Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio on Tour -- raves and reviews part III

Cool pic, isn't it? Thanks to "Gambit" of the Planet Crimson forum board -- I lifted this from him there (with his permission, of course)

So incredible reviews and emails continue to pour in about the Adrian Belew Power Trio.

Bill wrote:

"What I did last night

I went to see a personal legend on guitar, Mr Adrian Belew, with a long time friend Pete.

As backround, Pete and I share something with respect to AB. His influence and playing are part of some of the most important music in our lives. Neither of us can count the times we've listened to Remain in Light by the Heads, I can't imagine my personal musical tastes had I never heard "City of Tiny Lights" from Zappa...can't imagine my early college years without King Crimson's Discipline.

Then there is his solo work, music and virtuosity in a time when we're still being handed "britney spears" lookalikes and sampled hiphop and being told this is "the future of music". (bah...I don't think so RIAA...wanna know why record sales suck...because the "music" you publish sucks...ok enough ranting).

Anyway, it was my first trip to World Cafe Live and I must say I was suitably impressed. A new venue in an "odd" part of town but very accessible...a GREAT place to see a show. Not only do you get the show, they've a bar and restaurant..very affordable pricing..and a great setup for sound.

Adrian is touring in support of his "Side X" works (One, Two and Three), and is set up as a "Power Trio". He is "flanked" in this setup by 2 of the most talented siblings I've had the good fortune to see play, School of Rock All Stars Julie and Eric Slick. As the brother and sister power duo are from was a hometown show for them and family and friends were in attendance. I'm sure the parents will tire eventually of crowds of people coming to them after the show and blessing them for having 2 such talented youngsters...but they seem to take it well in stride. Dad was sharing a story about the previous night's show...early in the day he was entering the venue and was asked if he was "with the band". His response..."Hell no, I MADE the band!". Good for you!!!

One other thing about that last paragraph...if ever there was a better advertisement for the Rock School that listening to these 2 play and watching them perform...I can't think of one.

Anyway...Adrian played brilliantly...several Crimson songs were in the mix as well as a good dose of his latest work from Side's 1, 2 and 3. Must admit it was fun to hear Elephant Talk and more of that catalog...but I was most impressed (and I believe Adrian was as well, having not even attempted this song yet during the tour) with Walk Around the World from Side One. He played it alone and as complex as the fingerwork is for see him play it...AND SING IT at the same time??? There are times when watching talent like that is an awe-inspiring experience. This was one of those times.

Imric...they will be in your neighborhood tomorrow. Wanna see something REALLY scary?. Julie is 20/21 and her brother a year or so younger. AB in an interview said it was wonderful finding the two of them...unspoiled by "the biz". Me..I'm just glad to have lucked into an opportunity to see a couple of talents that will be around for a long time to come..and will have legions of fans in their own right. And, at the same time, I got to see Adrian Belew play, got to talk to him a bit after, get my cd signed...and go home refreshed in the knowledge that there still exist MUSICIANS.

There is hope.

Pete wrote this in my comments section:

"Hey Robin, Pete Franke again, one of those 'stranger/friends' you mentioned in your post, or is that perhaps just 'wierdo strangers' ;-D Thanks for being so gratious, you and your husband are clearly such genuinely nice people! To go to a club for music and find oneselve caught up in this wonderful, family vibe was such a unique experience, and seeing your kids and Adrian responding to all that energy with such an amazing performance is something I know I will keep with me for a long time. What a great night!

Now, your mission from here is to MAKE SURE that Adrian keeps his promise and does his live CD (at least in part) in Philly! Hell, his fans would support a double CD on that one, just to make sure theres room for everything. So, between feeding the dog, traveling the WORLD (wink, wink) and writing your novellas, you have to work for all of us common folks to get Adrian back to Philly!!

Peace and safe travels to you and your family! See ya around (in that non-stalking, positive way that rock fans do, lol)"

Eric got a few fan letters which I got him to forward me...I know this embarrasses him but I did get his reluctant permission to post them.

From Mike in Pittsburgh:

"Hello Eric,

Thank you for the fantastic show in Pittsburgh @ Club Café. Adrian rocked, you were jammin, and your sister is a totally smokin player (Incredible). You have to be tired from that smashing performance..

I'm glad i made it out to see you guys; tell everyone thanks for the liberating experience. Please let me know if you guys plan on coming back to Pittsburgh any time soon as I'm sure you will have a good turn out again. To many Crimson and Zappa fans here to leave Adrian hanging. We will always pack venues to see a legend like Adrian. Dude, your sister rocks... A very relaxed look, while tapping the guitar, ripping out notes and getting great tones, effortless... Love it..

Let me know if you ever come back w/ any band so I can tell my buddies to check out your skills..

Tell Adrian thanks for coming out after the show and talking to everyone. We all loved the kindness..."

From Brian in Philadelphia:

"Hi Eric,

I'm a 26 year old guy from philly, and I saw you play with Belew last night at the World Cafe.

I just wanted to say that you guys were awesome, and blew me away. I've played with some very talented drummers, but you seemed to have something else going on in your playing. I know plenty of guys who are excellent jazz drummers, and a few good rock drummers, but very few people that can play technically demanding music and still bang the hell out of the drums when necessary. Good job!

That's basically it. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the show (as did the guests I brought with me) and I hope that you guys DO get to come back to Philadelphia and record a live record."

Three guesses who is crying again right now. Christ, I should own stock in Kleenex during this tour.

Anyway, tonight they play with Bela Fleck and Umphrey's McGee as part of the Acoustic Planet Tour at this incredible venue in Atlanta. So it will be an amazing outdoor festival on the 27th anniversary of Woodstock.

How very perfect.