Saturday was a completely different vibe. While the day was spent slowly traveling the short distance to Albany and Parish Public House–through the rolling Berkshires of western Mass and lush farm country of the upper Hudson valley of New York State–a heady concoction was brewing. Albany is a depressing yet interesting place; contrasting historical homages to its glorious past as a center of commerce and influence during both colonial times and pre-technological America with post-modern, Orwellian, monolithic monuments to the power of the status quo that has left the capital region and “rust” belt of New York State in the dust — withering in the shadows of it’s former self. Heavy shit indeed. And the set that Ellis muscled out, despite problems with the sound and poor attendance, was if anything a powerful and thought provoking homage of their own. A nod to the events of the day, sure, even if only through the activity of the collective unconscious, but more aptly to the storms that exist within each one of us as we struggle to keep pace with the agony and plight of the empowered soul in our ever changing world. In the end, we left Albany for Brooklyn tired but wiser for the experience. In the face of all of that intensity, it was a monumental weekend that was powerful for each of us. There was so much more than this prose enlightens, or the music demanded by the stage reveals; moreover it was the threads of love that held it all together. Let it be a lesson for all of us and be sure to get out to Fontana’s on Thursday to celebrate that love we all share and the homecoming of this fantastic band headlining again in our fine city of New York.
P.S. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that our friend Mark D’Alessio, founder of the CTEAA, joined us this weekend and was a huge support to everyone. Thank you Mark; you crushed it.
Saturday, September 20, 2014; PARISH PUBLIC HOUSE, Albany, NY
Set: Skunk!, Off The Earth, When Will This End?, That’s Where You Come In, Desert Raft, Slide, Mr. Anyone, Dig Thru, Don’t Give Up (I’ll Be Around), Snakey Got Demonized Big Time, More Gain Free Man, Good Time Blues, Tom Sawyer
**There was extensive pre-show banter from Natalie including questioning the audience how often everyone masturbates, a number of silly jokes, and the explanation of the now pervasive inside comment “My Heart is Pounding” MHiP.
Prior to Skunk!, Natalie said, “This song is about skunks”
Prior to Raft, there was some banter from Natalie about the fine architecture in Albany. Someone in the audience said, “Thank You.” To which Natalie said she didn’t know the lead architect in Albany was here. There was a bit of an awkward moment that followed, which John covered by saying, “He is Albany!”
Prior to Slide, the band was going to play Mr. Anyone, but John couldn’t find his bottle-neck slide and asked if anyone in the house had one. Someone responded that he could break the neck of a bottle for him, but John declined the offer. Eventually the guitarist from Mr. F said he had one in the car and would retrieve it. As a nod to the silliness, the band played Slide in the meantime. During the first guitar solo, the other guitarist returned with the slide as promised and Mr. Anyone followed.
As Mr. Anyone started, John recited what he said as Mr. Anyone started during the historic June 29, 2007 show at The Avalon in Boston, “Put your boots on, we’re headed down to the swampland” as a possible nod to the New Orleans theme of the venue.
With extended Star Spangled Banner quote
Prior to I’ll Be Around there was some brief, latin-esque free jamming from the band that prompted Natalie to say, “I’m not sure I know what’s going on, but I hope you guys do… you’ve asked the million dollar question: What is time?”
With “Tweezer” teases from John
Prior to Tom Sawyer, the band was deliberating on the choice with Alex being the hold-out, eventually he said, “Sure, fuck-it” off mic, prompting Natalie to say on mic, “Sure, fuck-it is not the answer you’re usually looking for.”