Spafford was back at Brooklyn Bowl last night for a packed-out dance party worthy of a Saturday night in New York City.
Following the first night of their weekend run at the Brooklyn venue on Friday where the rock quartet treated fans to their takes on the Grateful Dead and The Presidents of The United States, the fellas of Spafford still had plenty to work with on Saturday as they tore through two sets and an encore for a wild and thrilling evening of music.
Connecticut-based jam quartet Eggy served as support on the performance, rounding out a stretch of eight dates with Spafford over the past few weeks. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jake Brownstein, keyboardist/vocalist Dani Battat, bassist/vocalist Mike Goodman, and drummer/vocalist Alex Bailey, Eggy continued to earn new fans with their energetic jams, finely tuned vocal harmonies, and engaging lyrics that run the gamut from light-hearted and silly to pensive and sincere.
[Photo: Ken Spielman – Eggy]
Spafford opened up their first set with a pair of shorter tunes that were a bit more musically contained in “Runaway” and “People”. “Runaway” had the energy—and changing time signatures—to keep the audience on their toes right out of the gate. “People”, though not as intense as the show opener, had a groovy feel to it, which was only enhanced when they dropped into the song’s instrumental jam filled with softer melodies from pianist Andrew “Red” Johnson. The brief “People” jam eventually turned into a spotlight solo for Red, who helped build it all back up to a climax before he returned to the lyrics to close out the song.
The band then moved into the ascending, galloping intro to a very uptempo cover of Stealers Wheel‘s “Stuck in the Middle With You”. The packed house was right there with the band as the song reached its energized cruising altitude with some excellent lead vocals and guitar work from Brian Moss. The cover showcased the first extended jam of the night, which started with softer, more atmospheric moments before moving into a jazz-like tempo as drummer Nick Tkachyk took everyone into John Coltrane‘s “Impressions”. The instrumental jazz piece continued with some impressive lead bass lines from Jordan Fairless before Spafford eventually returned to “Stuck in the Middle With You” to close out the lengthy segue.
This “Impressions” marked Spafford’s fourth-ever rendition of the 1963 Coltrane composition, with each performance similarly inserted inside another song (including “Steak Sauce”, “Electric Taco Stand”, and “Plans”). Clever wordplay aside, sticking “Impressions” in the middle of “Stuck In The Middle With You” proved to be one of the musical high points of the evening.
The first set came to a close with another jam-filled performance on the Fairless-led “All In”. The lengthy take on the Spafford original filled Brooklyn Bowl with a thick, jamtronica atmosphere that was almost too intense to handle.
Watch the opening portion of Saturday’s first set via the pro-shot video below”
Spafford – Brooklyn Bowl Set One (Sneak Peak) – 2/8/20
When they returned to the stage after a brief intermission, Spafford spent nearly the entire second half of the show unleashing burst after burst of high-energy dance tunes that put the crowd right in the palms of their hands. The strong instrumental opening of “Runaway” quickly picked up to a double-time tempo before the band eventually moved into a cover of Sneaker Pimps‘ “6 Underground”. The music kept rolling with “Weasel” and “Palisades”, and at one point Brian Moss could be seen with a subtle smirk across his face as he dropped a quick “Inspector Gadget” riff tease into the lengthy jam.
Following a return to “Weasel”, Fairless then helped lead the way into the muscular, bluesy sounds of “Shake You Loose”, which was only topped by the following island vibes of “Salamander Song” for a final hurrah to close out the whirlwind of a second set. The band returned to close the show with one last banger in “Lonely”, and just like that, another Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl was in the books.
Watch the opening songs from Saturday’s second set below.
Spafford – Brooklyn Bowl Set Two (Sneak Peak) – 2/8/20
Spafford returns to Brooklyn Bowl for a special acoustic performance on Sunday. Head to the band’s website for tickets and info for their upcoming shows.
Check out a gallery of photos from Spafford’s Saturday night performance at Brooklyn Bowl below courtesy of photographer Ken Spielman.
Setlist: Eggy | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | 2/8/20
Set: Queen’s Gambit, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic cover), Portable Air Scrubber > Fragments > Portable Air Scrubber, 12 Pounds of Pain (abbreviated)
Setlist: Spafford | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | 2/8/20
Set One: Runaway, People, Stuck in the Middle With You (Stealers Wheel cover) > Impressions (John Coltrane cover) > Stuck in the Middle With You, All In
Set Two: Dirt Bath, 6 Underground (Sneaker Pimps cover) > Weasel > Palisades > Weasel, Shake You Loose, Salamander Song