Monday, February 21, 2011

A Night of Bluegrass - 02.12.11 - World Cafe Live

Well, this review is way overdue. It's been over a week since a whirlwind of bluegrass tore through the World Cafe Live. A sellout crowd packed the Downstairs anticipating a rowdy night. I haven't seen Downstairs at the WCL that crowded in a long time. Greensky Bluegrass would open with Cornmeal playing second on the co-headlining bill. I was extremely happy both bands would have the opportunity to play in front of a packed house on the Saturday night of their five night run. The reception was well deserved and neither disappointed.

I did my homework before the show and familiarized myself with Greensky's collection. I've always heard great things, but for no good reason never took the time to get into them. These guys sure can pick! I enjoyed everything from the upbeat Can't Stop Now to the slower ballad Bottle Dry. We were even treated to a couple great covers including a version of Prince's When Doves Cry with Allie on fiddle.

By the time Cornmeal took the stage, the place was ready to get down. The band responded quickly with a couple ragers right out of the gate. Both Run Away and Hide and River Gap are two of my favorite moments of the show. I'm not sure if River Gap was played in response to my FB post, but either way THANK YOU!! It was exactly what I was looking for. Black Smoke Rising capped of a set filled with some intense jamming prior to Greensky being invited back to the stage. The night wrapped up with everyone onstage for an extended encore including Ziggy Stardust.

It was very obvious in their playing that both bands had a blast on this mini tour. I hope they do something similar very soon. The only two complaints about the night: (1) The set lengths. I could've easily enjoyed another hour by each band and (2) Hummus. Although I'm sure it tastes fine at the WCL, it's not cool when some drunk chick decides to throw it into the crowd towards the end of the night. I mean seriously... who throws hummus?!?! Luckily I was out of the line of fire... some friends were less fortunate. The exchange prior to the encore contains some expletives, but didn't ruin a great tape. Enjoy the recordings and some pics by Team Philly's SonicSound (Thanks Sam!):

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