|Stan Says:||Jodi Says:|
|My co-conspirators, Jodi and Steve had gotten to see this band before and really wanted me to see them as well. This was the first opportunity since they saw them before and there was no way that anything could have readied me for the experience of seeing this band live. To start, there are ten people on stage the night we saw them. I counted eight at first, then nine, then a tenth showed up. A keyboard player, a trap drummer (as in behind a kit), a percussionist comprised the back row. Then in front, starting on that same side and the way it ultimately worked out, was a vocalist for their occasional vocal songs. Then there was a violinist that night and from what I understand he was only there that particular night. Next to and sometimes in front of him was a flute player (I’ve always hated the word “flautist”). And there was also a saxophone player in there. Then, in the center was a guitarist whom I believe is the leader of the band, though I may be wrong. Behind him was a bass player. Then at stage left is another guitarist, first off his leads are great, and secondly, he switched at one point in the night to the cello. Okay, that’s an amazing band. 1 keys, 2 drums, 3 percussion, 4 vocals, 5 violin, 6 flute, 7 sax, 8 guitar, 9 bass, 10 guitar, is that everyone?
As much as I was shocked by the size of the band, the music is what got me even more. They take the idea to heart that music is a journey and that they’re leading us somewhere. Their sound is unique with various influences ranging from Santana to Return To Forever, all the way to a rock-fusion guitar based band I know called Gamelon. Progressive Fusion? Am I coining new genre terms? The sad thing is that they do not have anything recorded or any merchandise available. I want to support this incredible band as much as I can and look forward to anything that they may have available. I heard that they’ve already recorded or are at least finishing recording one song. I wondered at that, thinking how difficult it would be to present what they do in a recorded form. The music is that intense and complex with each musician shining without overshadowing the others. I experienced solos and jams that seemed to be complete improvisations yet were definitely planned musical excursions. They play off of one another wonderfully and allow room for each to shine. I keep saying that in different ways, yet with a band that size it’s very important.
Asleep in the Weeds is astounding. I can’t see them playing a smaller venue like the Evening Muse or Snug Harbor, yet the Chop Shop was perfect for them with its wide stage. This band is a well tuned machine whose innovative style needs to be heard and explored more and more.
At the next and any subsequent opportunity, go see this band! I don’t care what kind of music you like, they’re amazing.
|Asleep in the Weeds is comprised of Chad Thompson on guitar, Laurence Maher (vocals), Matt Daul on drums, flautist Marolyn Garo, Lucas Wayne Ray on guitar, Marcus Harmon on guitar and tenor sax, Galen Le playing piano/organ, Harry Kollm on bass and Ryan Persaud on nearly any kind of hand drum and other random percussion. Â Thatâ€™s a lot of folks on one stage! Â They also had a guest star David Strassberg on violin. Â The initial impression is that this is an orchestra with excellent musicianship, not a band.
I very much enjoyed this opening act, as they reminded me of a cross between Man Man, Frank Zappa, jazz and what you would hear in Louisiana (what Iâ€™ve heard as Zydeco music). Â It was fascinating to hear all the different instruments in harmony. Â Beyond that though, one guitarist brought out a cello for a song! Â The lead singer did get lost a little bit, but it could be due to so many people on stage and the sound not quite mixed right. Â The beating of the drummer and the congas really added a lot to their music, although the saxophone also makes them stand out from among the masses.
This band is more of a get on your feet and dance with the music type of band. Â Iâ€™ve seen this band twice now, I have enjoyed them immensely both times. Each experience has been different, and it reminded me of being at a theater this latest time as each 10 minute song had an opening act, a middle part and an ending that were each distinct with tempo changes. Â Each artist had a solo opportunity, after which the songs grew from that solo into a harmonious sound filling the room. I didnâ€™t not have a favorite song this night, I enjoyed every song equally.
I canâ€™t wait to hear them on a CD (which at this point they are working on) to see if it sounds nearly as good as these guys sound live. Â I canâ€™t wait to see them again.