photos by Andy Hill
On a night with the talented trio of Marco Benevento, Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) and Andy Borger taking the stage at Red Square, a crowd that anticipates his regular arrival every three or four months headed to downtown Albany to partake in a menagerie of musical stylings. Led by organist/pianist/ Marco Benevento, who bonned a tigerhead prop during performance (subconsciously reminding fans about his new album Tigerface), the Trio played two strong hours with a performance that ranged from slow-paced drums and bass songs accentuated by Marco’s piano, to speedy, almost electronic levels of sound. The sound created is similar to trance music at times, slowly meandering through a framework that deviates only slightly, swaying the transfixed crowd in soothing waves.
The piano/organ from Marco draws out of a classical background, with intricate compositions that bring to mind the soundtracks of the Silent Film era. While Marco manipulates his organ to create a cacophony of sounds by turning knobs, the full two hours of music is completely organic, songs popping out of Bene’s head and followed in step with Dreiwitz’s bass and Borger’s incredible drumming. Highlights of the night included a “9 to 5” jam in the always incredible “The Real Morning Party” and “Something for Rockets”. When it comes to piano rock concerts, Marco is second to none, playing in a style and group that has no comparison; the group is in a league of their own.
The (new) excellent lighting at Red Square was run effectively by Jeff Volckhausen, lighting the band from the floor and shining off the ceiling to illuminate the stage and add in a welcome visual component to Marco’s show. Although for the ladies in the audience, Marco was all you needed to look at.
Marco let the already excited crowd know that an Albany residency at Red Square is coming in 2013, so stay tuned for details and plan to get to at least one of these unique musical adventures.