New hope in New Hope
There have been two great catharses in my life: Music and Friendship. After what has been the most difficult time for me and for all those whom I hold most dear, spending an evening enveloped by their presence while creating the power of music was a much needed panacea. This was the first gig since everything happened in a place that has been at best lukewarm towards the excellence that is Ellis Ashbrook and for me there was a real sense that the night was going to be different regardless of the audience, the venue, the town, whatever. I was determined to be the difference that makes the difference, as our dearest Marissa was so determined to be herself. Regardless of the outcome, last night was going to be huge… and it was.
The first set was classic Ellis; a fun collection of songs, plenty of goofy banter, while all well executed with the set closer, So Simple, providing a hint at the insanity that was to come. Two set Ellis shows are absolutely the best way to see this band. The pause between provides 15-20 minutes of reflection and what follows is free and inspired. Set two was charged with experimentation, monster segues, inspired jamming, and that tight looseness that top-level jam bands shoot for every night and seldom achieve. It was all happening last night and that new hope, the sense that we can only go up from here, was palpable.
There is a lot to be hopeful for. As we go through the process of grief and release, we have each other in a way that none of us would have imagined; and we have the music. Altogether we are stronger than we could have ever conceived. We can have it all… all we need is you. We need you to come out and be with us as we soldier on. We need you to share in this magic, because without you, It’s just masturbatory; and as much fun as that is…. Most importantly, we need your love. Don’t be shy, reach out and be there, because it’s going to be the best thing ever.
This coming Saturday, we will be at the Bowery Electric. You should be too. Also, stay tuned for an important announcement: Something special is in the works.
Saturday, October 11, 2014: TRIUMPH BREWING COMPANY, New Hope, PA
Set 1: Snakey Got Demonized Big Time, Don’t Give Up (I’ll Be Around), That’s Where You Come In, Ethiopia, Out On The Tiles, Cat Song, Peripheral Declination, Way, 22, The Undeveloped Brain, So Simple
Set 2: Burning Down The House -> Frankenstein -> Shine On You Crazy Diamond Jam > Frankenstein, Good Time Blues -> Decelerator, We Laughin’ , They Say -> War -> They Say > Barracuda, No Please Don’t Watch, Polaris, A Shot > Rock and Roll
Prior to TWYCI John introduced the band as “The Ellis Ashbrook Band from Memphis, TN”
Prior to Ethiopia, Natalie made the call for the song, John liked it and said good call, brah… Natalie responded, “Don’t call me brah.”
Prior to Tiles, John introduced the band as “The Ellis Ashbrook Band from Pittsburgh” and said this is a cover that we wrote.
Prior to Peripheral there was a weird dudes only Jam that could best be described as bad-acid disco.
With slow “middle eight” section
With shuffle jam and extended Close to the Edge quote from John
Prior to Brain, John introduced the band as “The Ellis Ashbrook Band from Kentucky, Florida”
With intro jam
After Brain, Natalie explained, “that’s a song about your brains not being fully developed”
Prior to So Simple, Jonathan bantered off mic that we should all get matching hulk-hogan face tattoos, John repeated it on mic
Amid the face tattoo joking, Alex started playing the beat for So Simple, creating an atypical lead-in that the rest of the band followed, joining one at a time
With long intro jam that started with just Natalie and John onstage
With “Lemme hear ya say yeah” call-and-response from Natalie
After We Laughin’, Natalie thanked Patty and her friend (who was actually her sister) for dancing. Then John said he hopes everyone has someone to go home to snuggle with, and Jonathan said it’s snuggling season.
With Achilles Last Stand Jam mashed with Barracuda outro jam
After NPDW, Natalie said that one goes out to the guy who requested Fleetwood Mac. Then John and Natalie did a couple of lines of The Chain a Capella, after which John said, “We’ll learn that one later.”
With drum solo
Natalie introduced, “Alex Major on the drums” at the big ending of Rock and Roll