Slough Feg – Live in NYC: 11/21/07

December 7th, 2007
by Greg Shackles

 

November 21, 2007

Club Midway

New York, NY

 

* Live Review by Shaq

* Live Pictures by Tim Farides

 

The best description for Slough Feg that I’ve heard is that they are “the best band you’ve never heard of.”  I admit that I was late to the party with them, but once I got there it didn’t take long for me to start partying hard.  When I found out that they were going across the country on a U.S. tour, I knew there was no way that I could pass up the opportunity to check them out live.


 


I wasn’t too sure what kind of turnout to expect, but I assumed it wouldn’t be very high – a downright shame.  The club was a small place in the basement of the building that had more of a platform than a stage.  Despite how dreary that sounds it was actually a pretty cool place to take in a small show.  You could get up close and personal with the band, and as Slough Feg would later demonstrate, they could get up close and personal with you.  By the time the show began, the crowd had grown to maybe 30 people or so.  The band took the stage in a very relaxed manner, jamming on their instruments and making jokes.  Lead singer and guitarist Mike Scalzi began the evening by holding up a George Benson record, claiming it to be their new album and explaining “I had some implants in this picture, but I’m feeling much better now.” 

 

After some more cracks about the lights, the band began to dive into their setlist, opening with the intro to “Hardworlder” which led into “Tiger! Tiger!”  It quickly became obvious that this was going to be one of the most fun shows I had ever been to.  When he wasn’t singing, Scalzi would run around like a madman, venturing into the crowd while playing despite being tethered by his guitar cord.  Many times his pedal (note that his stage setup consisted of just one pedal) would follow him and he would have to pick it up on his way back.  All I could think to myself is that it this must be what it was like when AC/DC was playing small clubs; they had the same kind of aura and stage presence while performing. 

As expected, the set contained many songs from their newest record called HARDWORLDER, released a few months prior.  In fact, almost half of the 18 song set came from this album.  Also well represented was the fan-favorite TRAVELLER album.  However, with these two albums drawn heavily from, there wasn’t much room left for the other albums, which I would cite as my only complaint about the evening not that I had any real motivation to complain at all.  TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS was ignored entirely, and per a request from the crowd, “Red Branch” was played from the self-titled album. 

 

 

That being said, this is the kind of band that truly has no bad material, so regardless of what they play you are going to walk away satisfied.  After playing a version of “Warrior’s Dawn” with an extremely extended solo section that included Mike playing from seemingly every corner of the room, the band left the stage as an end to the set.  I’m not sure if they had been playing encores at some of the other stops but the crowd in New York certainly demanded one, and they were quick to deliver.  They finished the night out with a three song encore of “Insomnia,” “The Final Gambit,” and finally their fun cover of Manilla Road’s “Street Jammer.” 

All in all, it was one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve ever witnessed, and I commend the band for making the effort to tour the country despite low turnouts even in markets like New York City.  It is great to see that kind of dedication from a band, and I can only hope that the crowds get larger the next time around.  If they are coming anywhere near you, you would be making a huge mistake if you did not go

Setlist:

Hardworlder Intro
Tiger! Tiger!
Hiberno-Latin Invasion
Galactic Nomad
The Spinward Marches
High Passage/Low Passage
Asteroid Belts
Eumaeus the Swineherd
Baltech’s Lament
Red Branch
Hardworlder
The Spoils
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Blues
Sky Chariots
Warrior’s Dawn (with extended solos)

Encore:

Insomnia
The Final Gambit
Street Jammer

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