Last Saturday The McLovins reined the Iron Horse with a ferocious gait. They began with a quirky intro jam that smoothly turned into Caravan – it was fast-paced; it was funktastic. The intensity gave way to a quick reprise and a solid ending.
Jeff led the group into Tokyo Tea, an intricate tune with serious face-melting abilities. I’ve gotta hand it to these guys – they don’t save the best for last.
The fairly new (and very catchy) Cohesive and Milktoast Man worked nicely as a change of pace from the intense, energetic introduction. The Adagio, if you will.
Then came what seemed like a blast from the past: Killing Time, YEM, and Guillotine Machine were served up in a row. Waiter, can I get salt with that?
The second set opened with a badass Beadhead Crystal Bugger. Shouts of recognition (and, of course, approval) began with the opening licks to Deep Monster Trance, probably the most complex and interesting song in their repetoire. Jeff never fails to weave well-known riffs into the opening ambient jam. The party really gets going, though, with a sudden pickup of the beat. The crowd was into it!
I thought the remarkable thing about the middle jam was the way it led us up and gracefully brought us back down. There was an incredible amount of energy in the house – and the boys harnessed it, controlled it, and gently let it disseminate into what I dub the Starry Night Jam. A bit jazzy, a bit lento, and a whole lotta beautiful.
First YEM and then YYZ – Phish? Rush? Are we on a theme tonight? Apparently so.
Break on Through was my favorite cover of the night. I think The Doors needed a little bit more love, and the McLovins had some to give. But seriously, this fun, high-energy tribute is always appreciated here at Elizabeth Incorporated.
The jazzy Conundrum and a fun Hell Yeah left the audience shouting for one more – or two, if the band was willing to oblige. And did they oblige. We got a tasty Virtual Circle. It had the crowd dancing – in circles. Or was that just me?
Overall, the night was dark, the stars were bright, and the wind just a little too cold. Click the link to listen to the show for yourself at Archive.org.
Here’s to an even more incredible 2011!