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Spafford / Eggy // Live @ Neighborhood Theatre // 10.21.2021

Photos and review by: Jason Robey

CHARLOTTE, NC —The funky Jam quartet Spafford brought the house down on Thursday night with two sets of improv-heavy virtuosity and a mesmerizing light show. The band returned to the road this month following the pandemic shutdown, and local fans gave them a warm welcome. Fans waiting outside for the doors to open talked about past shows and setlist, while occasionally getting a taste of the soundcheck going on inside.

Connecticut band Eggy started the evening off with a 45-minute set, consisting of only three independent songs and a copious amount of inspired improv. Sandwiched between two Eggy originals, the band made a somewhat esoteric nod to the late Grateful Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland on his birthday, by playing the Dead’s “Just a Little Light.” The impressive cover was a debut by the band, learned earlier that day, and flawlessly executed with impressive back and forth between vocalist / guitarist Jake Brownstein and keyboardist Dani Battat.

Spafford kicked off their first of two sets with the soulful, mid-tempo instrumental “It’s a Bunch,” from their 2018 studio album For Amusement Only. The relatively short song served as a way of easing into an evening of an evening of transcendental extended jams by the band, as they followed with performance of “Broken Wing” that evolved into a 15-minute sonic journey. The hour-plus first set concluded with a sped-up bluegrass-tinted cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers ballad “Soul to Squeeze,” before the band took a half-hour break.

The second set saw the band dive deeper into improvisational territory, kicking off with two jam vehicles, “Hollywood” and “In the Eyes of Thieves,” each reaching nearly 22 minutes. Through the extended jams, Spafford plays remarkably well as a unit, allowing each member a chance to shine, while remaining cohesive and moving through transitions as a group. “Electric Taco Stand” was the perfect example, as they seamlessly returned to the song’s chorus to close the set. They returned to encore with the evening’s only slow song, “Beautiful Day,” providing the perfect end to an epic night of music.

Jason Robey
Jason has a deep relationship with music, as a performing musician, avid concert-goer and professional audio engineer. He has a passion for the local Phoenix music scene, as well as indie music from all over. He also enjoys writing, photography and anything that can make him laugh. Instagram: yitbos69 Twitter