What is There to Really Say About the Gratitude Migration?
Think east-coast burning man on the beach! THE BEACH! Anyone from here knows that these two July and August months are PRECIOUS and getting to the beach is important to do as much as time and transportation will allow. Fortunately, we had both this weekend and we made it out to this tent-land commune of fire, sex, drugs, and good-old rock and roll… cue the entrance music for Ellis Ashbrook as they were the sole purveyors of the latter at Gratitude… yet it almost didn’t happen.
One thing that the winds of change bring is RAIN! And not just rain in the make-everything-wet-and-cool (my phone said 97 at one point that Saturday), but also the variety of rain that includes electricity from the sky! Electricity from the sky?!?!? Was Thor displeased with the abundance of electronica present at this event? I can picture him, with this impressive horned skull-cap exclaiming, “I’ll show these ne’er-do-wells a thing or two about electricity!” and damn near shut the whole thing down. He did in fact shut down EA’s performance for the night, but after much deliberation it was decided that we would all stay and the band would perform their first ever morning set on Sunday. Imagine that, a 10:00AM start time? It was promising to be an interesting experiment….
And that’s what happened. Sunday morning, at the Gratitude Migration, beneath the hot, hot July sun, on the beach, overlooking the Verrazano Narrows Bridge about 10 miles north, with the skylines of the Financial District and Jersey City just behind it, Ellis Ashbrook played a 2 hour pre-noon set to the faithful and the curious passersby; many of whom stopped in fascination. Many had their sex, most had their drugs, and now the select few awake and wandering would be treated to the Rock and Roll portion of that classic trifecta of postmodern American hedonism. By the end there were many in attendance, dancing, vibe-ing, and enjoying the just open bar for some morning libations. It was happening and a Happening and I happened to be there to make a record of the performance for all of you.
Sunday July 17, 2016: THE GRATITUDE MIGRATION, Keansburg, NJ
Sound check: Breathe Jam
Set: Peripheral Declination, We Laughin’, Skunk!, So Simple, When Will This End?, No Please Don’t Watch, Way, Absolute Value, Decelerator, 22, Kan Eye Tuch U? -> We Want The Funk > Misirlou > Wipeout, Good Time Blues -> Sledgehammer
Prior to WL, John said “Good Morning, we made it!”
Unusual fade-away ending
False start, and post song banter about NPDW being “our creepiest title” from John
With Close To The Edge quotes from John
Prior to AV, John yelled at someone in the audience, “Hey, you’re the guy with the awesome pants!”
After AV, someone from the audience asked the band if that was Jeff Beck, John responded, “no, we wrote that.”
Prior to Decelerator there was some banter around the phrase, “The sex has been really chill.”
During Decelerator a rare swallowtail butterfly circled and wove between members of the band then out to the audience before taking to the sky and vanishing
After Decelerator, John asked, “Is the bar open yet?”
With post-ending KETU Jam
After beach-party section concluding with Wipeout, Natalie took a minute to express her sincere gratitude to the people of Gratitude
At the end of Sledgehammer John said, “We’re Ellis Ashbrook, thank you, Good Morning!”