The Winter of our Discontent
There is no mistaking it, winter in New York City sucks. I’m not here to mince words, I promise to tell it to you straight. This winter, thank JAH, is winding down, but it was particularly miserable for the obvious reason. With glorious hints of spring appearing reluctantly, it’s perfect timing for a triumphant return to the stage. True to form, Ellis Ashbrook at The Bowery Electric doesn’t disappoint. Throw in The Liquid Light Lab, plus a little birthday celebration, and the night was primed to be special… indeed.
The room was nearly packed, the band in high spirits, and jam juggernaut So Simple in the opening slot should have been a clue; these guys mean business. A touch shorter than some of the more exploratory versions of this almost-made-it-on-Meridia gem, So Simple featured tight, compact, raucous type-1 shredding and great unison movement from all four players. A couple of rarities followed in Unbreakable, which has really come into its own; and the old school heat came blazing in the form of They Say — a personal favorite. All of this felt like soup and salad as the entree up next was a double dose of creamy, saucy, indulgence: Kan Eye Tuch U? has been a mainstay since its new arrangement debut last fall. This long shelved funk prog masterpiece has become a signature of EA in a very short time. This version was tight and punchy, crushing the room with delicate thunderbolts of odd-meter tastiness. Immediately followed by EA staple Good Time Blues, and you’re about to blast off! GTB was everything it’s supposed to be. In this position in the set, the band was hot and loose and ready to take this jam anthem out for a ride–full type-2 style… phull psycho. Still hungry? Probably not, but too bad. Closing out the set was signature EA, Absolute Value; the sound and history of EA coming full circle at the end of what was a show that connected all the dots, put the pieces together, and kicked your fucking ass. Oh wait, what’s this? A rare encore at Bowery Electric? Were they that good tonight, the answer is yes, but don’t overthink it, “What is Thinking?” anyway? Just a little tune, just a little coda; John Barber promised the sound guy he’d keep it short… oh well sound guy, you can’t stop this band — no one can.
Friday, March 6, 2015: THE BOWERY ELECTRIC, New York, NY
Set: So Simple, Unbreakable, They Say, Kan Eye Tuch U?, Good Time Blues, Absolute Value
E: What Is Thinking?
 Dedicated to Anton Nickel for his birthday by John
 Thank you to NYC, the greatest city in the world that he knows from John, he goes on to preface KETU as an oldie but a newie.