After Friday night’s show at the Bowery Ballroom, TLG was bringing the heat down to Brooklyn for their second NYC area performance. Ha Ha Tonka accompanied the band for both shows, and their whole tour actually, recieving a great opportunity to reach out and expand their fanbase. Though there was not to much from their rockabilly styings that swayed me too much, they did have me intrigued when they took on Zeppelin’s “Gallows Pole” a cappella. I was too heavily anticipating TLG’s set to focus though. I had gotten word from a stagehand that the band could only play one set tonight, but that it would be a long one and we would not be disappointed.
I have been seeing these guys play shows since I discovered them in 2007 during their day set at the Vibes, and I have caught almost every area performance since. They have such an evolving sound and strive to push the envelope and take chances as a band. The biggest evolution in their playing has come since bassint Reed Mathis joined the outfit a few years back. Formerly in Jacob Freb Jazz Odyssey, Reed brings a powerful rhythm to the band and really drives their jams. He has an authoritative style of playing that sees him picking the instrument and creating sounds most bassists leave to the guitarists to master. While it may not be uncommon for jambands to have a strong bass player, this guy has gained all sorts of respect from me since I started seeing him play in TLG. The band has also added a second drummer to their touring outfit, Cochrane McMillan. The double dose of drums and the heavy bass have inspired guitarist Josh Clark and keyboardist Trevor Garrod to continuously better their playing to keep up with the rest of their band. Altogether, they form what is in my opinion the most underrated jamband on the scene right now.
They opened up their set with the Bee Gee’s-esque jam “Easy To Be Your Lover,” off their new album Radio Tragedy. This set the tone for what was to be one of the best live performances I have seen them play. A few songs in they went to another favorite “The Garden (Part III)” getting everyone into the show and grooving throughout the Bowl. The lyrics Trevor writes really catch me sometimes, and this track is one example of that. There are only a few jambands that have such prominent lyrics, but Garrod puts alot of soul into his writing and I admire that, from both a fan’s and a writer’s perspective. As the band began into “Bouncin’ Betty,” I took note of the fact that gutarist Josh Clark has been taking the reigns on some of the singing duties for the band, showing of his chops as a lyricist and vocalist. His songs bring a raw edge to the band’s playing and give them an extended diversity of genre blending sound.
Easy To Be Your Lover
The Man In Me (Bob Dylan; w/ Scott Metzger on Guitar)
Incandescent Devil (w/ Scott Metzger on Guitar)
Training A Cloud
Keeping The Faith
Dreaming Without Sleeping (w/ Peter Levin on Organ)
Hipsta Ninja (1st time played)
Panspermic De Evolution (w/ Levin & Metzger)