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Published: 2008/04/08
by Matt Houdek

The Breakfast, The Waterfront, Menomonie, WI 4/1

After a recent bassist and keyboard change, The Breakfast is currently on the road
and hitting it hard with a fresh sound and an abundance of energy, tearing up stages
throughout the east and Midwest, making new friends and winning over ears with each
show they play.

One year ago nobody would have believed that The Breakfast would ever play in Menomonie,
a small college town in western Wisconsin, but now with The Waterfront lining up
bigger and better shows based around the 200+ kids who make their residency there,
it seems that bands like this may have a more frequent presence. The core of the
Menomonie music constituency, a vibe tribe
that comes out for nearly every single show, was on hand for The Breakfast and there
was a palpable energy in the
room. Part of it can be probably be attributed to the
fact that The Breakfast had showed up a day early and had been invited down for
drinks, to mingle and to catch The Dewayn Brothers who played
a free show on March 31.

The Breakfast performance started off with a thunderous version of "Cut Me
Some Slack," and guitarist Tim Palmieri immediately set the tone of the night
with his ferocious playing style. The band next played "The Sound," and
as they weaved through composition-based grooves and intense transitions the jam
began to open up into a feedback-heavy freak out as they segued through "Escher’s
Etchings II" and finally into a pumping version of "Synergy." The
set closed with "Doughboy" and the band steered us through another intense
complicated jam led by Palmieri. The first set was one of those continuous
series of music that you forget where the beginning of one song was and if it ever
even ended, and where you even begin to question if they played it at all or if
it was just a tease.

The second set started off with a nice version of "Psygn," which featured
a jam like something that might come from a basement band in an alien psych
ward, with strange looping patterns and otherworldly feedback. The Breakfast decided
to keep things rolling, as the first notes that followed, revealed that next up
was a version of "Reba." Having covered Phish’s Lawn Boy
on Halloween at Higher Ground (with Mike Gordon
in attendance), The Breakfast has only played "Reba" a few times throughout
recent tours. The band
nailed it too, despite a momentary timing issue at the end of “the chase” section,
and they blew us all away with the tightness and energy that they pulled off the

After that, the band launched into a huge chunk of music that wouldn’t come to
an end until the close of their set. Gravity" started it all off, during which
Palmieri and keyboardist Matt Oestreicher teamed up and dove into a skat-style
jam that included a rap on “feeling harmony in Menomonie.” From there, they segued
into an amazing version of "The Grand Scheme of Things" that
went on for the better part of 15 minutes and took us all through several layers
of orchestrated intensity. A tasty bass solo by DeAngelis mid-song led into a great
jam that took off from
the bare minimum and began escalating. The energy eventually
was released as returned to "Grand Scheme" and finished "Gravity,"
concluding with another jam accented by a nice bass and drum
section that yielded a short and tight drum solo by Tramontano. The Breakfast then
invited Dewayn Brother guitarist Eric Nelson up to blow harp
on a version of Talking Head’s "And She Was," as Nelson took a couple
of nice solos complemented by Palmieri.

The night was a blast and the place was still rocking, but time ran against us and
didn’t allow The Breakfast an opportunity to come out for one more song.

You can tell a lot about a band just by watching people out on the dance floor.
My favorite scenario, other than pure and unrestrained white boy boogie (which is
always entertaining), is when people are just watching the band with fixed eyes
and mouth hung open. They may be known as big dancers, they may even want to dance,
but what’s going on on stage is so transfixing at that moment that they find themselves
in a state of confusion, bewilderment or complete awe: this was a common occurrence
on April 1. Hopefully, both The Breakfast and The Dewayn Brothers will be back soon
to pay us another visit.

addthis_pub = ‘zenbuedit’;

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