Sold-out show last night at Humbrews, about 250 partyin' peeps in attendance. Good to see Peter T and Maria, Purplemeadow, Big Johnny, Anthony, Tie-dye Steve, Hippie Mike, Dave, Jason, Anne, and other usual and unusual suspects (but no Matanaska, or Sharla and Tom !!).
This was the grand re-opening of Humbrews -- the place had been closed for renovations for 5 months -- and I was expecting big improvements in sights and sounds at this venerable collegetown watering hole. But my expectations were only partially fulfilled. The stage is a vast improvement over the previous configuration -- it's now at the opposite end of the room from the entranceway, and gone is the annoying pillar right in the center of the stage. But the stage is still too low, with only an 8-10" riser, making for sub-par sightlines unless you're tall or right up front. The stage is also fairly narrow for a band the size of Melvin's -- the big man himself was positioned far left and well back with no spotlight, and Marty had to stand directly behind Stu.
The long, narrow building has a high ceiling with exposed ductwork -- not very conducive to good acoustics. With a new sound system, I thought maybe they'd be able to compensate for some of the physical limitations of the venue, but not on this night. I could hardly hear Marty on bass for much of the first set, and the sound mix was just plain bad unless you were within 5 feet or so of the stage. Sound quality was much improved in the second set, at least close to the stage where I was positioned. But after the intermission, and after the band had taken the stage, technical glitches caused a 20-minute delay in the start of the second set, resulting in a much shorter show and no encore. I hope that with more experience in audio fine-tuning they can work out most of these bugs, because the new place really is a cool place to party.
All these negatives aside, though, I had a blast. The band was on top of their game, and they really fed off the positive crowd response throughout. A couple rarely heard JGB gems in the setlist, too. I forgot to bring a pen and paper, and by the time I got around to writing things down I'd forgotten a few of the opening songs. But my friend Charlie (and Peter T) recorded the show, so I'll be able to fill in the gaps later.
Round 2 tonight!!
Melvin Seals & JGB
Get Out My Life Woman
The Way You Do The Things You Do
Sisters and Brothers >
Deal (with local guitar ace Ruben Diaz sitting in)
where is humbrews? it isn't the old cafe tomo is it?
>>>where is humbrews? it isn't the old cafe tomo is it?
No, but it's only about a block away from where Cafe Tomo was.
John, did you formerly live up this way, or attend any shows up here in Humboldt?
I used to live up by Big Lagoon, and I try to get back every few years to visit. Been a while now since I was there though.
Back In 1983, that club was called Mojo's. I saw Jerry Garcia Band there.It was a smokin' show. I believe Billy K was the drummer that night.
Dan, I was also at those Mojo's JGB shows. According to setlist.com, those shows were on 3/18/82 and 3/19/82. The lineup: JG, John Kahn, Essra Mohawk, Melvin Seals, Daoud Shaw, Liz Stires, Jimmy Warren.
Those were the ones Gary. Thanks for throttling my memory correctly.
Another sold-out show by Melvin and the gang at Humbrews last night, and they ROCKED the place. One of the best performances by this band that I've seen. Second set, in particular, was off the charts!!!
Melvin Seals & JGB
You Never Can Tell (C'est La Vie)
They Love Each Other
The Maker >
Let's Spend The Night Together
He Ain't Give You None
Lay Down Sally
Don't Let Go >
Sisters and Brothers >
Rubin and Cherise (with Ruben Diaz sitting in on guitar)
Melvin Seals (B-3), Stu Allen (guitar, vocals), David Kemper (drums), Marty Holland (bass), Judith Coleman and Mary Holland (vocals)
First set built slowly and reached a crescendo with the Maker > Train pairing. Second set took off right out of the gate with a HUGE jammin' opener and just kept building. Another monster jam in Don't Let Go, into a singalong Sisters and Brothers -- the only repeat from the first night -- and culminating with a SWEET rockin' Rubin and Cherise (perhaps not coincidentally, with local guitar fave Ruben Diaz sitting in). By this time it was 1:40 am and there wasn't time for an encore, but nobody seemed to mind from the looks of all the smiling faces in the room.
On this night the band attracted an older crowd, more attentive and less raucous than the previous night. At intermission I found out that there was another band playing at a bar a block away -- Berkeley band Albino was playing their brand of "heavy heavy Afrobeat" at the Jambalaya -- and I checked it out briefly and saw that's where a lot of the younger college-age crowd was that night. No matter, though. Humbrews was packed, a lot of my Humboldt "show friends" were in attendance, and everybody was locked in and havin' a blast! A big shout-out to Aaron, Paul, Chris & Brooke, Steve & Nancy, Chuck, and all the others I mentioned in yesterday's review. Was great hangin' with y'all !!
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the few glitches at this newly re-opened venue. Sound problems were much less pronounced than the previous night, but still annoyingly present. I spent the first set within 4 feet of the stage, and could barely hear Marty's bass for the first few songs. I later found out that the sound mix was much better about 10 feet further back, so that's where I was for the entire second set. Hopefully, the sound crew will be able to adjust for the idiosyncracies of the venue as they become more familiar with the new setup.
Musically, my only real complaint is that Melvin didn't step out and solo much. He seemed content to let Stu take the wheel all night, and fortunately Stu was well "up" for that challenge. So was Kemp and Marty, and the girls in their tight-fitting red outfits. Yow!
You guys forgot the raging second set "Ain't no bread in the bread box..........And first set "Like a road...........I was dancin right to left of melvin most of night and had killer new years going by myself.......midnight Moonlight basin for sure...............ther's a couple more song's were missing