highlighted by some smart noodling from the guitar and tasty, tasty riffs in the keyboard. Gotta give it up for the pepper-haired 'head up front - he was shaking his ass more than anybody. Most dancing I've ever seen in a 5'x5' space! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 7/27/2008 3:08 PM
O.A.R. * Live On the Levee * STL * 7/18/08
You ain't gonna believe this shit. Made it to the free OAR show at Soldiers Memorial in downtown STL (good spot for an outdoor show BTW, maybe I should make it to Ribfest next year) a little late. Got right into the slowest-moving beer line I have ever stood in. My buddy said it literally took us 45 minutes to get a beer. Heard some "Poker" and "Love & Memories" while in line, but that's about it. Just as the lady is shuffling over to get our thirst-quenching beverages, the band announced, "Thank you, St. Louis! Good Night!" 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 7/20/2008 12:46 PM
Dogtown Allstars * Broadway Oyster Bar * STL * 7/11/08
Dogtown always jams well. Kinda jazzy-pickin-strummin-groove-stuff. Funny thing about this show was everybody dancing in the aisle between the tables. Skinniest dance floor I've ever seen! Can't imagine being the server trying to run drinks through that! Haven't seen that at Broadway before. Maybe I'm not there enough. Good stuff, though. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 7/16/2008 7:13 PM
DMB * Busch Stadium * STL * 6/7/08
I haven't seen Dave in years, and he/they still got it! What have I been missing?! 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 6/21/2008 5:57 PM