Portland, Maine got a double dose of awesome last weekend at Portland House of Music, where Pink Talking Fish gave two smoking hot performances. Never knowing what the band will throw out for the night makes for a hell of an entertaining evening. The band consists of Eric Gould on bass, Dave Brunyak on guitar, Zack Burwick on drums, and Richard James on keys. They eased into the first set with Phish’s “Runaway Jim” after noting that the band Pardon Me Doug, whose members were in the audience, had recently celebrated their 100th show. Turning back to the music, Brunyak took the tune on a wild roller coaster of guitar ride, getting everyone amped up for what was ahead. The ever-growing crowd came dancing in through the doors as James took hold of vocals on The Talking Heads’ “And She Was.” Heavy audience participation took over during the “hehehehayyy!” portions of the tune.
Pink Floyd’s “Time” took over early in first set. Burwick showed off his drum chops to the crowd, keeping the energy amped up during the Friday night show, where James once again took over on lead vocals. After a lazy-paced “Camel Walk,” Burwick led the pack into The Talking Heads’ “(Nothing But) Flowers.” The electric-laced melody was crammed with heavy keys by James and solid back beat by Burwick. An extended jam midway flowed along in a dreamy state with all members contributing to a euphoric energy thrown out to the audience.
Floyd’s raucous “Another Brick in The Wall” showed up to cause hell. A grooved out “Golden Age” had the crowd jumping followed by fan favorite, “Life During Wartime.” During “Waste,” a surprise marriage proposal took place in the venue. She said yes. “Once In A Lifetime” brought first set to a close.
After a short break, Pink Talking Fish’s second set started off with a psychedelic “Memories Can’t Wait,” which featured James on vocals. Brunyak threw out trippy notes on the guitar, while Gould pounded out solid bass tones to the crowd. A solidly placed jam midway through “Mike’s Song” kept the attention of the fans before easing into a sandwiched “Sheep” stuffed with “Psycho Killer” in the middle.
“Lizards” made an unexpected appearance on the set list and had the crowd joining right along on this sunshine basked song. James got lost in the keys, taking the audience along on his dreamy ride. A slight hesitation weened the room into The Talking Heads synth-heavy “What A Day That Was” filled to the brim with stiff drum tracks by Burwick. “Weekapaug Groove” came out to play, bringing second set to an energized close. Encore featured a mashup of Phish’s “Ocelot” and The Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed.”
Saturday night’s performance started out with a gasp from the audience as Brunyak accidentally dropped his guitar due to a slip of the guitar strap. Thank god for the use of rugs which saved his instrument from harm. After a huge sigh of relief from fans, the band opened with James playing a precious “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” on piano. They swayed into Phish’s “Bathtub Gin,” which featured a prolonged pause before taking off into a lengthy jam midway, with a teased “Ocelot” closing out the tune. Talking Heads’ bouncy “Wild Wild Life” had the crowd jumping with the beat, as Brunyak took the lead on vocals. The beat kicked into high gear, creating a crazy amount of energy in the already charged up room before the melody flowed into Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine.”
Phish’s sprightly “Rift” rolled along before cooling off into “Making Flippy Floppy,” as Gould took over on vocals. Deep bass tones dropped as the melody flew at cruising altitude before diving into a sandwiched, and apropos, flip flop of “Rift” and “Making Flippy Floppy.” James threw down on his piano as the song started to peak out of it’s endless powerful heat. With a momentary pause, the audience took in a breath just in time for the sick jam to cool off before it slammed into “Run Like Hell.” What an immensely powerful start to first set. The band was simply on fire.
The set list appeared to be switched up as a quick chat of the upcoming tune was addressed by Pink Talking Fish. After such an explosive early part of the set, a chilled out “Meat” crawled out, giving a breather in the energy, as well as the hot temperature of the room. Gould’s bending bass tones maintained the melody, bridging all instruments together. The smoking show continued with Floyd’s “Dogs,” that was complete with the sounds of howling canines. Trippy tones creeped along, teetering on the verge of explosive notes as the group morphed from the hallucinatory atmosphere into Phish’s seriously jammed out “David Bowie,” bringing set one to a close.
After the audience took a breather in the cool night air of Portland, set two opened up with”Tweezer Reprise” before heading into Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” that featured teases of Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing.” A jazzed up “Slippery People” hinted at teases of Prince’s “Kiss” and, once again, “Money For Nothing.” Burwick added flair to the song with touches of cowbell and quick snare taps while Brunyak and James let loose and jammed out midway, providing heaps of auditory goodness for fans.
Prince teases continued as hints of “1999” appeared in “AC/DC Bag.” Piano heavy “Fearless” brought the crowd to their knees with this gently moving melody before Brunyak took over vocals on “Found A Job,” that was complete with slick moving, clean keys and funky dripping bass.
After introductions of the band, they crushed “Carini” as Brunyak’s locks flowed in the breeze from the fan and “check this out” was thrown back and forth by bandmates into the mics at the start. An easy moving revisit to “Dogs” cooled things off following a blazing “No Quarter.” Second set came to a close with “Julius,” followed by the weekend ending with “Sleeping Monkey.”
Overall, the two show weekend in Maine was simply fire. Pink Talking Fish was primed, the set lists were ace, and the crowd was ready to get down. For more information on Pink Talking Fish, as well as tour dates, please visit their official website.
Setlist: Pink Talking Fish | Portland House of Music and Events | Portland, ME | 5/12/2017
Set 1: Runaway Jim, And She Was, Time>Camel Walk, Nothing But Flowers>Happiest Days Of Our Lives>Another Brick In A Wall> Golden Age>Life During Wartime>Another Brick In A Wall, Waste*, Once In A Lifetime
Set 2: Memories Can’t Wait, Mike’s Song>Sheep>Psycho Killer>Sheep>The Lizards, What A Day That Was>Brain Damage>Eclipse>Weekapaug Groove**
E: Tennessee Jed/Ocelot Mashup***
*A couple in the audience got engaged during this song
**w/ Makisupa Policeman tease
**^w/ Bathtub Gin outro
Setlist: Pink Talking Fish | Portland House of Music and Events | Portland, ME | 5/13/2017
Set 1: Somewhere Over The Rainbow piano intro>Bathtub Gin*>Wild Wild Life>Astronomy Domine, Rift>Making Flippy Floppy>Rift>Making Flippy Floppy>Run Like Hell, Meat, Crosseyed And Painless>Dogs>David Bowie
Set 2: Shine On You Crazy Diamond**>Slippery People**%>AC/DC Bag%%>Fearless***>Found A Job%%%, Carini>No Quarter>Dogs, Julius
E: Sleeping Monkey**
*w/ Ocelot outro
**w/ Money For Nothing tease
***w/ Bug tease
%w/ Kiss tease
%%w/ 1999 tease
%%%w/ Shake Your Body tease
Soundboards courtesy of Keith Litzenberger