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Published: 2005/09/22
by Dan Greenhaus

Percy Hill, Rocks Off Concert Cruise, NYC- 9/9

As the boat departed for open waters, and the band picked up their instruments, one could feel the excitement permeating the air. Percy Hill was returning to New York City, and they were playing their inaugural show aboard the extremely successful Rocks Off Boat Cruise series, a must for any live music fan. The packed boat erupted in appreciation as the band began what was to be a stellar night of music, and the music erupted in response.

A word like “erupted” may not be the one that immediately comes to mind when one thinks of Percy Hill’s sound. However while those who have not seem the band perform live might think “laid back” or “relaxed” to be more appropriate, this would be in error. As “Spirit of Air” moved into its ninth minute, accompanied by enraged dancing by all on board, and anchored by Nate Wilson’s stunning work on the keys, the ONLY adjective that came to mind was “unrestrained,” even as the song moved into the slower “313.” And this adjective can be applied equally to this evening’s version of “Beneath the Cover,” one of the band’s strongest pieces of music, and as good a show opener as you’ll find in the band’s repertoire (even though it did not appear in that slot on this evening). Perhaps due to Joe Farrell’s guitar being too low in the mix at the beginning, the song pushed into overdrive as Joe’s resurgence later in the song added extra force to a song that hardly needs any. Early in the first set, “Beneath the Cover” left the crowd drenched in sweat, and the night had really only just begun. Throughout the evening, as the boat rocked along and New York City’s skyline moved by, Percy Hill consistently delivered. I will never get tired of seeing a band actually earn an encore legitimately, and crowds legitimately demand one. The band capped the evening with “Sun Machine” and sent everyone off into the evening with huge smiles on their face, an inevitable reaction to the upbeat and pulsating end of one of Percy’s best songs.

For a band that seems to never fail to deliver, the band constantly exceeds expectations. Indeed, to borrow a line from one of their songs, “all they are going to do is steal your life away. Again and again.

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