Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing
Red Fox Tavern, Eureka, CA
Bobby Previte - drums
Skerik - sax
Reed Mathis - guitar, electric bass
Brian Coogan - keys
WEST COAST TOUR:
02/18/07 - WOW Hall, Eugene, OR
02/19/07 - Red Fox Tavern, Eureka, CA
02/20/07 - 12 Galaxies, San Francisco, CA
02/21/07 - Crystal Bay Club Casino, Crystal Bay, NV
02/22/07 - Harlow's, Sacramento, CA
I also posted this review over in "Other Stuff" but decided to double-post it here because of the way threads get quickly buried in OS.
Let me preface this brief review by stating that two days before the show I knew nothing about this group or any of its members. I don't have a setlist for this show because I had only listened to a few of their songs the day of the gig. (FYI, at least one person recorded this show, as I saw a deck patched into the SBD.) I did, however, recognize their opening song as one that I'd heard online -- a very cool tune which I later found out was called "The Ministry of Truth."
I'm glad I went to the Eureka show last night, and would recommend this band to anyone into high-energy ultra-progressive jazz-funk-jamrock. I haven't heard anything this "out there" for some time, maybe ever. First of all, throw out any notion of a "normal" time signature -- these guys march to an internal beat that compels you to keep up. All of the players are obviously highly skilled musicians -- especially Skerik on wild sax, Bobby on heavy-artillery drums, and Reed splitting his time between spacy guitar and funky electric bass. Brian was decent on keys but nothing really special except for a couple tunes in the second set.
These guys obviously really enjoy playing together -- they interact by maintaining intense eye contact with each other, and when something's working for them musically you can see the mutual joy and pleasure by their facial expressions and body language, particularly Bobby and Reed, and also Skerik when he's really goin' off. They also feed off the energy of the crowd, which on this night I believe helped push the boys into more experimental territory, especially in the second set.
We got 2 sets of music, a short intermission, a brief encore, and about 2.5 hours of music overall. Sometimes it was hard to tell where one song left off and another began. There were maybe 4 songs in each set, and it seemed like every song was 15 or more minutes long. Check out http://ropeadope.com/bobbyprevite/ for the kind of stuff they're playing on this mini-tour. All 4 guys had music stands in front of them with a lot of complicated-looking sheet music, but rarely did I see any of them looking at the written music.
Bobby's drumming was the engine that drove this beast. Skerik had a huge assortment of foot pedals and special effects that he used to make his tenor sax sound like everything from bass guitar to horn section to demonic keyboard to soaring lead guitar. He also did some interesting vocal effects at various points, but he also sat out long stretches without playing anything at all. The first set was dominated by post-industrial gut-wrenching jazz that blew your hair back. Reed spent about two-thirds of his time on electric guitar in the first set, playing a variety of chord fills and lead riffs unlike most guitarists I usually hear. In the second set, Reed was on his electric bass most of the time, and the music was way more funky and (dare I say) accessible than most of the first-set stuff.
All in all, this was an exhilarating night of music well worth the $15 cover charge. But I caution: This music is not for the weak of heart, the low-volume crowd, or those unwilling to try and follow the musical journey at hand.
That's an outstanding review Garyfish!
I'm really bummed I flaked and din't check them out on Sunday night. . . Oh well, glad you caught some exciting new music.
I'm just back from the 12 Galaxies show (still buzzing) & reading the review in Other Stuff and I once again concur with the above review.
This was a MUCH different band than the one I saw in Santa Cruz. This group was totally focused on RIPPING apart everything they were doing, and each member was right on!
I would say that at this show the keyboard player was really good; that's the only thing I'd say differently about the above review.
GREAT SHOW for $12, with about 75 people in the room and a BLUE CLOUD in the balconey!!
And Skerik is fucking great. Period.