The weeks leading up to a New Year’s Run (be it Phish or The Disco Biscuits) always have a certain electricity in New York City. The jam scene hibernates for the holidays, only to explode into the new year. New York City-based psych-jam band Escaper batted leadoff, playing “night zero” as a precursor to the musical mayhem that would follow over the next four nights.
As New Yorkers, the four gentlemen that make up Escaper are no strangers to the tremendous live music performed during the four nights surrounding New Year’s Eve. Having the honor to open up the run, Escaper grabbed their opportunity at Nublu, an East Village hot spot that regularly plays hosts to up-and-coming artists in the scene.
At the time, no one could’ve predicted the devastation that would befall live music in 2020. This “before times” show occurred in the spirit of optimism and hope and excitement that always comes with a new year. The band was in the midst of recording their next studio album, Apotheosis, which dropped in June 2020, and the performance exhibited the energy and enthusiasm that a band attacks a show with as they’re putting out new material.
On this night, the Escaper boys debuted a number of new songs from their forthcoming album, including an extended version of “Open Sky”, which would go on to make waves over the summer. Unique takes on “Vista” and “Res Magna” had the crowd grooving to this funkier, more up-tempo sound. They also revived fan-favorite “Galaxies”, dipping into their back catalog.
Escaper also brought up special guest saxophonist Johnny Butler (Beyonce, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds) for two tracks from Edge Detections, including rousing renditions of “Lighthouse” and “Rare Form”. The set also included covers of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”, two covers that this funky psychedelic foursome has given a sound of their own.
Escaper set a tone for the New Year’s Run which would be carried throughout the week. They built on that momentum by putting out a stellar album in June of 2020, with new material and added dimensions to their sound and style. They are hard at work again, as always, crafting new material for a new album which they hope to release in 2021. They are excited about the future of their music, their new album, and performing live shows to dancing crowds in the hopefully very near future.
Stream the new Escaper live album, Live at Nublu (New York, 12/27/19) via the player below. Scroll down to watch Escaper perform “No Strings” at Nulu, also heard on the live album.
Escaper – Live at Nublu (New York, 12/27/19)
Escaper – “No Strings” – New York, NY – 12/27/19
[Video: Escaper Music]