Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marco Benevento @ Le Divan Orange, Montreal, 2009-05-06

In a city where the night life is notoriously ruled by DJs, after-hours bars, cocaine and hipsters, The Marco Benevento Trio's rocked out psychedelic jazz was a welcomed change of pace. The Trio is made up of Marco Benevento on piano, Andrew Barr (of The Slip) on drums, Reed Mathis (of Tea Leaf Green) on bass, and Jay Cooper who runs tripped out video footage on the side of the stage. The show started off with Benevento’s eerily beautiful take on the Leonard Cohen classic "Seems So Long Ago Nancy". While many people in the small crowd may not have been familiar with Benevento’s originals, this choice cover tune proved that the man has excellent taste in music, as well as the jazz chops to make such a classic song completely his own. The next song of the night was a tom-heavy version of "Heartbeats" by the 80s Swedish pop stars, The Knife. This song demonstrated that the Trio does not take themselves too seriously; as we witnessed Barr humorously mix in electric drum effect fills with Benevento’s acoustic piano playing, while Mathis stayed deep in the pocket. Soon after Benevento picked up the microphone, showing that even though he does not sing, he knows how to entertain an audience. Benevento introduced his band with much applause from the small but attentive crowd. The touchy issue of money was discussed, as Benevento informed us that although the show appeared to be free, this was only due to his lack of personal doorman to collect many. As a waitress walked around with a huge bowl for collecting cash, the performance felt increasingly more intimate due to its college like organization juxtaposed with its first class level of musicianship. The Trio proceeded to run through a tight version of "Call Home" off of 2009s "Me Not Me" before Benevento casually introduced Brad Barr (of The Slip) to the crowd, foreshadowing epic things to come. "Bus Ride" and "Record Book" off of 2007s "Invisible Baby" were explored before Brad, the jam catalyst, took the stage. Strapped with an acoustic guitar, Brad came ready to add some extra texture to the already rich sounds emanating off of the stage. > The foursome launched into a lengthy version of "The Real Morning Party" which featured a nasty drum solo by Andrew as well as some string-vibration wizardry from brother Brad. A jazzy version of the Duo classic "Mephisto" came next, with Brad stealing the song away with an extended guitar solo. "Twin Killers" illustrated just how rocking Benevento can be on an acoustic piano, as well as how comfortable these four musicians are at playing with each other. The night appeared to be over as the band proceeded to leave the stage, taking a few much deserved whiskey shots along the way. A call for encore led to a psychedelic version of "Atari" which was dense in sounds. The Trio left the stage to another standing ovation, but proving to be of the people, Benevento and the rest of the guys stuck around to chat with the fans and party just a little bit more.

Seems So Long Ago Nancy[1]
Call Home
Bus Ride
If You Keep On Asking Me
Record Book
The Real Morning Party
Twin Killers[3]
call for encore
[1] Leonard Cohen cover.
[2] My Morning Jack cover.
[3] Deerhoof cover.
The show can be downloaded here:

Here are some videos I took from the show.
Soundcheck Jam:

The Real Morning Party (featuring Brad Barr):

Mephisto (featuring Brad Barr)...don't worry the watermark disappears:

Marco Benevento Trio - Mephisto (featuring Brad Barr) 2009-05-07 from lucas samuels on Vimeo.


Name said...

Nice writeup and vids. I absolutely love "Seems So Long Ago Nancy". Still trying to find sheet music for Marco's rendention of it. I know you have the connections! ;)

lsamuel3 said...

thanks the show really lent itself to an easy writeup, next time i see marco i'll remeber to ask him about sheet music!

SwaggerTooth said...

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