The Mike Dillon Trio concluded their short road run with moe.‘s Jim Loughlin with a wild display of percussion power at Atlanta’s Aisle 5 on Monday night. Dillon and Loughlin clearly have bonded over their love of the various marimba and mallet kat-based melodies, exhorting in the joy the instruments add to their respective repertoires. While Loughlin is far newer to the pursuit, both tirelessly work to improve their skills and when they get a chance to work together—even if only for a song or two—the music they make is always a mixture of mayhem and magic.
None of this is to say that Mike Dillon isn’t a force of nature on his own. As a musician, Mike Dillon a trusted brand name. Whether as a solo act; leader of a trio or “how many people will your stage hold” arrangements; or collaborator, you know he is going to shine. Thanks to his impeccable mixture of technique, melodic vision, and passion, each show he plays is slightly better than his last, which is truly saying something given the high caliber of musicianship he brings to the table.
That said, when an artist has mastery over as many instruments and styles as Dillon, the question is always, What elements is he bringing out tonight? The latest version of the Mike Dillon Trio has seen him flanked by bassist Nathan “Nate” Lambertson and drummer Brendan Bull, with Dillon taking the role of main melody maker plus some help from the multi-instrumentalist Lambertson.
Loughlin’s last-minute addition to the lineup was a product of the soon-ending moe. hiatus, which allowed moe. bassist Robert Derhak to successfully fight off cancer. With no rehearsal time and Dillon already being on the road, the show saw on-the-fly tutorials for Loughlin literally during the show. In the clips below, you can hear Dillon shouting keys and notes at Loughlin over the crash and din of the music. The result is like everything Dillon ever does—loose, electrifying and almost impossible to categorize.
Check out special moments from Mike Dillon Trio and moe.’s Jim Loughlin’s collaborative show in Atlanta below. Enjoy!