Saturday, January 12, 2008

Phish Phood: The Weekapaug Orchestra

Thanks to our good friend and Phish tour veteran Brian for the following Weekapaug Orchestra show review from last night in Baltimore:

Friday, January 11, 2008
8X10 Club
Baltimore MD

In August of 2004 at a large campground in northern Vermont, the four members of Phish played their final concert to a crowd of around 70,000 people. Being there myself, I remember the mixed emotions of the crowd…happy to be together for one last hoorah, but sad that the band had called it quits. We walked out wondering if we would ever get a chance to see the band play again. All four band members continue to explore other music ventures and solo careers but yet have we heard about the “reunion tour?” I’m not keeping my fingers crossed. Though one thing is clearly evident….People are itchin’ to hear Phish’s music played live.

Fast forward to 2008 and a new band is giving us that opportunity. ‘The Weekapaug Orchestra’ is giving phans the opportunity to hear Phish’s music live once again. Don’t confuse them with the Dark Star Orchestra, the Grateful Dead cover band....those guys recreate an actual Dead show, song for song. With The Weekapaug Orchestra, yes, they are a Phish cover band, but they are simply in it for the fun and good times. They are not recreating a Phish concert but just throwing together their favorite Phish songs and rockin out on stage. Although I will say that the band did go out of its way to hire their own lighting technician to create a similar experience that Phish’s lightshow had.

The four guys in the group come from two Baltimore-based bands. Matt Chase (guitar/vocals) and Aaron Levy (keyboards/vocals) play in the power trio Black-Eyed Susan, who recently relocated to Charleston, SC. Paul Weinberg (drums) and Ryan Porter (bass/vocals) are former members of the increasingly popular band The Bridge.

I attended their show and Baltimore’s own 8X10 club which as you probably guessed is a rather small venue. When you jam more than 350 people in there, it can get quite uncomfortable. Needless to say it was crowded but I was able to secure a nice spot up front. The crowd was a mix of young hippies in their early twenties and the 30 something’s that used to be hippies but now are married, have kids, etc. One thing is for sure, we were all there to hear some great music and have a good time. The band delivered with a powerful ‘Chalkdust Torture’ opener that immediately got the crowd going. Some other highlights were the dark and ominous song ‘Maze’, crowd favorite ‘Stash’, and throw in Stevie Wonder’s Boogie on Reggae Woman with guest vocalist Julie Edlow, formerly of The Recipe. The band closed it out with a great rendition of Harry Hood that kept the crowd moving the whole time.

I’ve seen a few other Phish cover bands before, but these guys are the real deal. They are tight, talented, and you can clearly observe how much these guys enjoy playing music. I’ve been informed that they are taking the band on the road for some shows up and down the east coast so if you see they are playing in your town, get your tickets early.

Set I
Chalkdust Torture, Mike’s Song> The Wedge, Gumbo, Maze, Paul and Silas, Tube, Yamar, Stash

Set II
Wilson> Down With Disease> Rock and Roll, Boogie On Reggae Woman*> 46 Days> Peaches en Regalia> Harry Hood

E: Divided Sky, Weekapaug Groove

*Julie Edlow on vocals

Upcoming Tourdates for T.W.O.
Jan 25 2008 10:00P The Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, North Carolina
Feb 15 2008 10:00P The Blind Tiger Greensboro, North Carolina
Apr 11 2008 8:00P The Visulite Theatre Charlotte, North Carolina
Apr 19 2008 2:00P Camp Jam ’08 Lacoochee, Florida
Apr 20 2008 2:00P Camp Jam ’08 Lacoochee, Florida

The Weight reviews Weekapaug Orchestra 10/20/07
The Weight reviews The Bridge 11/29/07


Anonymous said...

i can't wait for tonight in raleigh. I heard a rumor they are going to start playing shows in their entirety. Is this true? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Matt and Aaron broke off and formed the touring act, Strange Design that does shows in their entirety.

check it out.