Last weekend’s Brooklyn Comes Alive brought an almost overwhelmingly strong slate of exciting collaborations to Williamsburg, Brooklyn over the course of two full days of music across three venues, all within a few blocks of each other. Last Saturday evening, amid the musical madness of day 1 of the one-of-a-kind festival, fans were met with a musical “Sophie’s Choice”. A rare set from Rooster Conspiracy (a new improvisational Grateful Dead-inspired project featuring Eric Krasno, Reed Mathis, Todd Stoops, and Jay Lane), the official debut of Matador! Soul Sounds (a brand new band featuring Eddie Roberts, Alan Evans and vocalists Adryon De León & Kim Dawson) and a special jam session led by Trey Anastasio Band sax man James Casey were all scheduled to take place during the same early-evening time slot, forcing the festival crowd to make some tough decisions.
While there were no wrong answers on this memorable weekend, and all three sets received rave reviews, the fans who chose James Casey & Friends were treated to a dark-horse candidate for one of the weekend’s best and most unique performances. Casey was scheduled to bring his band Animus Rexx to Brooklyn Comes Alive, but due to a visa issue, one of his band members got tied up overseas and couldn’t make it back to States for the scheduled performance. So instead, the week of the performance, James decided to gather together some friends for a jam session. Here’s what we learned: James Casey has some seriously badass friends.
For the performance, Casey tapped Felix Pastorius, son of the legendary Jaco Pastorius, to fill bass duties, as well as Louis Cato and Randy Runyon to round out the core band. The set also featured guest appearances from Robert “Sput” Searight, Nate Werth, and more. The band touched on a variety of styles and hip covers, including material by Anderson .Paak and more. Casey’s Trey Anastasio Band cohort Natalie Cressman also made a memorable guest appearance to lend her vocals to another unexpected cover–hit EDM track “Wildfire” by SBTRKT.
You can watch fan-shot footage of James Casey, Natalie Cressman, Felix Pastorius, and more performing SBTRKT’s “Wildfire” at Brooklyn Comes Alive below: