Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio: Last night at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia

Photos of Julie Slick, Adrian Belew, and Eric Slick 8-14-06 at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia -- courtesy of Katie Jacoby, rock violinist extraordinaire

Ha ha - it's 2:00 p.m. and I'm just getting to this blogpost -- I bet you all thought I'd have this prepared at 5:00 a.m. today due to the excitement/hyperventilation factor.

Well, you're right. I would have, except Gary and I had breakfast at the Down Home Diner in the Reading Terminal Market this morning with Adrian, his wife, Martha, and Julie and Eric so now I'm hyperventilating/all excited from that and am finally at this moment two hours later starting to calm down. They are all off to Atlanta to play the Acoustic Planet Tour tomorrow with Bela Fleck and Umphrey's McGee and Gary just dropped me off at home on his way in to work -- I don't know how the hell he can work after the last 24 hours. I'm still way too "high". (From the show, from the show. Sheesh.)

What can I say? Last night was the most amazing show yet. The hometown Philadelphia crowd came out in droves and was so supportive and enthusiastic that the band really felt it and there was like an electric current running to and from the stage.

I only cried once. I was too into the music to get emotional. And when Adrian was announcing the band and stuff he pointed to Gary and me as Julie and Eric's parents and then I fielded about a million compliments from people surrounding me for the rest of the evening so that kept me smiling, too.

Though when Adrian announced to the crowd about his plans to record Side Four Live with Julie and Eric, I almost required CPR.

Thank you so much to all of you who came out to the show, especially the Rock School kids like Katie Jacoby, Zach Bukowski, Carolyn Pagnotta, Rachel (ack..I don't know her last name), and Courtney Drew who made it despite just coming off a strenuous two week tour with Rock School, and of course Eric's true blue friends like Branden King, Larry Allen, Eric Svalgard, Yani (I Can't Spell His Last Name), Rachel II (another Rachel not affiliated with Rock School whose last name I do not know, either) and Louie Graff who also were there to cheer him on. Okay, yeah, that was another teary eyed moment for me -- watching Eric's friends hug him with such pure joy for his success. I know it meant a lot to him.

And oh wow, there was strong support from so many of Gary's old pals...he had a whole cheerleading section at the show, too. For those of you into Devo, the Spud Boys were there and yep, Gary's friends as well.

I have to admit I loved meeting my blog readers...I had a whole bunch of strangers (well, now they're friends) come up to me and introduce themselves and tell me they've been keeping up with my family's exploits on a daily basis and wouldn't have missed the concert for the world.

Sigh...seriously, that was a true sigh. I wish I could repeat last night all over again. It was so, so great.

But hey, in a way I do. As I've mentioned, the kids bought me a trip to Florida for my birthday this week so I'm flying down to Tampa on Friday to see the show in St. Petersburg. And yes! Jerry Outlaw of Bogus Pomp is opening for them, which is so cool I can't take it.

Speaking of opening acts, on the east coast portion of this tour it was Saul Zonana. Do me a favor. Click on that link and listen to Saul's music. He's fantastic! Adrian produced his CD, and I've been listening to it for the past half hour. I'm really, really loving it. Saul's a great guy, too -- it was a lot of fun swapping stories with him backstage as well -- I didn't realize that he was the bassist for the Crash Test Dummies. Gary and Saul got to talking, and here Saul will also be opening for The Adrian Belew Power Trio during the west coast swing but he's driving all by himself...then I got a brainstorm and said to Gary "Why don't you go with Saul on tour and share driving, etc." and the plan was hatched and we're running with it.

So lucky Gary gets to go everywhere from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco for most of November. The west coast tour has really shaped up and they are going to be visiting a lot of cities...Austin, Dallas, Phoenix...etc.

I will stay home and take care of the dog.

And write another novel or seven.

Yeah, so, the show last night gave me the chills; breakfast with the Belews this morning was so much fun because I really, really like them both and Adrian is hilarious..he makes these deadpan jokes that crack me up.

Last night he made the obligatory "Please visit the merch table" statement but then he added "and buy CDs from my beautiful wife or she will put a curse on you.......all of your babies will be born naked!"

Anyway, I could ramble for hours but instead I'll post a few emails I received:

The first is from a family who are part of Rock School in New York City:

"Just wanted to drop a line to say hello, and let you know PGSORM-NYC was at the show at B.B. King's in NYC last Tuesday night (August 8th). We had a couple of tables on the floor and loved the show!!! Julie, Eric and Adrian were amazing ~ even inspirational to the young students that we brought.

Break a leg tonight in Philly!"

Next, an email from a cool lady who saw the NY show:

"Hi Robin,

I’ve been reading your blog which I came upon via Eric’s blog via Adrian’s site….. ah, the wonder of the internet. First, let me say that I enjoy your writing…. Second, I had the pleasure of catching Adrian’s show in NY this past weekend. I was blown away by Eric and Julie – so young, so talented! They didn’t miss a beat. You must be so proud!"

Here's a comment addressed to Eric I just read on Eric's tour blog from someone at the Philly show last night:

"Well, as noone else has responded I guess I'll be the first to say "Wow". Minor snafus with Julie's fretless aside, the show at World Cafe was nothing short of amazing, incredible, unbelievable...in short...there aren't enough adjectives to describe.

Adrian is blessed to have found you and your sister. If anyone reading has any chance at all to see you...well they'd be crazy not to.

Thanks for giving me such a memorable night of music!

I've no doubt that I'll be hearing more from you..and I'm busy now talking to family and drumming up some audience for the FL shows!!"

Oh wow. Thank you! And if you do drum up your family in Florida to attend the shows, tell them to come over and say Hi to me! Well, I won't be at the Thursday night gig in Jacksonville but Friday and Saturday, I am soooo there....

From Katie Jacoby's mom, Esther, who came to the show with her husband/Katie's dad Dave despite the fact they have to be in Washington, D.C. today:

"Dear Robin,

Fantastic show last night!!! Adrian is VERY lucky to have Julie and Eric in his band. Your kids are phenomenal is every way possible. We really enjoyed the concert last night and look forward to the Live Recording concert. Please keep me posted!

Katie took these pics last night. Enjoy!


I love Esther. And thanks for those pics, Jacoby family. As you can see, I've already put them to good use.

Here's something on the Planet Crimson forum board which just made me lose it altogether:


I was going to start with some kind of aphorism about conviction or focus, but this isn't the kind of thing you can put in formal terms. Adrian and the Slicks shook the World Cafe with enough ENERGY to power half of Philly during a blackout. Eric had recently mentioned in his blog how much he and Julie were looking forward to playing back in their hometown for family & friends, so Dog_None and I had suspected they might be a little more stoked than usual. But this blew any expectations out of the water. The enthusiasm on both sides was overwhelming. They raised the roof with the first song and never looked back.

The Slicks make an interesting complement to each other. Eric was the classic wild-man drummer, somewhere between Animal (the Muppet) and Keith Moon, while Julie simply pulled off that oh-so-cool unruffled bass player look like a seasoned pro (think John Entwistle if he'd moved and swayed now and then). We stood on the far stage-right side of the room, so Julie was the closest one to watch, and I was just as stunned watching her playing as with watching Ade. She's a much busier player than Tony Levin has ever been, but it never once seemed to crowd the others or lack a solid underpinning rhythm either. She tapped, plucked, picked, strummed, slapped and somehow always came out with something just perfect for the song.

The Mistress commented to me at one point how into it Ade was getting; but then, he could hardly not be while facing such energizing bandmates. "Beat Box Guitar" turned into a trippy abstract improv in the middle, complete with Pink Floyd-y atmospherics and humpback whale noises (even including a brief phrase of "Discipline"). They even had people dancing to "Madness" (!). Because it was such a great evening ("I've always had some really special times playing in Philadelphia"), Adrian was inspired for the first time on the tour to try "Walk Around the World" - solo with an echo box. And just when I was almost going to pick that jaw up off the floor.

It was obvious what a great time they were having, just from watching Eric and Ade mug & laugh like two kids in a candy store from start to finish. AB was feeling it enough that he announced he'd like to come back to the World Cafe for a couple shows when it's time to record Side Four. Be still my heart. If it happens, I'll be there every night. ("Honey? We don't really need to buy furniture, do we?")

Incredible. Just incredible.

As near as I can remember:

Writing on the Wall
Young Lions
Matchless Man
Beat Box Guitar
Drive (AB solo)
Walk Around the World (AB solo)
The Lone Rhinoceros (AB solo)
Of Bow & Drum
Big Electric Cat
Frame x Frame
Three of a Perfect Pair
Elephant Talk
Thela Hun Ginjeet"

Excuse me. Serious weeping here. I need to collect myself.

Okay. Whew. I just went through a box of Kleenex.

Oh. I know what I forgot to tell you. Guess who hung out at soundcheck last night and were blown away:

This guy and this guy who are, of course, members of this band!

Dave, who is Adrian's roadie, took pics of Eric hanging out with them which I will post as soon as I receive -- Dave is with the trio on the whole tour so in case Eric forgets to ask him (as if), I'll get him to email them to me when I see him in Florida on Friday.

Okay. That's enough excitement for one day.

I need a nap.