It’s Day 6 of this Music Marathon and for the first time this week, I am seeing a band that I have seen before and am quite familiar with – Mister F. It’s roughly Mile 20 of this marathon and I hit a smooth flat stretch this evening with excellent new music from ELM and Mister F’s themed ‘White Lightning’ show.
The idea for the show was hatched in the van while Mister F thought of a theme for their first hometown show since February. Keyboardist Scott Hannay explained that the theme for the show arose from band members tossing out colors and words to see what would stick to develop a theme for the evening, and based on the propensity of songs with ‘white’ and ‘lightning’ in the band name or song title, ‘White Lightning’ turned the show into a unique event. The band even wore white shirts and had pictures of Whitey Ford, Barry White, Vanna White, White Chicks (the movie), Betty White, Jaleel White and the White Power Ranger around the venue, but alas, no Golden Girls theme song teases. (A complaint has been lodged with management.)
Opening the night was ELM (Electric Love Machine) from Baltimore, an electro-jam band with truly impressive drumming from Steve Gorsuch who lead the way for the one of the best discoveries of the week. How has ELM skirted the radar thus far? This is beyond the formulaic jamband I have grown accustomed to seeing and one with intense potential. A cover of “When the Levee Breaks” was an extended highlight that rolled into a well crafted jam, followed by Scott Hannay sitting in with ELM on “Dance Floor Politics.” This was ELM’s second trip to Albany and a must see at any festival this summer.
Mister F’s ‘White Lightning’ set began with “Lightning Strikes” with a clean segue into original “On and On”. The first real treat of the night was a mashup of “Everything You Say” and The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”, a true test of playing one song while singing another, then switching those two up without missing a beat. I guessed early that “White Room” would be included in the show simply because of the familiarity and general excellence of the song, and was rewarded with a fantastic version that hopefully isn’t the only performance for the band. Hannay’s vocals and Andrew Chamberlaine’s guitar didn’t copy the original – they made it their own, which gets far more mileage than a straight cover of a song. I did not expect “White Wedding” to work into the setlist, but given that fans and band alike were wearing white clothing, it was a perfect fit. An encore of “Octo-Puss-E” by Rock Candy Funk Party ended the night around 2am and a well planned and received theme show from Mister F.
Setlist: Lightning Strikes* > On and On, Don’t Lose Your Watch, Everything You Say/Seven Nation Army^ mashup, ‘New Song’, The Machine, Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong& > Hedgehog, Answer the Dog, Oasis > White Pickle# > Oasis > White Pickle > Oasis > White Room@, Inside, Vocoder, White Wedding$ > Unisex Collider, White Lightning§ > Greased Lightning¶ > This One Goes to 11µ
* first time played, Cypress Hill, intro only
^ first time played, The White Stripes/Mister F song mashup
& first time played, Consider the Source, intro only
# first time played, Umphrey’s McGee, unfinished
@ first time played, Cream
$ first time played, Billy Idol, unfinished
§ first time played, George Jones
¶ first time played, Grease
µ w/First Tube (Phish) and Gone Gone Gone (The New Deal) teases
Next up: The musical equivalent of Heartbreak Hill. Why see one show when I can see three? Tulip Fest this afternoon in Washington Part, followed by Dark Matter, Adhara, Volumes and Crown the Empire at Upstate Concert Hall, and finally Kopecky at The Hollow.