Percy Hill Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of ‘Color In Bloom’ – Review, Photos & Audio

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Words & Images by: Sarah Bourque

Percy Hill :: 05.11 & 12.18 :: The Sinclair & Gramercy Theatre :: Cambridge, MA & New York City

Check out Sarah’s gallery after the review.

A long-awaited weekend of Percy Hill shows took place on Friday, May 11 at the Sinclair in Cambridge and on Saturday, May 12 at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. The New Hampshire-based group’s concerts came in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their Jammy Award-winning Color In Bloom album.

Fans continuously streamed into the Sinclair on the 11th, leading to a packed house on a beautiful night in the Boston area ahead of the band consisting of keyboardist Nate Wilson, drummer Aaron Katz, guitarist Joe Farrell, bassist John Leccese and featuring percussionist Yahuba Garcia-Torres taking the stage around 9 p.m. The rhythms flowed naturally in Cambridge as Percy Hill’s opening set featured deeper cuts such as “St. Lucilia,” the keyboard-heavy “After All” and “Sunrise” to warm up the crowd. Leccese’s deep bass tones, coupled with crisp in-the-pocket drumming by Katz kept the music flowing right along on the back end while Wilson and Farrell danced around the keys and frets, jazzing up the joint with easy-flowing melodies. Garcia-Torres’ backfill on percussion rounded out each performance.

Friday’s concert was a non-stop ball of intense heat that only slowed down to exhale during setbreak and the encore. It was apparent that the group was full of enthusiasm and fans responded graciously to the outstanding show. Wompy guitar riffs sprinkled with gritty rhythm throughout, cruised along while vibrant keys and tight cymbals were glued together with solid bass beats. Set two featured Color In Bloom in its entirety, with “Wrong Side” wrapping up the evening for the encore. Creating a fluid dance between laid-back jazz, upbeat funk and all-out rocking vibes, Percy Hill brought their A-game and didn’t look back.

Percy Hill’s show at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Saturday saw an opening set by Moon Boot Lover, featuring Peter Prince on guitar, Reed Dieffenbach on drums and Mike Gruen on bass. The trio’s rocking performance had many in the venue jumping. Moon Boot Lover’s stage was adorned with shiny silver packaging along with flower-filled moon boots sitting beside NASA helmets. Their opener was an uninterrupted 40 minutes of skyrocketing energy bolstered by blistering melodies that energized the crowd and set a lively mood. A properly placed “NYC” hit midway through the set ahead of Prince thanking Percy Hill for having them out.

After a short changeover, Percy Hill took to the stage before a welcoming crowd for their first performance in New York City in 12 years. The quintet eased into their set with a jazzy “Trocadero,” before reaching back for “After All” and “St. Lucilia.” After a few minor technical glitches, a complete performance of the Color In Bloom album followed starting with “Slave (Self Promoted).” A bouncy “Chrissy Reid” had fans up from their seats and dancing in the aisles. The show briefly cooled off with a tender “Beneath The Cover” that flowed with gentle keys before Farrell kicked into a smooth guitar jam mid-song.

The five-piece played straight through with no set break at the Gramercy, finishing the complete performance of Color In Bloom with “Sun Machine.” Percy Hill closed out the weekend with a double encore made of “Casa De Vino” and “Spirit Of Air.” Of special note is long-time fan Nate Bourgault, of Down To Earth Brewing, who brought a limited edition beer brewed specially for the band, aptly named Sun Machine in honor of the group’s celebratory performances.

Percy Hill’s long-awaited performances honoring such a special album brought fans from near and far to share in the evening for these two shows, which left them wanting more. Throughout both nights all members sang along to each tune whether they were at their mic or not, prompting some in the audience to do the same. With the band in the studio working on a new album, fans can hopefully expect the opportunity to hear more music from Percy Hill in the near future.

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Audio (Taped by Corey The Hedgehog)

Friday, May 11 @ The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA

Saturday, May 12 @ Gramercy Theatre – New York City, NY

Setlists

Friday, May 11 @ The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA

Set One: St. Lucilia, After All, I Waited, Tumz, Sunrise, Casa De Vino, Spirit Of Air

Set Two: Slave (Self Promoted), Chrissy Reid, Beneath The Cover, Ammonium Maze, 313, Color In Bloom, Fallen, Soggy Weather Skunk, Sun Machine

Encore: Wrong Side

Saturday, May 12 @ Gramercy Theatre – New York City, NY

Set: Trocadero, After All, St. Lucilia, Slave (Self Promoted), Chrissy Reid, Beneath The Cover, Ammonium Maze, 313, Color In Bloom, Fallen, Soggy Weather Skunk, Sun Machine

Encore: Casa De Vino, Spirit Of Air