Show review

Assembly of Dust kicks off summer tour

By Written Kelly Boyle
Boston Music Spotlight
July 7 11,2008

Known for their energetic live performances, indefinable unique sound, unassuming personas, and strong, eclectic fan base, Assembly of Dust launched their annual festival tour at the Lowell Summer Music Series at Boarding House Park on Saturday night in a show co-sponsored by Boston Music Spotlight.

The evening's warm temperatures and lack of thundershowers provided the perfect excuse for young and old alike to kick off their shoes, wiggle their toes in the grass and dance, and dance they did. From the band's first song "Bootlegger's Advice" to their last song, nearly 3 = hours and 23 songs later, the band's faithful fans were on their feet and having a blast.

In fact, everyone was having so much fun that the audience hardly noticed the absence of keyboardist/vocalist Nate Wilson, who was M.I.A. It was after extended versions of "Roads" and "Elixir" nearly 40 minutes into the show that lead singer Reid Geneauer finally acknowledged Wilson's absence, "Some of you might be wondering where our friend Nate Wilson is, well, so are we!"

Without missing a beat it was on to "Sideways Train" and "Truck Farm", followed by "Telling Sue" from their 2007 studio album Recollection, which received a 2008 Jammy Award nomination for Song of the Year. Closing out the first half of the show, the band played the hugely popular anthem "Songs We Sing" and left the crowd begging for more.

After a brief intermission the quartet was back on stage for another full set of 10+ songs, which included "Tavern Walker", "Avenue of Giants" and the romantic ballad "40 Reasons", which had the whole of the audience slow dancing. Switching gears, next up was the upbeat and quirky "Feline Disguise", followed by the hugely popular "Sometimes". Other highlights included the crowd favorite of the night, "Valhalla", and the final song of the main set, "Westerly", which had the crowd chanting "You better be good, or you better be damned good at it!"

Assembly of Dust is 'damn good at it', and even with Wilson's absence the band sounded amazing, which is a true testament to not only their musicianship but their flexibility as artists. Their ability to improvise on stage often places them in 'jamband' genre, but these guys are undeniably storytellers, with a sound that crosses genres from rock to indie-pop to country to bluegrass and everything in-between, giving then a unique indefinable sound, the perfect soundtrack a summer party in the park.

Despite being in the heart of Lowell, home of the American Industrial Revolution, one felt like they had been transported to a field in Middle Tennessee. Who needs Bonnaroo when we have the Lowell Summer Music Series!