Friday, June 22, 2007

Hot Stuff: The Adrian Belew Power Trio with Eric and Julie Slick on tour...Part II

Photography courtesy of Chris Nochowicz, taken at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN on June 19, 2007

Yikes. So A.D. Amorosi was kind enough to write up the Paul Green School of Rock Music Fest this weekend in today's Philadelphia Inquirer but oh my god, there's a bit of an error...

"...The Paul Green School of Rock Music Festival
It's possible to be excited about Paul Green and how his Philly-first School of Rock has spread across the country. This inaugural School of Rock (SOR) Fest - where classes from San Francisco, Austin and beyond congregate - features Green's top student players in the SOR All-Stars, who will jam with six-stringers, such as Vernon Reid. Some of Green's instructors, among them Stinking Lizaveta and Ween, will show off their chops. Adrian Belew's Trio hosts Philly SOR grads Eric and Robin Slick. Hot stuff. But before the SORFest becomes a Cub Scouts Jamboree of metal, where kids rub guitars together to start fires, wait for the real blaze to burn when Bad Brains hits the stage. The highly spiritual, harshly political hard-core punk/reggae act just recorded Build a Nation, its first rocker since 1995's God of Love. Produced by Adam Yauch, Nation's incendiary instigators - singer/toaster HR, guitarist Dr. Know, etc. - show that they write and play with the righteous fury of the start as well as the wizened woe of their tenure. SOR students, study up on "Expand Your Soul." You'll be tested."

Oy. No, that would be "Eric Slick and Julie Slick", not "Robin Slick", though of course "hot stuff" does in fact apply to me as well. Har har.

From the Yes Forum Board:

"Nolan asked me to post this for him - he wasn't able to get out here yet to do it ... thanks for the great review, Nolan!

I need to "set up" the scene for this concert with the following, so indulge me:

AB goes to the local chiropractor Steven Williams-he's a relative of mine by marriage. He get's hired to go to the major "Music City" concerts and do adjustments on the performers before the shows, etc. He once adjusted Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham prior to their last FM/Nashville He doesn't crack and tell......He rarely tells me who he's been working with, etc....."Doctor/Patient Confidentiality"

He's the "adjuster of the stars" I guess. He sings, plays guitar and is a pt preacher on top of all that......Steven's wife and her sister-another relative (it's TN you know. they're all cousins' were at the local Tex/Mex cantina, Cinco de Mayo in Mt Juliet where Adrian hangs out and as they were leaving the last time they saw him they went over to tell him that their son (who also happens to be an aspiring musician and who was in the same Boy Scout troop as Adrian's son Stevie Mars Belew-yes, that's his real middle who Adrian knows had won a full "music" scholarship to the University of Memphis. He gets to play in their "Fusion Band"....Adrian remarked how great that was, etc and the young, high school aged hostess standing nearby, overheard the conversion and was familiar with Alex's mother so she jumped in the conversion saying....."I KNOW Alex Kramer; he's the best guitarist in Mt Juliet!!"....not knowing who Adrian Belew was, etc. Adrian replied, "Yeah! I hear he's pretty good!".....too funny

Before Adrian's concert Tuesday evening I was waiting near the entranceway of The Mercy Lounge waiting for the doors to open and Adrian came to the door as to let us in and when he stuck his head out the door, I asked him "Did he know if the guy performing tonight was any good??!" Since he knew me he played along and said "I don't know about the guy but the girl (meaning Julie Slick) is pretty good"-with "pretty" being an understatement I later found out. I told him that "Mt Juliet was here in force tonight to support their native son" and Adrian asked if I "had brought the "voyeurs" from Cinco de Mayo" (meaning the hostesses)...At least tonight at The Mercy Lounge, Adrian wanted to be considered the "best guitarist" in town I

Adrian left the venue after sound check; we were let in to find out listening spots and prepare for the sonic fusion concert of the year in Nashville. Frank Zappa music was being played on the house system, so perfect for folks getting ready to see the world's (if not Mt Juliet's) best stunt guitarist around since Frank Zappa is no longer with us......any everyone attending knew FZ had given Adrian his first major break back in the 70's. What a nice way to pay homage.

The opening act was a very mellow Bosa Nova group with guitar, bongos, steel guitar and flute as backups. FOA "Friends Of Adrian" they said, called "SWAN DIVE".....Definitely a "contrast" in music style from FZ and AB but nice, kinda like "cleansing the musical/sonic palette" before The Adrian Belew Power Trio" took the stage. These folks had music in their heart and soul you could tell, they were very humble at receiving our applause and approval. The gal lead singer just thanked us for "not booing them off the stage" which she said she was afraid we might do.....I don't think AB would have asked them to open for him IF he would have thought his fans would do that.....Some of us had even been to see Robert Fripp's recent Nashville performance of his "Soundscapes" Tour which is even more of a contrast of music than this was.....

There was a short break to prepare the stage for the main attraction and instead of FZ music we were given, Meditarrium, greek-like exotic music, some sounding almost like salsa music-maybe AB had the Cinco de Mayo "incident" on his mind and being the competitive sort, he was going to PROVE on THIS night that HE was the BEST GUITARIST "anywhere" ...Fans were taking pictures of his gear and peddle board "setup"...(the opening act had referenced it twice during their performance stating that on two of the "led" readouts it said "Prozac" and "Jimi") before he musicians came to the stage to render us with one of the most "intense" performances I have ever witnessed. Seriously, I have been to ALOT of concerts, big, small, bad and great and this one is in the top five of many since 1969. This band just played flat out with no fear....Eric Slick, the drummer is 20 years, came from Paul Green's ROCK SCHOOL and plays the drums like a mixture of John Bonham and Keith Moon, alternating between "Hammering of The Gods" and "jazzy offbeat"....smiling all the time, playing off of AB's musical cues and body language. Julie Slick, the bass player is 21 years old, also from ROCK SCHOOL (as AB introduced her he said "She's 21 ....NOW, we're talking!”) She can create "heavy metal thunder" on her bass and also play "jazzy" as well. She looks a mixture of Angelina Jolie and Cindy Crawford but with a bass strapped on. She gives AB sly smiles from time to time but mainly plays as if she's one of the gals from the Robert Palmer video, "Addicted To Love" looking down at her finger/pick work.....Fortunately for her, she plays as well as she looks......I found out later that she had played bass for Jon Anderson before too...I'd hire her too.....the total package......if you can't have Tony Levin or Chris Squire around you, Julie will soon make you forget all about them......ok, enough, there WAS a concert to listen to but as I said before the "World's Best Stunt Guitarist" ever......and like the bosa nova opening act, AB is a musician that clearly "ENJOYS" his work....even when they had opening night glitches he howled at them, at least they were going places with music that might encourage technical challenges...AB does NOT play it "safe" with his methods, style....JAZZ ON STEROIDS is the style music this group plays!!.Adrian seemed to have "fried" the electronics in one of his guitars during a number and just calmly unplugged it, got the spare and jumped back in with the support of his rhythm section Eric and Julie, nobody missed a beat.....Once during the most "intense" sequences (you could see the paint peeling off the walls, to use a well known expression) Adrian said basically that he promised not to get anymore intense than that for his own protection, thinking his (and our heads) may explode like in the movie "Scanners" He asked us "did he leave any note unplayed" "Had we heard ALL the notes possible", etc etc...Luckily most of the walls at The Mercy Lounge are bare, exposed wood, so Adrian shouldn't have to play much to have the place repainted......After the encore, there was a 15 minute standing ovation in appreciation to the effort of the night while the majority of the audience remained to greet their guitar god at the bar. AB was very gracious and took his time to speak with everyone, posing for pictures, talking about the future, etc. He was drenched in sweat from all the music poring out of him, his "Renaissance Man" cap was drooping but his was happy to see us all hanging around still....guess playing every note possible to infinity AND reclaiming his title as the "Best Guitarist" around since Alex Kramer takes alot of effort! He was up for the challenge....AND next time the Cinco de Mayo hostess will have to say "Beside's Mt Juliet's Renaissance Man,Adrian Belew, Alex Kramer is (second) best....." which is NOT bad with the guy in front of being"

Naturally, I had chills reading that and I think the reviewer is correct - Julie does look like a cross between Angelina Jolie and Cindy Crawford except she's even prettier. And more talented.

Okay, this is just part one because I haven't talked to my family yet today about last night's show nor have I found anything on line.

What I do know, however, is the release date for SIDE FOUR LIVE but I'm not sure I'm allowed to blab it yet nor give you any more information so I will also get back to you on that as soon as I find out today if I have the band's permission.

Okay. Must go walk the dog since I am his sole caretaker over the next few days while Gary and the kids's so beautiful out I'm actually thinking of taking him to lunch at an al fresco cafe.

Yeah, yeah, I'm a lunatic.

More later today. .