People huddled around in front of Putnam Den, trying to stay warm, trying to stay excited for the night of funk that was to ensue inside with Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan, and The Nth Power on Friday, Feb 27. They were surely in for a treat as both bands prepared hot sets to warm the chilly bones of the crowd.
To start the night, Beau Sasser had his Escape Plan ready to tear things up. The animated lead vocals and centerpiece of the group, Mary Corso, held the crowd’s attention with a soothing voice and a natural stage presence, and had the many in attendance eating out of her hand. High energy guitar solos by Justin Henricks and Craig Brodhead were a non stop staple throughout the set.. “Taxman” The Beatles staple, was an interesting choice for a funk band to tackle, but The Escape Plan did it flawlessly. Between the vocals of Mary and the drums of Max Creeks Bill Carbone, the beat was a completely different arrangement than the Beatles – a treat hearing a new twist on an old standard. “Whipping Post” the Allman Brothers classic, exemplified this tremendously, and the crowd was moving rapidly to the southern rock groove sprinkled with the sweet funk for which The Escape Plan is known. This was sheer brilliance. The band played a few encores, which was pleasurable to everyone in the packed room. The encore highlight came, however, when Nigel Hall, The Nth Powers organist sat in with the group. Beau moved over and the two geniuses went to town on the keys bringing cheer to all. It was the perfect was to end the set, and The Nth Power was still yet to come. It seemed there would be no way they could keep this fantastic vibe going, but Nigel and crew would bring an elegant mixture of rock , funk and blues to the stage that was nothing less than mind-blowing.
Slow riffing guitar is not the typical way to kick off a funk show, nevertheless, Nick Cassarino proved that this could be done superbly. As the slow groove was picked up with drums by Nikki Glaspie, it threw a beat that left the crowd with little choice but move themselves to dance. The screeching solo and roaring drums were the perfect way to kick off funk. With musicians such as Nigel Hall, bassist Nate Edgar and percussionist Weedie Braimah the group was complete. As the evening moved forth they proved it time and time again, with tremendous drums solos sending energy through the building and the uncontrollably frantic audience. Funk also has a cousin, and that cousin is the soul. The Nth Power possessed so much soul it was exuding throughout the crowd and the melodic harmonies were out of this world. Glaspie and Cassarino made their voices seem as one, as the highs and lows blended in a way that could be matched by few others – these guys have it. The vocals were a gigantic part of the festivities, as Mr. Nigel Hall would provide some heavenly vocals backed up by the other two, to create the perfect three-part harmony.
Weedie Braimah’s percussion was definitely a high point of the show. He genuinely looked as if he was having a spiritual experience while honing his craft, which overflowed into the crowd as they were even more uncontrollable than previously. Weeddie and Nikki dueled, leading the audience to know that they would each outdo the other, but how? Amazing. The music these five people made was exactly the sound they were going for. There are definitely bigger things to come for The Nth Power.