21 April 2009

MMW @ Smith Opera House

What is your favorite part of Medeski Martin and Wood? Is it the swirling "Medeski"? The percussive toy box that is "Martin"? Or perhaps the base, I mean bass, no wait, I meant base, of "Wood"? Me, I like the "and" part the best.
...and is what brings it all together
...and the way none of their tunes begin or end
...and the way they squeeze their equipment into the smallest possible space on stage
...and the old art and photos that sat in front of the stage
...and how much they always change while still staying pretty much the same
...and no matter how much I listen to them or how many times I see them, I still have no clue what just happened, what is happening right now, or what will happen next

Things I didn't like:
The venue! They were strictly enforcing their antiquated no camera rule. Seriously, give up, what a waste of your time. They would come by and look over people's shoulders to make sure they were texting and not taking photos with their phone.
The crowd! What the hey?! Calling the place half full might be the overstatement of the year. After getting sold out at the German House last year I was sure to get an advance ticket this time around. I was amazed at how few people were willing to make the 30m trip from Rochester or Syracuse on a Friday night no less.
We'll get another chance to see them soon enough as it was just announced they'll be playing the free Party in the Park series in downtown Rochester on June 25.

One other thing to note, during the last tune Medeski's Leslie Amp gave out and the roadies tried valiantly to fix it mid-song. As they were replacing parts Medeski would stray one hand off the Wurli to tap on the B-3. It wasn't clear to me if it was out of habit, or if he was trying to help out the roadies by testing it for them. Either way, they couldn't get it going. If they had, it would have been the greatest mid-song instrument fix since the time at a Jazz is Dead show I saw a roadie replace a drumhead during Billy Cobham's drum solo while Cobham hit every drum but that one.

1 comment:

Mark - Total Drums said...


I like to comment about Billy Cobham's drum head being changed mid drum solo. He's all over the set hitting everything, so that must've been interesting to see.