Consider The Source, Felix Martin and Ampevene: PROG Rock Nation at The Hollow

It was a night of pure psychedelic/prog rock heaven at The Hollow in Albany on Saturday, March 18 as the musical explorations of Ampevene, Felix Martin and NYC-based headliner Consider the Source took the stage to an enthusiastic crowd of the band’s faithful fans.

First to take the stage was Ampevene, a locally based quartet founded by guitarist Gabe Stallman. The band’s roster includes Mack Hogan on bass, Darryl Kniffen on drums/percussion, and Ava Smith on keyboards. Their sound is a self-described eclectic mix of free form frenzy, jagged riffs, and hypnotic rhythms. Ampevene was formed in 2013 and since it’s inception has played Albany’s coveted Lark Street festival in 2015. They also have produced three EPs, the latest of which is entitled Rometheu which the band chose as the opener for the show. It was one of the only times throughout the night they blended lyrics with the incredible instrumental skills of the band. One of the high points of the hour long set in my opinion was the use of imaginative sounds that were crafted by talented keyboardist Ava Smith. They provided a beautiful sonic layer that enhanced the psychedelic musical experience that Ampevene created early in the evening.

After a brief break in the action the musical journey continued with the talent of Venezuelan guitarist Felix Martin whose claim to fame is being able to simultaneously play two guitars at once. His website describes his amazing skill in this way, “Felix uses his self-designed 14 and 16-string guitars, which are two regular guitars in one, in a way never seen or heard before.” Felix and his band which is comprised of bassist Killian Duarte and drummer Victor Carracedo are currently wrapping up their 10 date tour with Consider The Source while promoting their newly released album Mechanical Nations.

Felix and his band started their show with “Carnat,” which showcased the slap style guitar playing Felix is renowned for on an instrument that looks like it was cooked up in Frankenstein’s lab. Two separate guitars attached together at the neck in a most unnatural way, but yet yields wondrous results at the hands of guitar virtuoso Martin. Up next was newly released “Bom,” which illustrated how tight the band plays as an ensemble ever pleasing the crowd with it’s upbeat hypnotic tempo. Midway through the show bassist Killian Duarte aptly stated to the energized audience “Let’s keep things heavy and proggy” and they did not disappoint. The tone of the show was aggressive with the three piece creating a wall of sound that was reminiscent to Primus, featuring lots of chest cavity pumping bass with head bouncing percussion.

Last on the bill were headliners Consider the Source, the NYC power trio, whose credits since their formation in 2004 include playing Burning Man, Gathering of the Vibes, Catskill Chill, and numerous other nationally renowned music festivals took the stage. CTS is comprised of Gabriel Marin on fretless doubleneck guitar, bassist John Ferrara, and drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann. Consider The Source’s music showcases a Middle Eastern flair and features pieces with hypnotic melodies such as set opener “Aquarians.” The sonic landscape that filled the room took the audience on a mystical journey into unchartered territory with pieces such as “Closer To Home” and “Abdiel.” The enthusiastic crowd seemed transported to the desert with female spectators breaking out in impromptu belly dancing reminiscent of some ancient Bedouin tribe. The musical menagerie that is Consider The Source is deceiving in its sound, with multi-layered and complex rhythms; it easily feels like these sonic sculptures could have been created by a band twice its size. The craftsmanship and camaraderie of the band was obvious and while CTS was playing early in the set, both previous opening frontmen Gabe Stallman from Ampevene and Felix Martin stood by appreciatively taking in the show in the nearby wings along side the captivated audience.

Consider the Source’s next local performance will be on May 5 at the Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs. They will also be featured at this year’s Disc Jam festival June 8th- 11 in Stephentown NY.

Ampevene Setlist: Romethu, Ottro Jam, Tracalysis, Intro Jam, Tumultuous, Valencia

Felix Martin Setlist: Carnat, Bom, Bom Continues, Eight Moon Headress, Nomadic Tree, Santos, Barquisimetal, Flashback

Consider The Source Setlist: Aquarians, Many Words of Disapproval, Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong, Closer To Home, Abdiel (Second 1/2), (Good Point) Wandering Bear, A Monument To Compromise, Blue Steel

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