Mar. 3, 2010

Bowlive Week #1 Wraps Up. What an Incredible Run.

Day 5 with Robert Randolph & Ivan Neville

Night number five at Bowlive was the last night of a historic first week. The daily 2-set program expanded to three and Nigel Hall played his most killin' set of the week. 

Ivan Neville flew in that day and came charging hard, joining Soulive and the horns for most of the second set. Sam Kininger, who took Friday off to recover from being sick, was back in full force and Danny Sadownick returned for the second night in a row to dominate percussion on stage-right. Just before the guys finished the second set, Robert Randolph snuck in the stage door and began tuning up his pedal steel for a surprise set that the packed house was certainly not prepared for. 

To be honest, set three was a blur. I couldn't figure out who to focus on and I was bombarded by fans, friends and family raving about the spectacle on-stage. Randolph took charge of the stage using the powers of Soulive, the horns and incredible vocals from Ivan Neville and Nigel, to drive the crowd absolutely wild

The crowd roared for more and the band wasn't done just yet...A James Brown-style encore, featuring all of these heavyweights, redefined funky and I think some bowling balls jumped into the next lane from the hard-hitting house shaking. 

A whole week to go. Won't catch me complainin'...this is funky heaven!

See you Tuesday!



Day 4 with The London Souls, Danny Sadownick & the Bowlive Horns

Last night was musical heaven for me.  I showed up to the club around 8pm and it was already buzzing.  Nigel went on at nine and as usual, totally captivated the crowd.  Then I heard Nigel introduce Neal and myself and we went out on stage to start playing Leave Me Alone.  We got almost half way through the first verse and out comes Kraz and it was on from there.  We took a quick break to get the stage situated for the first Soulive set.

We started off the night with Cash's Dream, a tune we really haven't played in years but it's feeling really good.  Staying with the old school vibe I dropped into Steppin (that drum intro never gets old, haha).  Next up, One In Seven and last night that joint was hittin!!  Neal and Kraz both murdered that tune so hard, I just had my eyes shut the whole time diggin harder and harder into that 1 and my solo felt pretty good too.  As I got up to catch my breath I hear Kraz roll into the intro for Eleanor Rigby.  Last night was the first Bowlive set we hit up some of the Beatles tunes.  Eleanor into I Want You.  By the end of that medley the crowd was singing, Neal had that organ screamin, Kraz and Neal pounding out that ill riff and I destroyed one of my ride cymbals.  It felt like that could have been the end of the night but there was still a lot more to come!

So we had announced that Tash Neal from the London Souls was going to sit in with us but what we didn't really leak was that the London Souls was going to do a set in between us.  Now we have been bugging on this band ever since the night we saw them.  They are hands down my favorite new band right now and I was honored that I could introduce them to the Bowlive audience.  I'm sure that everyone in the room was blown away because those dudes put it down.

Time now for the last set and we were joined by our dear friend Danny Sadownick.  Danny is probably one of the most amazing percussionist you'll ever see in your life.  Dude is a human metronome and one of the most musical cats I've ever played with.  We jumped right into El Ron which Danny drove like a freight train.  Then it was time to bring Ryan, James and Blake...the Soulive horns out for Uncle Jr.  and those cats were hitting lines crisp and tight but I wouldn't expect anything less.  Tash then joined us for some old school rockin soul on Cream's Politician.  Kraz and Tash tore up some solos at the top and Neal put the cap on it with an sick organ solo.  After that we jumped into Little Richard's Lucille with some help from the horns.  The night just kept getting better and better.  We then jumped into an instrumental version of Manic Depression with Tash.  Kraz hit up the first solo and layed it down hard which only pushed Tash to take it home screaming.  We got back to some Soulive with Dig and Danny had that tune jumpin with the sleigh bells.  The horns came back to the stage with Nigel and we played his version of Everybody Wants To Rule The World.  Nigel has definitely made this tune his own!  Last tune of the evening, it's time for some JB's!!!  We hit that joint with straight fire and we ended like Tyson.  Musical heaven indeed.



DAY 3 with Lettuce, Binky Griptite & Eldar

Nigel arrives donned in red-on-red top-wear, graced with white jacket and white scarf...'nuff said? If you don't quite understand what this means to the beginning of night three at Bowlive, allow me to explain...

9pm hits and Nigel Hall begins his "solo set", but the previously mentioned garb means he has tricks up his sleeve. Like forcing a houseful of bowlers to come to tears by duetting with the one and only Sonya Kitchell. Or, knowing that he's commanding some presence, bringing out the entire Soulive Trio out to be HIS backing band! Well, the set was beautiful, soulful, engaging. Thank you, sounded (and looked) great. 

When Soulive returned to the stage, they did so with a vengeance. Starting off as the Trio, Eric, Neal and Alan let the crowd know that this was about to be a show for the books, they wasted no time and brought out long-time partner in the verses of Funk, Sam Kininger. Sam pulled out all the stops, taking front stage center and blowing his heart out. 

After a short set break, the temperature in the room began to rise. Back to Soulive featuring the Shady Horns, as Kininger and thus-far-nightly-guest Ryan Zoidis made themselves at home behind their saxophones and shades. The set was heavy and felt just so right. Even the prodigy Eldar Djangirov came up to sprinkle some Fender Rhodes on For Granted. The version of El Ron that closed this set was proof that keeping family and friends close is essential; I'm talking about tight and killing, no other words could describe it. 

A couple guys just walked in the room. It's cold outside, heavy jackets and hats required, so I need a closer look. Up in the greenroom I see Adam Deitch and Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff and start counting heads on my fingers and toes...we got some Lettuce and it's about to get FUNKY! Alan was so kind as to let Deitch sit on his throne, but he didn't stray far, as the backline for the powerhouse Lettuce stage-front of Neal, Kraz, Shmeeans, Nigel and Deitch was packed full with Alan on percussion and vocals, next to Kininger, Zoidis, Blake Hillard and James Casey. Binky Griptite of the Dap Kings was kind enough to lend his uber-tight guitar work to the stage, sharing solos and laying down tasteful rhythm chops on at least half of the rage on stage. 

The music was out of this world, the crowd was dancing - even mid-bowl in the lanes - and I still can't believe we're on night three of ten! I wear a suit and tie like I'm going to the office every day, but I'd say this job comes with some funky perks....

See you tonight with special guests The London Souls and guest DJ, Q-Tip!




DAY 2 with Raul Midon

Another amazing night at Brooklyn Bowl last night. Bowlive is definitely off to a great start.... We started off with another trio set of some old school Soulive tunes we hadn't played in a looong time. (Cash's Dream, Shaheed, & Azucar to name a few).

The second set opened with a version of "Reverb" with Zoidis, James Casey & Blake Hillard on horns. Then... Raul Midon joined us and brought the house down!! He is an INCREDIBLE talent, if you any of you haven't seen him perform please make sure you get out to see him next him he is near you. We were all blown away by him.... He was joined by Nigel for a rendition of "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon then the horns joined in for an original tune of his called "Sunshine" followed by an extended version of "The Ghetto". Looking forward to the Shady Horns reunion tonight with Christian Scott, Sam K. and Zoidis and a Lettuce takeover!



DAY 1 with Vernon Reid

It has begun...a ten-night hometown residency with Soulive, their close family and friends, and very, very special guests. Opening night at Brooklyn Bowl was one of those too-good-to-be-true occasions, when your closest circles come together and it all just falls into place. Nigel Hall came out to welcome in the crowd, and of course the bowlers, with a solo set that featured a sit-in by Alan and Neal to close out the short set. 

After just a few moments, Brooklyn Bowl founder and co-creator of Bowlive, Peter Shapiro, took the stage to welcome the crowd, tell the story of the idea of Bowlive and to bring out his good friends, Soulive. For a solid hour, the Trio banged out heavies such as So Live, Rudy's Way, Uncle Jr and closed the set with a graceful, yet pounding, One In Seven

While the band headed upstairs to plot out their attack on set two, the legendary Vernon Reid of Living Colour came strolling in, armed with his axe, to join in the opening night rage. The second set featured guest horn players Ryan Zoidis, James Casey and Blake Hillard, along with vocal spots by Nigel Hall and of course a ripping three-song face-melting combo of Crosstown Traffic, Manic Depression and Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) featuring Vernon Reid. Vernon and Krasno traded solos and jammed our some funky versions of those covers, while Neal and Alan drove home what, to me, was an epic performance. 

If you were there, you were a part of a memorable night for all. If you were not, we'll see you before this round of Bowlive concludes. 




Tues 3/9 Charlie Hunter

Wed 3/10 Oteil Burbridge and Kofi Burbridge 

Thurs 3/11 Questlove and Rahzel

Fri 3/12 Marco Benevento

Sat 3/13 DJ Logic


Buy Tickets




Also my photos from the Ivan/Robert Randolph night: no-repeat left">Soulive 2010-03-06

My recordings of the Ivan/Robert Randolph night:

anyone have recordings of the shows? If so let me know.

Please record the Oteil show for me!

I would really appreciate that on the hard drive. Plus Birmingham scene would be proud of their Oteil!


These shows sound awesome so far...and you brought back Cash's Dream?! Sweet!

Is it true there's going to be a DVD released? If so, I'm buying it on day one...


Head over to the merch booth tonight and ask Stephanie if she has any copies of that show left. Sometimes you can grab the previous night show for a discount!


Totally forgot to buy a CD of the show last night (3/4) -- someone please help me out!! ( Eldar = my jaw on the FLOOR. Rage!!

shaheed,,,no .say it aint sp....

Looking forward to this weekend's shows! After Chapter 2 last week -- especially the Tears for Fears -- can't wait to get my on groove on again.

Love the shot of Alan...great expression!!!

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