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A Bear's Picnic New Year’s Eve - 12/31/2011: The Silo; Reading, PA  
Posted: 10 years ago by KindWeb Ed
A Bear's Picnic New Year’s Eve - 12/31/2011: The Silo; Reading, PA
70 Viewed  - 0 Dug it

The Silo Nightclub in Reading, Pennsylvania absolutely knows how to throw a proper New Year’s Eve celebration. The security and staff could not have been more accommodating. I saw nothing but people having a good time with none of the austerity of your typical nightclub shows. Serious thanks to The Silo and the people behind-the-scenes who put on the show; it was an amazing night of music and fun!


The night’s music kicked off on the upstairs stage with Mysterytrain, a band with whom I was not familiar but to me was very reminiscent of the Grateful Dead. They brought an hour-long set of percussion-heavy psychedelic groove. The two drummers were very good and stood out for me as the backbone of the band. Not to say that the keyboard, bass and guitar players were lacking in any way. The band was tight and they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Near the end of their set, the female keyboardist sang a song called Busted for Nothing, which really got the crowd going. By the time Mysterytrain closed their set, the people had gotten their appetite whetted for an evening of fantastic music.


01. Overgrow
02. Em Jam >
03. Ashes in my Glass
04. That's Alright
05. What Would it Take
06. Aries >
07. Drums>
08. Aries >
09. Shades of August
10. Busted for Nothing
11. Sway

Willie Jack and the Northern Light

After a brief break to change out the equipment, Willie Jack and the Northern Light took the upstairs stage. This was a band that I had heard of before, but neither heard them nor saw them play prior to now. Their sound was accentuated by the commanding guitars. I was immediately thinking of Warren Haynes, Phish, and Widespread Panic-esque sound, but they proved to be more. They played a solid, powerful set which got the people in the place moving and grooving. We were also treated to a special guest; Mookie Siegel played on two songs.


The New Riders of the Purple Sage

The New Riders of the Purple Sage was the band only band that I was familiar with, so they were the band that I was looking forward to most that evening, and they did not disappoint! As they took the main stage, the amount of people and energy in The Silo grew. After the usual introduction from Toast, the NRPS kicked into their set. Everyone was grooving the band as they played a range of music, some classic old NRPS songs, as well as some newer stuff. Check out When There’s Two There’s Trouble featuring Michael Falzarano and DeLacey, definitely a highlight song of the NRPS set. As usual, The New Riders brought another raucous cosmic country set. With special guest Mookie Siegel, the band was on fire.


01. Intro
02. Rocky Road Blues
03. Where I Come From
04. Henry
05. Prisoner Of Freedom
06. When There's Two, There’s Trouble
07. That's All
08. No Time
09. Down For The Ride
10. Louisiana Lady
11. Spike Driver Blues
12. Higher



MiZ took the upstairs stage for a quick set between NRPS and 7 Walkers. I missed most of that set, catching up with old friends that I had not seen in quite some time. From what I did get to hear of MiZ’s set though, I would not miss the chance to see him if he comes close to you.


01. Tangled up in Blue
02. NYC Skyline
03. Was a Time
04. Midnight Moonlight
05. The Breaks
06. Pinegrove Stomp
07. When I Paint My Masterpiece
08. Peggy-O
09. Time for Time


7 Walkers

7 Walkers were completely new to me, but I was excited to hear what was explained to me to be a blend of Grateful Dead and New Orleans blues and funk. Kreutzmann calls the hybrid “swampadelic,” according to the 7 Walkers website.  Although there was no George Porter Jr, the usual bass player, we were treated to Kirk Joseph (Dirty Dozen Brass Band) on sousaphone instead. This was a different sound, but the sousaphone lended to that New Orleans style.

7 Walkers took the stage just before midnight, kicking off with a spacey jam into the New Year's countdown by Toast and Big Country into GDTRFB. This was my first introduction to Papa Mali and he did a great job with the guitar and vocal leads during GDTRFB and throughout the night. After a couple of smoking 7 Walkers originals, we were treated to their rendition of the traditional blues song Junco Partner. He's Gone was a nearly 15 minute exploration. Nobody's Fault but Mine showed off that New Orleans funky blues for which 7 Walkers is known and really ended up showcasing everyone on the stage in the first set. Mookie on accordion lit up Nobody's Fault but Mine and Me and Bobby McGee; they closed out the first set with a short but rocking Big Railroad Blues, with hot licks by Papa Mali, David Nelson and Buddy Cage, as well as Mookie Siegel on accordion. The crowd was left waiting in anticipation for the second set. Buddy Cage, David Nelson and Mookie Siegel sat in on most songs in the first set. Multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard was amazing.

The second set was strictly the 7 Walkers. Second set opened with an incredible 20 minute jam-filled Bird Song, followed by a rocking New Speedway Boogie, into another 7 Walkers tune. The Mr. Charlie and Wharf Rat were both great interpretations. Billy and Matt jammed together for awhile then they closed out the show with a 20 minute 7 Walkers, the title song from their album.

7 Walkers played 2 solid sets, but they did seem a little tired, probably due to the post-Phish show that they played the night before in New York City. Despite that, the 7 Walkers delivered a noble performance for the folks at The Silo. There was no encore as the band left the stage well past 3 AM; I was standing up front and Billy apologized while walking off stage.


01. Jam>Countdown>Jam
03 King Cotton Blues
04 For The Love Of Mr. Okra
05 Junco Partner
06 He’s Gone
07 Nobody’s Fault But Mine
08 Me And Bobby McGee
09 Big Railroad Blues
10 Birdsong
11 New Speedway Boogie
12 Early In The Mornin
13 Mr. Charlie
14 Wharf Rat
15 Jam
16 7 Walkers
17 Intros,Banter,Shutdown