Well freaks, here we have what will be our final excursion into the wonderful world of Ravens for 2016. The band isn’t slowing down and they are my fuel, so I won’t be either in 2017. The show I’m about to cover here is truly OUT OF THIS WORLD! It comes to you courtesy of the sonics the Brotherhood created in New York City on February 20th, 2015. This funky old room was the prefect setting for this two-night run and they kicked it off with one of the best performances of the year. Got your download finished or at least started? Let’s engage….
There’s A Good Rocking Tonight, the classic Roy Brown tune, gets our feet moving on the lunar landscape. When I listen to this show, songs like Good Rockin’, I think of as letters from home, our freak cosmonauts use to ground themselves in this terrestrial environment they traverse. And tonight’s show is from outer space for sure. Tomorrow Blues has a really heavy second half, sending notice to everyone that “this ain’t no ordinary rock and roll show”. Tornado follows and even this usually mellow lament, has a weight to it. Just one of those dust clouds 😉 you can see approaching across the horizon, beautiful but foreboding. This was a mix tape worthy version of this beautiful CR composition. We officially enter our celestial orbit with Meanwhile In The Gods. It morphs with swagger through a lunar lounge created by our Wizard. At about the six and a half minute mark this thing turns into a 70’s roller rink glow in the dark painting. They bring it to a complete stop before building it up again with a lush jam. Neal turning his volume up a few clicks for a jubilant solo with a dynamic crescendo that’s a highlight of the first set. I think I’ll start this song over and take this trip again. I’m going to mark this as a front runner for best Meanwhile ever. Space rock!!
Tulsa Yesterday is our next pathway toward the event horizon and again, even this song rooted in midwestern imagery has a spacey feel and vibe. Neal and CR team up for some special stuff including a little waltz type tempo shift at the end. The Music’s Hot gets the mothership rocking again just in time for our orbital bounce around a Beggars Moon. The second Slim Harpo cover of the set, Got Love If You Want It, signals the end, but not before CR pulls the harmonica and leads us in a big closing rave up. We are dispersed to our stations for refueling and charging or as we call it a “California Break”, with the dangerous part of our mission looming just around the planetary curve.
Just as the first, our returning set gets started with a rock and roll classic to keep our bearings, Try Rock And Roll. “If you don’t dance tap your feet.” Now It’s time for everyone to focus and lean heavily on mission control to keep us from tumbling into oblivion. Someday Past The Sunset barrels out of the speakers with reverb soaked vocals in the chorus that lend a spooky feel to our Robert A. Heinlein vibed masterpiece the guys are creating. Muddy thumping while Neal soars and Tony and CR chug our engine along. Past the sunset we can see a beautiful quasar, named Clear Blue Sky and the Good Doctor. Now I’ve made no attempts to hide my love of this song, and this is one of my top 3. The way they allow its galactic glow to wrap you in sound as it goes through it’s various movements is nothing short of a famous classical composition. A true psychedelic symphony unfolds with satellites streaming across the boulevard. Sirens screaming with Neal’s bends and pulls. This is the song that first made me feel I was paddling out to catch a early morning set on some distant planet. And don’t we all need that feeling sometimes!? This song and version has an enchanting and restorative quality to it. I just spent an hour listening to this track over and over. The things Adam and Muddy are doing beneath Neal’s lead are scary and beautiful at the same time. Stunned, the audience is awakened with that familiar intro lick of West L.A Fadeaway. Instantly we are back on the 405 and those little red dots are brake lights. The sleazy slink of this songs never felt more welcome and CR delivers an amazing vocal with the band at full power pushing him at every turn. Adam channeling C3PO and R2 in the jam. What a show guys. You have to get this one.
Approaching the zenith we all take a collective breath as our vessel leaves the dock and enters Vibration & Light Suite. This is the axial tilt of the show. Multicolored mastery at its finest and most freak folk funkiest. Everything the show was until this point is allowed to coalesce into this adventures jam vehicle that takes every twist and turn your open mind can imagine. Sonic sensory overland with a jam that just DOES, NOT, STOP!! Just when you think the ship can’t take anymore speed or pressure, they take it even further. This isn’t only the best Vibration ever in my opinion. I think it’s one of the best jams they band has ever locked into. If you are a fan of these guys this is without a doubt a must hear. I know you all think you know what they are capable of but if you haven’t hear this, you can’t even imagine it. A raucous run through Hard To Handle attempts to ease the comedown but it only takes us even higher. A band in motion tends to….and we finally land back on the coast of California with the help of Shore Power. Closing this amazing set with a visit to our “sweet Rosalee”.
Man, my head is still spinning after those two euphoric doses. We are treated to a special double encore on this momentous evening. Starting with an extra groovy cover or Dylan’s – Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall. The rhythm section grooves them right into it and they pick right up where the madness left off. The final treat of the night is a raging Bertha that surely awoke some Grateful Ghosts over at the old Fillmore East site. This is one of the best shows by our favorite band and I can’t imagine my world without it. It’s the perfect soundtrack to your New Years jamboree or your travels up to Terrapin to celebrate with the cosmic congregation! Grab it at the link and get ready to have your mind shown and blown. Freak On brothers and sisters!!
New York City, New YorkSET ONE:
There’s A Good Rockin’ Tonight
Meanwhile In The Gods
The Music’s Hot
Got Love If You Want It
Try Rock N Roll
Someday Past The Sunset
Clear Blue Skies/The Good Doctor
West L.A. Fadeaway
Vibration & Light Suite
Hard To Handle
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall