Bowlive V: Night III – Soulive feat. George Porter Jr. and The London Souls #LondonSoulive @ The Brooklyn Bowl (03.15.14)
We are all influenced by something. It’s inevitable. Everything around us is influential, just as we are influential in our own special way to all things in the universe that surround us. It becomes fascinating when you are privileged enough to see your favorite artist, someone who has influenced your life so deeply, become fascinated by amazing another. That is what happened last night. Many times over.
This is a golden age of live music. To be able to hear this caliber of music at small venues with reasonable prices is not something to be taken lightly. Having grown up in the heyday of the Fillmore East, I thought the explosion of good live music would last forever. We had some lean years in between. Appreciate it and support it. ~ R.M.
Soulive has now stomped out three nights of shredding, grooving, bluesy, jazzy goodness with non-stop energy and musical perfection. For other artists looking to see how it’s done, well, this is the band to watch. They are inspirational, to say the least. They invite people who influence them to join them on stage and they subliminally invite us to be inspired.
Over the past two nights, keyboardist Neal Evans, drummer Alan Evans, and guitarist Eric Krasno have enjoyed the musical company of Nigel Hall, DJ Logic, Eddie Roberts, Nicki Bluhm, George Porter, Jr., Warren Haynes, The Shady Horns, and Leroy Justice. And last night, a new term would be coined when the London Souls joined Soulive for what would become a face melting #LondonSoulive set.
London Souls Set
Tash Neal (guitar/vocals), Chris St. Hilaire (drums/vocals) and Stu Mahan (bass) make up one of the sickest trios around right now. These three powerhouse musicians truly grab your attention with their full-on, Rock-N-Rage sets. Tash Neal is the epitome of a person who was meant to be a guitarist, always drenched in sweat minutes into the start of their set from playing with so much force. Stu Mahan’s bass riffs fit so well into the pocket that it might be impossible to ever pull him out. The drumming of Chris St. Hilaire helps drive the force of the other two gnarly beasts.
I think it was Bowlive II or III, but I remember seeing them open for Soulive and there were literally 15 people watching. Look at this now, the place is packed and now they are opening for Tedeschi/Trucks Band. They sounded great then but they sound amazing now. ~ J.M.
Dude, you just getting here? They are CRUSHING IT!!! ~ J.I.
You know what I love about them? They all look absolutely different. ~ S.G.
Tash Neal was in a serious car accident a few years back when a drunk driver t-boned his taxi. No one knew what to expect from recovery, but look at this guy now!!! Are you kidding me? You’d never know anything happened by looking at him but you can HEAR that he plays with the passion of survival every SINGLE time. ~ K.D.
Their sex appeal is undeniable as girls in the audience were totally zoned into the band, screaming like super fans. This was a face-smashing head-banging kind of rock and here it was the girls were more animated then the guys, but only at times. The London Souls released their latest album, Here Come The Girls, on January 8, 2013. Go grab a copy and be enjoy a modern day version of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Cream.
What really stood out for me is two things with the London Souls. Similar to Soulive, they make an incredibly full sound for only three guys. Sometimes it amazes me there aren’t more people on stage. Even Soulive uses guests and horns, the London Souls have a raw energetic sound. ~ J.M.
I thought they had just a ton of energy right from the start – the London Souls were amazing and made me wonder why I don’t listen to more of them. ~ B.M.
Keep On Marchin’ (w/ GPJ)
No More Okey Doke
Chug A Lugg
Last night, the venue was packed to the brim. There were no special announcements, but I wager that many thought they might get a surprise artist tonight given that Warren Haynes showed up the night before without warning. Regardless of who MIGHT be showing up, we already had the best hitters in the house. Mr. George Porter, Jr., a Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame nominee and bassist for the funk legends, The Meters, was the special guest of the evening and we would see him shortly.
Nobody, I mean nobody lights up a room like George Porter, Jr. but you already knew that ~ J.M.
Soulive and The Shady Horns came out on stage together last night for the first set. Other nights its been just the audience and our favorite jazz/funk trio. They went heavy into “Hat Trick” and James Casey (saxophone) blew out his best solo of the run to date. Neal Evan’s keys on “Aladdin” and Eric Krasno’s guitar solo on “Vapor” was like sonic therapy for the soul.
There were so many audience members commenting on how tired they were due to the previous nights of raging Bowlive V. All that changed when George Porter, Jr. came out. This is where it gets fascinating, when you get to see your favorite artists playing with their musical inspirations. Soulive is a funk/soul/jazz band and George Porter Jr. is a king of kings when it comes to funk bass. Up there with Bootsy Collins and Larry Graham, he is a master of funky bass playing and the respect he is given from the funk community is wonderful.
Having seen him many times, his energy was off the charts this night. His shenanigans and antics were infectious. “Keep On Marchin'” into “People Say,” both Meters originals, were fantastic but there were a few moments when Ryan Zoidis (saxophone) and Porter engaged in a playful back and forth, that had fans jumping off their feet. And when Zoidis completed his killin’ solo, Mr. George Porter, himself, leapt off the ground in recognition, shouting, “Yeah!”
My appreciation of Ryan Zoidis grows each time I hear him live. He has become a monster on sax, from the alto to the big baritone. ~ R.M.
The Shady Horns, Evan Brothers and Krasno were all smiles. They kept the pace up without missing a beat. Porter said, “Here’s something you don’t hear too often,” and with that, they went into “No More Okey Doke,” a stray from the original set list. It was back to the set list for “Chug A Lugg,” when Porter pulled a change up and says, “Sorry y’all, this some Earth, Wind and Fire shit.” Sadly, a song that I couldn’t name. Lastly, they played the Meters classic, “Africa,” where James Casey brought the house down with one of his signature solos.
Krasno and the Evans brothers came out with The Shady Horns for the second set but this time The Shady Horns were joined by Mike Tucker, a Berkley-taught tenor saxophonist from Massachusetts. Neal Evans lead the organ-heavy “El Ron,” as Krasno’s fingers flew over his guitar. In fact, I am chalking it up to the audience being tired and possibly drunk, but Krasno ripped such an amazing solo, that he was shouting to himself while up on his toes, and only a handful of people recognized the dope sauce he was throwing in our ears. A slow and passionate “PJs” was next but not before the audience was given a bath in brass. The Shady Horns, consisting of Eric Bloom (trumpet), Ryan Zoidis (baritone and tenor saxophone), James Casey (tenor saxophone) and special guest, Mike Tucker, started popping and honking and blowing their way through measure after measure of uninterupted horn rage.
The highlight last night was the cascading lines of the extended horn section during “El Ron.” What a treat it was to be bathed in a brass waterfall of soulful saxes electrified by the captivating timbre of Eric Bloom’s trumpet. ~ P.S.P.
Night 3, after James Casey killed it at the Leprechaun’s Ball with Eddie Roberts and Nigel Hall, he brought his amazing energy to the Bowl to crush his solos with the Shady Horns and man, he got the crowd going wild. ~ J.G.
And the other thing K.D. was quick to point out was during “London Soulive” was that there was only one drum kit and Alan wasn’t on it. With what I’m sure wasn’t that much practice time, Chris St. Hilaire was able to basically be the drummer for Soulive and they didn’t miss a beat. That in itself is a huge compliment to his ability. ~ J.M.
Krasno looks to Tash as a peer who challenges him. As much as Krasno loves playing with the legends who came before him, he becomes a better version of himself when he performs next to Tash. His stance changes, his playing changes, he knows he can’t back down because Tash will shred his face off. For the first time ever, I saw little beads of sweat forming under Krazno’s signature hat. That was the palpable energy that fed the entire rest of the set. Starting with “Lucille,” it was just pure, unadulterated shredding by Krasno and Tash. A jam session of epic proportions.
It was great to see the raw rock and roll energy that the London Souls bring to Bowlive. Ohio was a stand out tune. You could picture Neil Young, the Godfather of Grunge loving the energy that the Souls put into the classic CSNY song. By the time I was done dancing around the lanes to that one I had to take a couch break Those guys really add a great energy to the Soulive mix. ~ J.R.
For me it was all about The Souls in the second set…. loved Chris on the drums freeing up Alan to take to the mic standing. – Tash from Souls is absolutely ridiculous on that guitar…downright mesmerizing rock and roll shredding… and to see him and George porter trading licks and deep grooving… was so good. ~ A.R.
Alan was back on the drums for “Them Changes” while Chris St. Hiliare moved to percussion and the Shady Horns returned for the is last tune. It was a dance party and when Eric Bloom snagged his solo, even the band was smiling ear to ear and gave him a huge applause.
My legs were so tired by the end of the night–but you just couldn’t help but dance to “Just Kissed My Baby” ~ B.M.
List of Special Guests and Openers:
TUESDAY MARCH 18
w/ Special Guest: JOHN SCOFIELD
Opener: & Special Guest: JON CLEARY
WEDNESAY MARCH 19
w/ Special Guests: JOE RUSSO & BILL EVANS & SUSAN TEDESCHI
Opener & Special Guest: JON CLEARY
THURSDAY MARCH 20
w/ Special Guest: DMC (of RUN DMC)
Opener: ALAN EVANS TRIO
FRIDAY MARCH 21
w/ Special Guest: MARCO BENEVENTO
Opener: SONYA KITCHELL
SATURDAY MARCH 22
Opener: WOLF! Featuring Scott Metzger