Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stooges Brass Band - The Good Thing -- Artisphere - Aug 9 2013

The Good Thing - It has taken me a few years, but I have finally made it out to a show at the Atrisphere. This large Rosslyn venue hosts free art galleries and stage events covering a wide range in the artistic field. Tonight's event begins with a local funk rock act taking the stage in a very long room with seating in the back and in the balcony along one side of this large (and tall) room. It takes a little while to fill up, but it is a great space allowing some seating and plenty of room for dancing. And this band gets a few people off their feet by nailing down a funky groove in the rhythm section along with the three brass players. The electric guitar brought plenty of rock moves with impressive solos that would work with just about any rock band out there. I also enjoyed the trumpeter's soloing, unfortunately they announced it was his last show with the band. The vocal work was solid and the songs resonated with the building crowd. This was a great way of getting Friday night started before having some New Orleans brass hit the stage. This is a quality band that I am sure will get plenty of shows around here and I hope to catch them again some time.
Stooges Brass Band - There is this odd little 'tic' going off in my head every time I say the name of this band as I try to avoid any thought of that certain Detroit band that has dominated my thoughts for over three decades now. But I always look forward to New Orleans jazz, although this band includes plenty of rock and even some rap moves as they walk in the modern world, while being fully aware of their tradition (hard not to in New Orleans). They only have three players on horns with two of them handling much of the vocal work as well. The constant is the sousaphone which lays down a strong bass presence throughout the set. The two drummers, one on a smaller set of congas and floor toms, establish intricate grooves that make it impossible to sit still. There is electric guitar as well which quietly churns out funk chords before unleashing some powerful solos. There may only be one sax along with either a trumpet or trombone, but the brass and reed sounds rip above the strong backing. This is loud powerful music which had a full room rocking and dancing the whole night long. This was the right space for this band and it is nice to see a classy place that is not too dinner club like (eg Birchmere, Ram's Head-Annapolis, Hamilton) not too divey or indie cool (most everywhere else). The only slow part was perhaps too much requesting audience participation half-way through their set. But that long winded stretch was forgotten as they mixed raps with classics (Bob Marley, etc.) and originals which showcased their excellent playing. That great playing is the memory that remains the next morning.

Quote of the Night: From the headliner as they were dedicating a song to New Orleans and advised everyone to come there some time (couldn't agree more)... "You can come on vacation and leave on probation."

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