Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Adrian Belew Power Trio in Asheville, N.C. - Part II


Saul Zonana at Stella Blue in Asheville, N.C. August 19, 2007

So from what I've heard (and read), the Adrian Belew Power Trio did indeed "kick ass" at Stella Blue in Asheville, N.C. on Sunday night, and the first email I received was from Andre Cholmondeley, who forwarded me an e-mail he received from a certain VIP:

"From Andre Cholmondeley:

"He (Eric) is well on the way to kicking my Dad's ASS...."


---"Granpappy Marshall"...aka Son/Guitarist of Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle...
"

Wow. That's awesome.

Then, I'm sitting in the law office yesterday wondering if I could escape out the window without anything more than a fractured ankle or simply give up altogether and go into the ladies room and drown myself in the toilet when I got an email from Mike Inman, who not only took all of the photos I'm posting today, but wrote one of the more heartfelt reviews I've ever received:

"Hey Rob,

Kudos for parenting 101----You sure have two fine children. Not only are they two of the BEST musicians I have EVER seen.....but they are the most genuine humble gracious approachable people.

I am going to send you something I wrote last night when i got back to the hotel after the show here at Stella Blue in Asheville. Oh and BTW that sure was one killer show...sound problems or NOT! Once they started over from the top after the first bunch of sound problems...you would NEVER know that ever happened...

Also, when Eric came out of the venue as I was walking past, he was so funny! He was on his cell phone and I did a double take....hey it's ERIC SLICK ...I thought....COOL! Do I say something? And he looked at me and got this expression on his face like HEY LOOK -- this is us -- and he pointed to the poster in the window. "You coming to the show tonight?" I looked at him and said ..."I have a message from your mother." I showed him the posters I had made which he said "OF COURSE I know of them." He said "Hey, cool"...and he opened his arms and gave me a great big friendly hug!

One of the guys waiting to get into the show last night looked like someone right out of the Rock n Roll history books...he was wearing bell bottoms with white stars on them...on each star was a signature of someone from the Mothers of Invention...he was there to make sure that Adrian signed his pants...there were a few open stars yet to be signed...that was quite cool!

Anyway can you tell I am all over the place about last night! I had one hell of a time...and Saul Zonana was running sound for them last night after he finished his gig on stage....he was really a great guy too. I looked at him at the merch table and said Okay, Saul...so out of all these cds which is your favorite? He said, "Well, either this one,"42 Days" which I did with Adrian...or this newer one here." You know I went for the one he did with Adrian and I am sure another time I will get some of his other work, too.

Eric asked me outside when he was talking to me...."Have you ever met Adrian?" And I replied "Yes! he really is a great guy!" Honestly I do not think I have ever met anyone as gracious as that guy playing in clubs...having been in as many big known bands as he has.....and still as normal as ever. Your children could not be in better hands.....he is truly a gift from God....they are so good together...and yes yes yes I really noticed the energy of the three of them. I have seen Adrian so many times now...over the years since 1983 and this will go down in my mind as one of the BEST shows I have ever seen him play. There was an energy to those songs.....there was something magical about the three of them together.

They took those Crimson songs to new levels...Julie and Eric as so tight together. Their tones meshed...and were the perfect backbone to Adrian's pyrotechnic guitar work! You will see how I commented below on the way they captured my attention...honestly I watched Eric play almost more than Adrian last night LOL! And for a drummer that takes a lot to capture my attention away from the guitarist! From the moment he hit his first chops on that kit...I was CAUGHT!



Now that I have written my morning book on last night I will leave you to read what i wrote to my friends in Los Angeles and my one buddy in Sao Paulo, Brazil.....I wrote this to them last night below:

Mike


======================================================
AB Power Trio ver2.0 - Asheville NC 8-19-07



First let me start by saying JULIE SLICK is the barefooted priestess of cool! Those two in my humble opinion, were the stars of that show...and that is not taking anything away from Adrian being a guitar GOD! Syncopating Siblings is what they are...they were talking to each other through their music OMG and Eric ...he really is a train wreck just like Charlie Watts said....he just keeps on going he is truly unstoppable!

(Note from your author -- I think Mike means "roaring" train, not a train "wreck" but Mike, you made me smile...and I think it was Denny Walley who said that though Charlie Watts did indeed have very nice things to say about Eric as well. Okay, enough from me -- more from Mike...)

No Rock star syndrome for that boy! Actually, he came out of the venue earlier when I was walking past...he pointed to Adrian's poster and said "You coming tonight?" And I said "Sure" and "I have a message from your mother! LOL!" Then I showed him the posters and he said "YEAH I KNOW ABOUT THOSE DUDE, THOSE ARE INCREDIBLE!" He said "Take 'em back to your car so you don't have to hold them all night and then get them after the show we will sign them all for sure! And if you have trouble getting back in just tell them I said it was ok!"

He is so cool...just a very genuine kid who is a consummate professional...he has got to be one of the BEST Drummers HANDS DOWN that I have EVER SEEN! It was amazing the way Julie and Eric played off each other...it gave Adrian fuel for the fire! I could certainly relate to his looking like he was living a second childhood. I felt the same way in Art School this most recent time around. Feeding off the youthful energy gives an older person like myself drive!

At the beginning of the show they had some major/minor setbacks...first Julie had no bass volume coming out of her monitor...and then once they got that Eric had no bass coming to him either...and then Adrian's guitar was super hot -- he would touch a string and it was way too loud! They were all freaking a bit...and then I screamed PRAY TO THE GODS OF BASS and Adrian threw up his hands...and said OH GREAT ONE...or something like that...it was a very memorable moment for sure!



His guitar was still running very hot...and he was semi freaked out by it...Eric kept messing with some power supply by his drum kit that was loose, too. They got it semi worked out and started the first song over again from the top! Way cool! Just like an old Zappa show -- if Frank was not happy, he would often start the song over from the top!

I am telling you straight up here I am such a major guitar freak...I live for the solo...the over the top wild playing...and yet I often found my attention drifting over to that kid on the kit...OMG! He had all the chops! It was so nice the way they had the drums set up on my right. I had a great shot for some good photos...I have not even peeked at that yet. I think I will end this for now and take a look at what the camera lens captured.

Peace!

Mike
*********

Oh man, thank you so much, Mike. Your kind review salvaged a truly miserable day for me.

Mike also wrote that he has over a hundred photos so I await them anxiously and of course will share them here...sigh...maybe when I get home from...ewww...work today.

Later,
xo

4 comments:

Pete Franke said...

that is one great pic of Julie! I can just hear the 'thrruuummmmm' coming off of that lick. Barefoot priestess of cool, indeed!!

Eric is ok, too ;-D

later you guys!

pete

Mark said...

Dear Robin,

I was at the show in Asheville, I can attest to the fact that your children are awesome musicians. I like how Julie alternates between picking and plucking and is so non chalant. Your son is a monster drummer. This is a great band. I do think, however, that the volume could go down just a notch, so as to reduce distortion and so that Adrian's vocals be intelligible. All in all, though, I was quite impressed with the show at Stella Blue.

RobinSlick said...

Thanks, Pete!

And hi, Mark! Yeah, they had all kinds of issues with sound that night...I spoke with Eric on the phone and they were all a little freaked out. He told me the show last night was the best one yet...don't forget, they are missing two of the best engineers in the business on this tour - John Sinks, Ade's normal "man", who is on the Zappa Plays Zappa tour, and Biff Blumfumgagne, who is also quite amazing. I think it was the first time Saul actually worked a sound board and between that and various electrical/equipment problems, they definitely were not their usual selves but maybe it's just me, a bad night for the Belew Trio is still a million times better than 99% of the music out there now.

Mark said...

I agree; better than just about anybody.

I think Adrian's enthusiasm ... above and beyond the great music ... his smiles and Charles Atlas gestures after the songs ... add a little special something. I always find it especially rewarding to hear musicians play who are obviously enjoying what they're doing. Eric too in this regard, with his impish grins after he does something amazing on the drums. Julie is casually excellent, and makes a good contrast to AB's exuberence

I wish I could have cancelled all of my obligations and gone to Carrboro (where I used to live!) to see the band again.

I will keep atuned for more opportunities to see the band.

If the group ever needed a Spanish-speaking roadie, I would volunteer.

cheers.