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Published: 2012/03/05
by Wayan Zoey

Karl Denson, Marco Benevento, Jennifer Hartswick and More Join Soulive

Photos by Dino Perrucci

Nigel Hall, Karl Denson, Jennifer Hartswick, Louis Cato, James Casey, Matt Owen and Marco Benevento all joined Soulive during their Bowlive residency at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday. The group performed two separate gigs at the venue: The early show, billed as a Kidrockers Bowl event, featured the core lineup of Soulive augmented by Denson on tenor sax and Hall on vocals. The short set kicked off with “So Live” before Denson joined in for “Turn It Out.” Hall then took the stage to sing for the remainder of the set, bringing things to a close with his own “Gimme A Sign.” Following their set, Soulive held a Q+A with their young fans, introducing the kids to what happens when you ask a professional musician what their favorite song (as it turns out there’s never a straight answer).

The evening began for the second night in a row with an opener. This time Hall’s own band provided warm-up duties. For this performance, Hall augmented his usual lineup with a full horn section, comprised of Casey, Hartswick and Owen, with Cato filling in on drums for the otherwise-occupied Adam Deitch. The band plowed through a set of Hall originals and covers, packing the space with dominant solos, particularly from Hall and guitarist Adam Smirnoff.

Taking the stage after Hall’s solid set, Soulive hit hard with the one-two punch of “Outrage” and “Bubble.” The band then invited Hall’s horn section (including Hartswick) out for their own horn-friendly rave-up, the rarely played “Vapor.” Benevento then joined in the festivities for the original “Hat Trick,” followed by covers of Ray Charles and The Beatles, with Hartswick providing vocal assistance. The set concluded with a keyboard duet between Benevento and Neal Evans.

For the second set, following some of their own originals, Soulive brought Cato out on drums, allowing Alan Evans to move over to guitar for a take on the Hendrix classic “Manic Depression.” The covers continued, with Hartswick and Benevento retaking the stage for a set-closing tear through Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” Riding on the rock wave, the band and their guests encored with another Zeppelin standard, “The Ocean.”

Soulive will resume their residency on Tuesday night.

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