On February 4 at the Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Albany, two area bands brought the popular venue to its knees with twists, turns, jams and family.
Opening for Formula 5 was Ampevene, which brought a progressive feel to open the show. Led by guitarist and songwriter Gabe Stallman, Ampevene led the growing crowd through an hour of fun. There was a good deal of energy and musicianship from the hard working band.
“Pedro” opened the show and set the tone for a highly improvisational, four-song opening stanza that saw guitarist Joe Davis unleash his now signature fury upon his red Gibson SG. After 15 or so minutes, the band landed on a Dire Straits cover, “Money For Nothing.”
The pairing of “Excalibur” and “Come Along” closed the set, with both tunes lasting well over 10 minutes. Formula 5 had opened their hometown show with the poise and confidence of a seasoned rock band. It’s clear that the start of their current and lengthy tour, coupled with all the time spent in the studio, is doing wonders for the band.
Wasting no time to start the second set, the foursome leaped right into a song off the new album, “Trout Waters Pt. I.” Davis and keyboardist Matt Richards quickly locked into a groove that bled into an “Out of Water Jam,” which saw the band extend the song to nearly 20 minutes. At one point, drummer Greg Marek was playing a sort of techno beat that allowed the rest of the band to throw down a dance party.
Following the conclusion of Trout Water Pt 2 was another new tune, “Q&A,” continuing the theme of jamming out every song in the second set. A take on the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House” gave way to another song off the new album, ” Sad Bed.”
Up next was a surprise cover of Jeff Beck’s “Thelonious,” a song that showed off the chips of bassist James Woods. “Earthbound Tim” and “Catch Me” put the finishing touches on a set that never let up. There wasn’t a lull in the energy at any point, showing how far Formula 5 has come in the last few years.
On February 18 in Hudson Falls, Formula 5 will play a show that happens to fall on Davis’ birthday. The band has started a march of sorts to sell out the show, which would be a first for the band.
But first, Formula 5 will settle into a show at the Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday, February 7, with fellow Albany bands Mister F and Goose.
You can download the Hollow show here.
Formula 5 Setlist:
Set 1: Pedro* -> Money For Nothing&, Excalibur, Come Along
Set 2: Trout Waters, Pt. I -> Out Of Water Jam -> Trout Waters, Pt. II Q&A > Burning Down The House^ -> Sad Bed* -> Thelonious! Earthbound Tim* -> Catch Me
Encore: It Goes…
& Dire Straits cover
^ Talking Heads cover
! Jeff Beck
Ampevene setlist: Florida, Pre Kong Jam, Kong, Rometheu, Rometheu Outro Jam, Tracalysis, Valencia, Pre Tumultuous Jam (first time played), Tumultuous