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Medeski Martin & Wood - 11/21/2009: The Vogue Theater; Indianapolis, IN
Medeski Martin & Wood - 11/21/2009:  The Vogue Theater; Indianapolis, IN
Photos by:  Cory Giacalone  [View More]
Concert Review by Didi Trout on 11/23/2009   

Jazz has so many contributors to the essence that creates the genre; and MMW has an exquisite way of putting forth great synchronization that helps define this kind of music and expand on the way it is classified. They are impromptu jam rock that shoots sweet rhythms straight to your dome. This band has a great stage presence and is as entertaining to watch with their wicked style as it is to listen to. The Vogue Theater in Indianapolis capitalized the feel for the band with its bright, blinking lights shining as you travel down the road to the venue. Walking in you cant deny the jazz nightclub feel which illuminates from the red interior and the star spotted ceiling. As the theater erupted with applause the guys hit the stage; you could just feel the intensity they were going to be bringing to the night.

The first set flared up right as expected, blowing your mind from the first keys hit. The mesmerized looks on the audiences faces were apparent as the band burst into funk with their impressive instrumentals. The transitions between the songs were flawless, you cannot even tell with the perfection of the jams when one song ends and the next begins. Continuance of excellent melodies thrived through the beginning of this experience. Overlooking the band from the balcony you can observe the spectacular eye appeal that these guys have when they play. They belt away with unique ambient sounds and collective playing from very exclusive instruments that fire up the stage. The audience hanging on every note and every move that adds a different spice to this bands sound.

As the set continued you could see they are masters of their craft, these three gentlemen know how to throw down and fill the crave of the crowd for a groovy night of dancing and swaying. How could you deny the movement of your head as you see their rapid playing create such perfection in their songs. With such ease they beat, strummed and tap along the melodies. Though the band has hit moderate popularity levels in the jam-jazz scene they compare higher along most counterparts. One of the most appreciated genres is jazz and the flow of this band generates an uncontrollable draw to their form and their performances clearly shows this. As they continued with the show the impeccable playing continued to awe the crowd.

The buildup throughout the show is flabbergasting; standing there each tone heightens the experience to a different level than most shows can reach. It feels like its never ending and you never want it to; their sound has such a sweet and simple nature to it. The second set truly uplifted the crowd and created a solidarity in the venue as though it was only you and the music flowing from the stage. Though throughout the second set some audible problems were apparent the band preserved with amazement as the sound cleared and continued to beat away in a perfected fashion. Of an MMW show it was one of the best on my list, they are very proficient in their playing and you can tell they are passionate about what they do and very thankful of those who come out to enjoy.

Some of the more talented musicians that are of this time and this genre, each dabs a special something the to their playing. Sensational talent on the keys is John Medeski, he is a jazz superstar with a combination of knowledge on acoustic and eclectic forms of this instrument. During this show his artful skills on the melodica were mesmerizing. Billy Martin on percussion and drums added such a flare to the music with unique instruments bringing perfect touches to the songs as he shakes, rattles and scratches beauty into their pieces. Chris wood is brilliant on the bass, he plays both electric and upright basses each adding individual accents to the songs. He is a rare talent with his skill as he uses techniques that are novel to this band and his name. The togetherness of their playing and the tonality that is brought with their music is one in a kind.

Stepping off stage after the second set the crowd stood there as they craved more. The roar of applause created echoes in the smaller Indi venue, soon the band came out for one last hoorah and great appreciation to those they were in front of. The band, who is now out with a box set collaborating live shows and some studio work thrives to get their music out there and heard. This band has not seen the highlight of their career; they exemplify great talent playing in the jazz world, they will sure be a band you want to look out for as they continue to amaze those who are exposed. This show was completely mind blowing, they are such impressive musicians it cant be said enough. Indianapolis was blessed on this evening with a great band to roll by and surely those who populated the show will be in line for the next round as they electrify from the stage.

Photos by: Cory Giacalone  
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