Show Notes 5.17.14


Sometimes less is more. Being faced with the task of writing about Ellis’s return to Philadelphia after a two-and-a-half year absence is intense enough without considering the matter at hand – the show. In this case, this show… well something special happened. Perhaps a metaphorical corner was turned? I can’t say for sure, but the result was something truly remarkable. Rare form? Maybe, but I am inclined to think this kind of thing is going to happen regularly from now on. With two shows this coming weekend, we will know soon enough. If you are looking for a review, you’re not going to get it here. My words would pale in comparison to being there, so I humbly suggest you be there next time, because I have a sneaking suspicion that the best is yet to come. Brooklyn Night Bazaar Saturday, Bowery Electric Sunday; don’t be square.

Saturday, May 17, 2014: THE FIRE, Philadelphia, PA

Set: So Simple[1][2][3], Cat Song, Unbreakable[4], Barracuda -> Sledgehammer -> Off the Earth[5], Mr. Anyone[6][7], On[8], 22, Bottomfeeder[9], Frankenstein[10][11][12]

Encore: A Shot[13] > Rock and Roll[14]

[1]Prior to So Simple, Natalie introduced the band by saying “We’ve been calling ourselves Ellis Ashbrook for a long time now…” John retorts, “Please excuse the name”
[2] “How ya doin’, Philadelphia?!?” From Natalie mid song
[3] Scatting from Natalie prior to jam
[4] Prior to Unbreakable, La Villa Strangiato quote from John
[5] Barracuda into Sledgehammer into Off the Earth was unbroken and continuous, featuring fully realized jammed segues between each song, led by John, involving key and tempo changes in both. The second segue between Sledgehammer and Off the Earth found John in the wrong key through the first verse of OTE but was corrected at the onset of the chorus creating an interesting, dissonant effect that while accidental, added an unexpected and “tripped-out” element to the performance.
[6] Prior to Mr. Anyone Natalie said, “We are Ellis as in Island and Ashbrook as in…”, John finished her thought adding “The brook of ashes that comes after the apocalypse”
[7] Natalie made the call to play Mr. Anyone to the rest of the band too close to her microphone and the house heard it, John said “you’re not supposed to give it away!” An audience member approved of the choice saying “That’s my favorite song!”
[8] Prior to On, four beers were brought to Natalie onstage, to which she responded “People know that I like beer, we’ve been given a lot of beers, so I think that means you guys are enjoying this and we’ll keep playing.” In response, John teased Barracuda, to which Natalie retorted “But not Barracuda again.”
[9] By audience request
[10] Prior to Frankenstein, big thanks to everyone present from John followed by “We wrote this back in ’70? {Looks around to confer with rest of the band} Yeah, ‘70”
[11] Heartbreaker teases from John
[12] During final “space” section, both John and Jonathan were on the floor working their effects.
[13] With drum solo
[14] By request from John Teten