Samuel Aging Valhalla

( Click on the photos to listen to the music)

The walls were once again adorned with the characters from the CD cover which had debuted at Halloween. The Tavern Walker stood proudly as the backdrop for the band, with Etta James peeked around the corner from under her umbrella on Nate's side of the stage.All the characters had beautiful white draped fabrics adorning them. Along with all the characters, the stars hung from the ceiling with large balloons amongst them.
The band came out a little after 8pm and opened with an Electric set. All the band had huge smiles and were just as excited to be there. They opened with Samuel Aging, with Nate getting into a Moog solo right off the bat. Reid was in great voice, and wasted no time chomping furiously at the lyrics.

Burned Down Skyline

The crowd filled in quickly, as they launched into Valhalla which got the audience grooving as one. Everyone was there for the music, the energy in the room was so intense! Burned Down came next surely one of the tightest versions of this song to date, Nate ripped out a fabulous solo on the organ, as he and Adam glared at each other playfully to out duel each other.
Nate took the vocals and did an incredible version of Percy Hill's Skyline. Brilliant solo by Adam on this, and then the whole band got into a funky jam, with Nate leading the way. Flip & Carolyn stopped by and we celebrated the moment of musical bliss. I was becoming a bit worried as I couldn't find Katie, and hoped everything was ok.
Insane version of Dance followed quickly, with Adam and John trading off, and Nate not wanting to be outdone nailed an amazingly wild Moog solo, while the band held a steady solid beat behind him. Totally off the map.

Zero To The Skin

Zero the The Skin came next, I love this song so much, it just kicks ass!

Amplified Messiah Sideways Train

The set ended with blistering Amplified Messiah....shortly after, a familiar tug on my hair brought a smile as I turned and saw Katie smiling behind me. There she is!! I introduced Katie to Carolyn, and we had another wonderful group hug.
The band took a short break and came back to play a beautiful sit down acoustic set, with Adam & Reid on the Chet's and John playing his acoustic bass.

Rachel Avenue Of The Giants

They opened with Sideways Train, Adam with yet another awesome acoustic solo, and Reid got absolutely consumed by the moment sweat pouring off his face screaming Your Gonna Rise up Swingin'!
Then they coasted down the slope with 45 Degrees, with Nate doing a romantically charged keyboard solo, which totally left you feeling like you were cruising down the road, with the wind in your face.

45 Degrees Side Step Blue

A hopping version of Side Step Blue, Andy really showed off his incredible drumming abilities here. Ringo's got nothing on you Andy Herrick! The band completely gelled on this. Next The Honest Hour, which is so melodic and grabs at the very depths of your soul, not unlike say a Morning Dew would by the Grateful Dead. Etta James followed, which is always great fun, the audience joining the band in the chorus of Do-Do's.

The Honest Hour Etta James
Then the band threw us all a curve, tossed off the chairs from the stage, and invited Gary Backstrom from Jiggle up to sit in with them. They started out with Sometimes, with Gary and Adam instantly finding a groove, laughing and having a blast. Gary pulled off an incredible solo, with Adam not to far behind challenging his every note.
Angel From Montgomery was just out of this universe. Adam and Gary traded off while the rest of the band kept it solid. Launc hing into Rachel, Gary challenged Adam, and the duel began, leaving the rest of the band smiling and laughing. Great fun!

Sometimes Angel From Montgomery

Avenue of the Giants opened the 3rd set, and the band was as fresh as they were from the get go. Cabin John followed, this is such a tasty Oreo cookie, with John pounding out an incredible bass solo in the creamy middle, at this time, The New Year rang in AODTime, and the countdown began...glow sticks began flying around the room, as the band played Auld Lange Syne, and then and the band just nailing the chocolate outsides! Happy 2004!!!

Cabin John Dance

Bus Driver came next, a crowd favorite for sure and a great way to start the first few minutes of the New Year! The very so amazing and insane Honey Creeper which was so powerful, Adam's guitar on this just rocks beyond written word. Love Junkie came right off the last note of Honey Creeper, Adam dabbling into a soulful funky guitar lick, and John was just totally in his element, hair in his face, head bobbing from side to side, making Reid grin from ear to ear. Crazy!

Bus Driver Honey Creeper

The ever so fun Otis followed getting the audience which was already way beyond pumped into frenzy mode. Jumping right into Stone Choir, the place just combusted. Sound and Blood and Bone were married!

Love Junkie Otis

The band then huddled on the side of the stage, while the audience roared for more, and they did a rare full band electric Things That Fly right into Love the One Your With ( Stephen Stills) which only got the crowd ready for more, and left a smile on all the bands faces.

Stone Choir Things That Fly

They began to look like they were ready to leave the stage, the crowd still raging, when Reid picked up his guitar again. He laughed, "That was gonna be our last song, but we're just having too much fun!...You Guys Got More In ya?" The crowd completely exploded as they fired up Westerly with a very cool sandwich of Billy Preston's Will Go Around in Circles in the middle, and Reid looping the lyrics over and over, I don't think the band nor the audience wanted to give up on the vibe!

Love The One Your With Westerly

Many many thanks to The Assemnly of Dust for another great party!