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Posts Tagged ‘hippie music’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I am a huge Phish fan. I love ’em. They make me happy when I am sad and excited when I am feeling lethargic. I just turn on that music and a different part of me comes alive. Although I’ve only seen the band live one time, I have not since had a better concert experience. Therefore, I have categorized my concerts by the following: those before Phish and those after Phish.

I hope he invites Chewbacca to the show.

Since the beginning of last year, the band has been touring once again, after a hiatus that was very uncertain. The band seems to be quite content with the status of their muscianship. They are adored by many fans. However, one member of the band is stepping out to do a solo tour. 

Phish’s bassist, Mike Gordon, is doing a month long set of shows across the eastern United States. He will start on March 5 in New York and end on March 14 in New Hampshire. Mike will be joined by several other musicians on his tour: Scott Murawski (guitar), Todd Isler (drums), Tom Cleary (keyboards), and Craig Myers (percussion). Visit Mike Gordon’s website for complete tour information.  

For those of you in my neck of the woods, this is good news. Mike will be coming right to our very own Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA. That show will happen on March 7. It makes me smile from my head down to my feet.

The news of this tour comes as no surprise, as it seems the members of Phish have a lot of making up to do. I would never go as far to say that they deserted their fans. They didn’t — but many fans were devastated when the band stopped touring. I suppose this is Mike’s way of saying, “sorry guys.”

Thanks, Mike. We all appreciate it.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove 

Last Saturday night, I strolled on down to the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg to see one of my favorite bluegrass jam bands play. Railroad Earth, of Stillwater, New Jersey, has been playing and perfecting their sound for years around the area, as well as across the country.
 

All the boys of Railroad Earth minus Mike Carbone. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The band opened with a stellar, upbeat “Drag Him Down” but then backed off the high uppity bass and focused on some slower songs, particularly “For Love.” I can appreciate the vibe they were trying to set, but it kind of ruined the mood a little. People were psyched up to see the show. RRE started with an upbeat song, then played slow songs for almost the entire rest of set one. It was definitely a tease.However, at the end of set one, the band went into a bumpin’ version of “Head” which always gets a crowd going. As Todd Schaeffers vocals screeched out, the audience sang back to him and threw up their hands each time he repeated the call. Thank the bluegrass gods for making them play this song. I think it was the highlight of the concert.

 

 After intermission, they came back with more chill vibes. Not to say I was disappointed by this, but I was just ready to dance, that’s all. It’s kind of hard to dance to music without a strong, up beat. Here’s the complete set list:
 
 Set 1: Drag Him Down>For Love>Seven Story Mountain>Old Man and the Land>The Hunting Song>Shockenawe Mountain Breakdown>Head
 
Set 2: Where Songs Begin>Walk Beside Me>Luxury Liner>Jerusalem Ridge>RV>Warhead Boogie>New Jam (SHJ)>Moonshiner
 
Encore: Genesis>Bringin’ My Baby Back Home
 
The lights were awesome — Every time I go to the Sherman Theater, their light shows get more and more advanced. Different hues of reds, blues, and yellows washed over the audience as they bopped up and down to the music. At times, the lights seemed to take on a mind of their own, zipping back and forth from the stage to the audience.
 
The only other thing I will have to mention is something I usually have no complaints about at the Sherman: the sound. While most of the instruments sounded in tune and jacked up to the right volume, I felt that the bass was way too overblown. Walking up to the side of the stage, the speakers literally produced wind everytime the bass was plucked. The result was a muddled effect, of which I was unhappy with.
 
This was the second show in a row that Railroad Earth played at the Sherman Theater. They usually play two nights every year around Thanksgiving. Not that I didn’t like the show, but I think next time they should focus on their boppin’ bluegrass beats a little more. I will leave you with some good clips I got:
 
 
 
And if you’re feeling frisky, you can read about the time I interviewed Railroad Earth’s lead singer Todd Schaeffer. Click here.

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