Estradasphere 2/5 Elbo Room, SF - Philzone Phansite Community Discussion Board: Setlists and Reviews: Non GD Related Reviews: Archive: Estradasphere 2/5 Elbo Room, SF
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Hoeber (Santacruzbot) on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 03:09 pm: Edit Post

Wow... Anybody ever check these guys out?

I can't say enough good things about them... They're a gypsy-jazz-art-metal (for want of a more inclusive term) band out of Santa Cruz... They used to feature monster sax/human beatbox/looping genius John Whooley, but he left the band a couple of years ago and they have recently re-emerged with an augmented lineup and new album ("Palace of Mirrors") which is some of their strongest studio material to date... So now the lineup is guitar/banjoist Jason Shimmel, violinist/occasional guitarist Timba Harris, shamisen/guitar shredder Kevin Kmetz, keyboard/accordianist Adam Stacey, upright acoustic/electric bassist Tim Smolens, and double bass beast Lee Smith on drums.

I've been a big fan for some time, saw them more times than I can count with the old lineup and 4 times with the new lineup and this last show was possibly the best. In the past, their individual virtuosity has sometimes gotten in the way of overall cohesiveness, but after their recent tour they are really jelling live.

The new material is just amazing... Go see them if they come to your town... The bulk of the show consisted of material from the new album, with an epic encore that included a spot-on butt-rock truck commercial song ("American Tough" according to setlist on their forum), "Hunger Strike" (not the temple of the dog song, but the old Estradasphere staple), and a beautiful R&B tune ("Mean Old World" by Sam Cooke)...

Check out their older stuff on the archive, not sure if there is anything recent on there...

They really need to be seen live to be fully grokked, however. North bay zoners: They're playing Mar. 26th at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma w/ Secret Chiefs 3 (which also featuress Jason and Timba along w/ Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance), which should be an amazing show, then going out on tour again in April.