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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Instead of dutifully watching the Oscars like a good little patron of the movie business, I went out to a concert and enjoyed music last night. In a previous blog post, Mike Gordon on Solo Tour, I had mentioned that Mike Gordon (of the band Phish) has been on an eight show tour in between his gigs with his more famous band. Last  night, the tour brought him to my town.

Photo by Kate Langenburg

The venue he booked, the Sherman Theater, is not by any means a large venue. When I heard that Gordon had sold out his last show in Troy, NY, I was worried about the crowds I might find in my small theater. To my surprise, there were very few people in attendance at this show. The amount didn’t even fill the front section of the pit. Be that as it may, Gordon did not hold back on the audience. He gave them a show for the books.

He and his musicians took the stage, as Gordon made a comment about my town being “a ghost town with a really good vibe.” He plowed his way through a number of great songs with good jams, and even threw in a little piece of ‘Meat’ for the Phish fans in the crowd. He was joined by his opening act, Danny Barnes, who played a mean banjo on a few of the songs. Barnes has opened for other jam bands as well, including Keller Williams.

Here’s the whole kit and caboodle:

Set I: Only a Dream, Can’t Stand Still, Pretend > Can’t Stand Still > Pretend, 15 Step > Midnight, Where the Soul of Man Never Dies, Middle of the Road, Cruel World, Soul Food Man

Set II: Dig Further Down, Hap Nappy, She Said She Said, Crumblin’ Bones > Morphin’ Again, Another Door

E: Country Boy

Besides the music, the band had a lot of fun visual aspects to its show. There were bubble machines set up on both sides of the stage, crazy lights, and a stage set up as a tribute to the upcoming spring season — butterflies, lights, and pussy willows covered its surface. The best parts were the darting green and red point lights that cut through the audience and filled the venue.

Overall, a good show. I have to say that if you go to a Mike Gordon show expecting to hear Phish songs you will be let down. He does play his own music with his own band and rarely throws in Phish. But if you’re just looking to listen to some good jams, than it’s for you.

I did manage to get a video of ‘Meat,’ but be warned — the sound quality is pretty awful. I was standing too close to the speakers. Still, if you want to check it out, click here.

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