Tour Tales

Marco Benevento Delivers Majestic Tour Closer In Seattle

Marco Benevento Delivers Majestic Tour Closer In Seattle

Marco Benevento! Exclamation Marc(o) needed for the key killer’s stellar performance Saturday, February 9 at the Royal Room in misty Seattle. Walking into the minute gastropub, it should’ve seemed obvious to question how a dance party might ensue, but by Benevento’s second set, the dining audience was pushed back along with cumbersome tables, and the floor filled was with the energy of people dancing and swaying to the indie-rock-electronic-experimental-jazz-piano genius that bombarded them from the tiny stage. Quality $5 drafts, an excited – and obviously dedicated – fanbase and an overall friendly and welcoming environment made the last show of Benevento’s West Coast tour a real treat for those lucky enough to get into the sold-out event.

Marco Benevento! Exclamation Marc(o) needed for the key killer’s stellar performance Saturday, February 9 at the Royal Room in misty Seattle. Walking into the minute gastropub, it should’ve seemed obvious to question how a dance party might ensue, but by Benevento’s second set, the dining audience was pushed back along with cumbersome tables, and the floor filled was with the energy of people dancing and swaying to the indie-rock-electronic-experimental-jazz-piano genius that bombarded them from the tiny stage. Quality $5 drafts, an excited – and obviously dedicated – fanbase and an overall friendly and welcoming environment made the last show of Benevento’s West Coast tour a real treat for those lucky enough to get into the sold-out event.

Benevento led a musical threesome that, together, was able to fully flesh out the experience. Veteran drummer Andy Borger and former Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz provided support on this latest tour. Borger, who’s resume includes stints with both Tom Waits and Norah Jones, was the epitome of class behind his minimal kit, keeping up with Benevento’s often-feverish pace and improvisation, while Dreiwitz simply ripped his bass from head to pickup. One of the most exciting parts of the performance was when the three passed around an oversized tiger head (a nod to Benevento’s recently released album TigerFace), and took turns as the feline persona, while blindly cutting loose on their respective instruments. Benevento was obviously awarded a bulk of the time for his frantic solos, which hugely satisfied the crowd, which was already entirely wrapped up in the hands of the power trio.

The two distinct sets Benevento & Friends performed highlighted the group’s varied credentials. The first set was pure intensity from start to finish. It was represented by dark melodic builds, cacophony breaking and funky get-down music, creating a palpable buzz in the air, which was thick by the time the crew exited the stage for set break. The second set had equal moments of greatness, but for a majority of the time, was filled with often whimsical interpretations of known crowd-pleasers such as “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles, Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” and a personal favorite of the evening, “Heartbeats,” by electro pop duo, The Knife. When asked about the “Heartbeats” cover, Benevento gained at least 50 points in my book when he replied it was his favorite song for about a year. Successful cover, covered successfully.

An afterthought: All in all, Marco Benevento at the Royal Room was just about a time and a half. From the immediate tone of no-holds-barred piano face melting to the exciting interpretations of some old party favorites, those guys really came out to rock Seattle, and truly succeeded in doing just that. My only major complaint for the evening was that the show ran from roughly 9 p.m. to just about midnight on the dot. A strong three hours of music were had by all, but as many partygoers know, when the music cuts off at midnight, you’re inevitably left with a bunch people milling about, wondering what they’re going to do next. Regardless, if you’re privileged enough to score a chance to see Benevento in your area, whoever he’s playing with, attendance is highly recommended. You won’t be disappointed.

Photos by Joe Giblin / Melodysiac © 2013

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victor

February 12th, 2013

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