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Reviews > Shows

Published: 2001/11/15
by Dave Pernal

Steve Kimock Band, Bearsville Theater, Bearsville, NY- 11/11

As kind of a last-minute decision I decided to head out to see the Steve Kimock Band to cap off a pretty insane week of music for me. Having seen Blue Floyd, Widespread Panic, Soulive, and Oysterhead the previous four nights, I was a little weary of the trek. But I realized thet Steve wouldn’t be in the Northeast again for at least a couple of months, so I sucked it up, got my tickets online, and drove the 3.5 hours to one of the nicest venues I have ever seen… the Bearsville Theater in Bearsville, NY (near Woodstock) for the Steve Kimock Band.

This venue was where Gov't Mule recorded their third album, Life Before Insanity. After serving as a recording studio for several years, someone had the bright idea of converting it into a music venue. It's an old barn in the middle of nowhere… a nice lounge-style bar off to the side of the main room (complete with windows looking onto the stage), a large dance floor directly in front of the stage, a seating area to the left, and a smallish balcony to the rear.

The crowd was one of the older I've seen at a show in a while – aside from the group of kids in front of us in line on the way in. For the first time in a while I felt young at a show (I’m only 24, but the Jam-band scene keeps getting younger). Folks here were also very mellow. I think the venue put everyone into subdued high spirits with its overall ambience.

As far as the music went, well, it was PERFECT. I've realized that Steve Kimock is almost exactly what I look for in music these days. This was the first time I had seen them since Jazzfest (thanks, GOTV!!!), and the first time with Rich Hammond on bass. I was a bit skeptical of how they'd sound without Bob-zilla, but all of my concerns were alleviated when they opened up with Ice Cream Factory. Woo-hoo! Every cylinder was firing last night, and they absolutely blew the roof off of the place! Here's the setlist:

Set I (90 min.)
Ice Cream Factory
A New Africa
Tongue 'n Groove
Elmer's Friggin' Fudd
You're the One

Set II (110 min)
Long Form Part I
New Loop
Moon People
Five Before Funk
(no encore)

I asked for three songs, and threw in a long-shot for the fourth, and they delivered on two of them. I wouldn't have minded a Cissy Strut, or my Look-a-Py-Py, but they delivered with the A New Africa and Five B4 Funk. The first set was very tight, with Steve taking most of the solos. I hadn’t heard Elmer’s Friggin’ Fudd yet, and definitely liked it a lot. Pretty strong K-Waves going round throughout the set. The A New Africa was sweet excellent work by both Steve and Mitch. And the Tounge N Groove was smoking! Definitely the highlight of the set for me.

There were maybe 200 people there at peak attendance, with the crowd thinning out to 100 or so by the second set. Silly people… Steve was just getting warmed up in the first set. Where he took us from there was somewhere I’d like to go again, and possibly stay for a long, long time. Why Can’t We All Just Samba was on fire, with Steve getting some of the sweetest sounds out of the lap steel, and Mitch filling in with some of the more looping leads. The last 3 songs of the second set were ridiculous. New Loop -> Moon People was so funky, with Rodney dropping the samples, Rich dropping some nasty techno and White Zombie-esque loops for the band to play over and Mitch Stein swapping the leads with Steve on the lap steel. Wow. It's funny how when Mitch solos the spotlight is still on Steve. Then they launched into one of my favorite songs, Five B4 Funk. I was extremely happy to hear this, as I usually am, and it was a driving version they had me up on my feet dancing within seconds.

I was a little surprised to have no encore, but then again, they did play for 3.5 hours after all was said and done. I think what made this show such a great experience for me was the crowd. Not packed, but not empty. There was a pleasant buzz going around before the show, and I think Steve picked up on that, because as soon as the music started, he had the crowd’s undivided attention. The band just looked like they were having a great time playing for us, with Steve chatting and smiling with Mitch and Rich the whole time. My favorite quote of the night was Steve saying, “Okay, were really going to take a break now, but before I get off the stage, I need to know, did the Niners win?” It was a very intimate show played to a very receptive audience. This was one of the most refreshing concerts I have seen in a while.

I'll be seeing Kimock as much as possible as long as he's within a six hour drive. That man can play. I feel that this show just reinforced everything I felt coming out of the New Orleans show. The Steve Kimock Band is quickly becoming my favorite live act.

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