Watch Spafford Expand ‘Plans’ & Cover Lumineers With Mike Gantzer At Phantom Power

The jam-filled Father’s Day concert featured a pair of four-song sets.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 19, 2024 10:48 am PDT

Spafford featuring Mike Gantzer filling in for guitarist Brian Moss continued to go heavy on the jams on Sunday during a concert held at Phantom Power in Millersville, Pennsylvania. The quartet kicked down two four-song sets at Phantom Power highlighted by an adventurous “Plans” with official video of the +21-minute version of the song and cover of The Lumineers‘ “Brightside” from the show laid out below.

Aqueous guitarist Mike Gantzer has forged an instant chemistry with Spafford bassist Jordan Fairless, drummer Nick Tkachyk and keyboardist Cory Schechtman. The four musicians offered a free-flowing jam to start each of their first four concerts together. On Sunday, the show-opening improvisational journey was a funky affair featuring Schechtman on Clavinet before moving over to piano and organ. Cory Schechtman led the start of the jam and then Gantzer let it rip. Mikey strung together one powerful riff after another as the rhythm section laid down a deep groove in a build to a huge climax.

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“Left On The Runway” from the band’s 2022 album, Simple Mysteries, was birthed out of the jam. The quartet worked over the song’s calypso beat and then embarked on a disco-tinged excursion as they blew past the structure. The egalitarian improvisation was a group effort with no one member taking the lead until late in the 23-minute rendition when Gantzer began shredding. “Left On The Runway” slid into an equally exploratory “Backdoor Funk.”

The interplay between Gantzer and Schechtman was impressive throughout the repertoire staple with Tkachyk providing a steady rhythm. Mike Gantzer addressed the crowd after “Backdoor Funk” and gave a shoutout to Jordan Fairless for “taking on the task of becoming a lead singer and absolutely crushing it.” The guitarist also explained he was learning more Spafford songs between each show as he subs for Moss who is recovering from a March car accident but needed to use a “cheat sheet” from time to time.

While Gantzer might have needed notes for “Brightside” cover that ended the set, the guitarist absolutely crushed his solo on the title track from The Lumineers’ 2022 studio album. Gantzer was feeling it on Father’s Day and worked plenty of emotion into each lick of his solo.

Check out official video of Spafford’s “Brightside” performance from Sunday night below:


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Spafford (See 19 videos)
Spafford (See 82 videos)
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Spafford longtime crew member Chuck Johnson read a poem in honor of Father’s Day at the start of the second set at Phantom Power. Gantzer, Fairless, Schechtman and Tkachyk then lit into fan-favorite “Giants In The Light.” The band quickly painted outside the lines for an electronic-tinged jam fronted by Cory Schechtman. After nearly 20 minutes, Spafford launched a potent “Bee Jam.” The band covered plenty of ground over nearly 15 minutes ahead of a performance of the recently debuted instrumental “Can’t Find My Vape.”

A standalone “Plans” wrapped the closing stanza. The band connected on an intense peak early in the 18-year-old original and then Fairless utilized a synth bass tone for a funky progression. Schechtman led the next movement on synth before Tkachyk went four-on-the-floor. Mike Gantzer uncorked more fretboard fireworks to bring the stellar “Plans” to an end. Spafford tacked on a cover of Filter’s “Take A Picture” as the evening’s encore.

See Spafford deliver an adventurous version of “Plans” at Phantom Power:


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Spafford (See 19 videos)
Spafford (See 82 videos)

Spafford will perform at Baltimore Soundstage tonight. The first leg of the band’s summer tour continues through a Sunday night concert in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Setlist

Set One: Jam > Left On The Runway > Backdoor Funk, Brightside

Set Two: Chuck’s Dream, Giants In The Light > Bee Jam > Can’t Find My Vape, Plans

Encore: Take A Picture

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