Saturday, June 23, 2007
The Washington Post Loves the Adrian Belew Power Trio (and so do the fans....) and will I see you at the Sellersville Theater tonight?
Once again, some more fabulous photos by Chris Nochowicz at Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN on July 19, 2007
From this morning's Washington Post:
Saturday, June 23, 2007; Page C12
Electric fans blew Adrian Belew's thinning long hair into wispy wings, and for a moment the impression was that he was holding desperately on to the neck of his guitar for grounding in a windstorm. As it happened, it was Belew who created the storm Thursday night, a sonic squall of arena-rock chords that came perilously close to overwhelming the intimate confines of Jammin' Java.
As a member of prog-rock heroes King Crimson, and having played with the likes of Robert Fripp, David Bowie and Frank Zappa, Belew is accustomed to being accompanied by world-class talent. On Thursday he was backed by the brother-sister rhythm battery of drummer Eric and bassist Julie Slick, 20 and 21 respectively. On paper it seems cuckoo; in concert it was nutty fun.
The trio muscled through such space-age chamber pieces as "Big Electric Cat" and "Thela Hun Ginjeet" with cool ferocity; Julie, as alluringly remote as Talking Head bassist Tina Weymouth, and Eric, who frequently laughed out loud after particularly busy drum solos, matched the boss note for note, causing frequent exchanges of grins across the stage. It was clear the three were having a blast while putting across their best effort.
Belew, who played a futuristic-looking Parker Fly guitar, made use of the daunting number of effects pedals at his feet, changing the sound of the guitar several times during a single tune. But the technology never overshadowed the organic nature of the numbers, and the young adults playing with him provided alarmingly mature soul.
-- Buzz McClain
From fabulous fan Rich, who saw the show in Virginia Thursday night, though I am going to purposely leave out where he puts up the set list just in case there are those of you coming to the PA, NJ, or NY shows this weekend and would rather be surprised though of course now as I read this again, I see he lists most of the songs anyway which is way cool especially in light of his wonderful, intelligent remarks:
"First I have to say this might of been the most incredible performance I've seen Ade do, and I seen plenty!
6-21-07 Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA
Headed from Winchester to Alexandria, VA. Pretty smooth sailing until I got near the Wilson Bridge construction. I don't miss Beltway traffic one bit. Had a few beers and a awesome dinner with some old family friends who have a beautiful house overlooking the Potomac River in Mount Vernon. Me and Karl headed to venue and ran into Kate and Craig waiting in line (I am so glad ya'll went, and thanks for the gift Kate, YOU ROCK!) We had to wait in line for awhile, but the odd thing the line was inside the venue, never been in that situation before. It was cool since we had a drink as we waited. They let us in, the venue wasn't too spectacular (my first time there) decent sound though. They had closely placed chairs and no tables in front of the stage. Kate snagged some chairs 3 rows back from the stage. The opener Saul Zonana was pretty good, solo singer/guitarist who used loops of bass, guitar and drums. Adrian produced and plays on one of his cd's that I picked up and got signed after the show.
At the break between Saul and the Trio, I hit the bathroom and happened to walk by the green room as Adrian opened the door. Exchanged greetings and wished him a great show, and a great show it was. It was an all ages show and was awesome to see many younger fans.
They hit the stage to a loud and receptive crowd. Ripped open Writing on the Wall with a sonic assault. Eric and Julie are so incredible, and amazing to watch. I think Ade really feeds off of it too. No disrespect to the two Mikes, but this line up is SICK! Eric is a monster on the drums, and Julie is so fluid and strong on the bass, they both make it looks so easy.
Adrian joked about being in Vienna, and sorry that the audience doesn't speak English...LOL.
Ampersand was next, they blew the lid off of it!
Young Lions was next, I really love this song, awesome version. Adrian asked if he could get some light on the crowd so he could see us, but they didn't have lights placed that way.
Beatbox followed and had a MONSTER of a jam sandwiched in it. Adrian was really working his "toys", he has a cool bouncy stool he sits on when tweaking his gadgets.
Men In Helicopters was a treat. I was getting a little annoyed at this point, for a dude sitting near me was taking flash pictures like every 20 seconds. The guy in front of me was annoyed too and tapped him on the shoulder. He continued to shoot, so in between songs I got his attention and asked if he would chill out on all the flashes (it is a rock show, not a fashion shoot.) It worked for he only took two more pics the rest of the show.
Matchless Man had a extended part with more Adeffects and loops.
Madness was AWESOME. I am not the biggest fan of this songs version on Side One, but with the Slicks it is now one of my faves. Julie and Eric slayed on this. This got a great response from the crowd.
The next 2 songs was Adrian solo:
Drive was great with the Within Without You tease
Lone Rhinoceros was nice, Ade mentioned this was the song that put him on the map.
The Slicks returned and Adrian said they are going to play a new song that they just learned which turned out to be Neurotica. This was KILLER, Adrian had a vocal loop on this. It was SUPER HEAVY! At this point I needed to pee and went to hang out with Karl, who early on moved since it was pretty loud to him.
Of Bow and Drum followed, very cool trippy intro. This is one of my fave Ade songs, so was a treat to hear it again.
I found Karl by the merch booth and to my surprise saw that Martha was working it. Exchanged hello's and was tickled she remembers me.
Big Electric Cat got me bopping around, I should of stood and danced for the whole show, those chairs were uncomfortable.
Frame By Frame was incredible.
Three of a Perfect Pair ended the set.
Very loud reactions thru the whole show which Adrian gaive us props for being a weeknight show (he commented it was a nice response for any night for a show).
They encored with Elephant Talk and Thela which brought down the house.
Post show chatted with Eric and Julie and got them to sign the setlist I kept. They are def. bro-n-sis, Julie wrote "Eric Smells" next to his autograph. And it was fun seeing them kid around and one point Julie pushed Eric, lol, siblings for sure. I mentioned I love reading their mom's blogs (hi Robin) Eric said "I really love my mom". I got to briefly chat with Poppa Slick, very nice guy. Ade again made himself accessible to his fans and set up shop at a table and the fans lined up to get some time with him. I joked with Kate while standing in line that it was like being in line for sitting on Santa's lap at the mall, lol. It was kind of like a confessional, a fan would sit across from Ade and chat and then leave and someone else moved to the chair. I felt blessed, lol. Adrian remembered Kate and she had a nice chat w/ Ade. I then introduced Ade to Karl, who's brother in law used to do sound and roadie for Zappa in the early 80's. They had a nice, short exchange. Wished Adrian the best on the rest of the tour. Martha asked if I was heading to the Annapolis show, which sadly I can't for I am headed to Pennsylvania to see another show.
Sorry for the long winded review. GO SEE THE TRIO!"
From the comments section of Ade's blog:
Thanks for a great Vienna show last night. Ach du lieber! :)
Wish I could have stayed for an autograph/photo, but the son I brought was getting tired. (So I got him a cool t-shirt instead!) By the way, he told me that you "are the definition of awesome." You have impressed the 11-year-old set.
Julie and Eric are unbelievable. Eric was a blur of drumstricks, and I especially enjoyed you three trading all the smiles and energy. You guys are FUN to watch!
The music was FANTASTIC. Honestly, you make me want to go out and buy an electric guitar...Hope you guys can come around again soon!"
"Andrew J. said...
Just got back from the Vienna show, which was fantastic. Thank you again, Mr. Belew (and Mr. and Ms. Slick, who put the rhythm power in the power trio).
Thank you also for the autographs.
I hope the rest of the tour goes well and look forward to seeing you next time.
my mom and sis caught the show and had a great time. i told them about the show in jacksonville and they couldn't wait to see the show. my sis was so inspired by julie, she is switching to bass (bought one today, actually)."
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to Eric and Julie. I had read all the positive comments and thought to myself, "eh, they can't be that good." They are. And more. I rarely find my attention distracted from Mr. Belew's guitar acrobatics, but I frequently ended up watching Mr. Slick slack-jawed.
Show burned last night. The whammy bar couldn't even keep up. The "new songs" for this tour--I won't ruin anything--were particularly incredible."
Okay, it's 7:00 a.m., I just heard from Gary and Eric - they are en route to Philadelphia to pick me up so that we can head down to Asbury Park for the Paul Green School of Rock Fest, where we will watch Eric perform with insanely talented Frank Zappa alumni guitarist Mike Keneally and incredible bassist Doug Lunn, as well as Project Object's remarkable keyboardist, Eric Svalgard and on clarinet, an amazing musician named Rich Stone, who is the son of brilliant composer Richard Stone (click that link - you won't believe his creds)...and then of course the real madness begins. Following the Keneally set, we must immediately drive 100 miles to Sellersville, Pennsylvania so that Eric can rejoin the Adrian Belew Power Trio for their set tonight at the Sellersville Theater. And then it's back to the SOR Fest in Asbury Park tomorrow to see the Adrian Belew Power Trio perform there between 2:00-3:00 p.m., after which Eric will then sit in with Crescent Moon and I think at least two other bands but I'm not sure who and when. What I do know is that he has to get to New York City at some point tomorrow afternoon/night because the Belew Trio is playing BB Kings on Monday.
I hope to meet and talk to a lot of you at all three shows between today and Monday night, okay?
And holy freaking cow, with about 500 miles of driving ahead of us, I hope to get back here for some more blog entries/show reviews...looks like I might have a window of free time tomorrow morning but who knows...all I can say is, I'll try my best.