I’ve been listening to a lot of Progressive Rock/Art Rock lately. I guess I’ve always been a prog head. Lately it’s been bands like Ozric Tentacles, Glass Hammer, The Flower Kings, IQ, Bubblemath. I’ve been attending concerts put on by the New England Art Rock Society, held here in beautiful downtown Lowell, MA. Last night’s was, as is typical, an incredible evening.
Frogg Cafe came to town and blew us all away. As I’ve now come to expect, virtuosity was the standard for the evening, without a hint of pomposity, and the perfect overabundance of fun. Bill Ayasse was a standout in my mind. His mastery of the violin brought to mind the best of Stephan Grappelli. I must confess to not knowing a lot about Jazz Violin (BTW, Mark Chung can teach you a lot on that score), but, as the overused saying goes, I know what I like.
Back to Frogg Cafe. I don’t mean to slight anyone else in the band. Nick Lieto (lead vocals, trumpet, keyboards) rocked with preturnatural style and skill. He was magical. James Guarnieri (drums, percussion), Andrew Sussman (electric bass), Steven Uh (guitars, violin), all of these guys display jaw dropping mastery of their instruments. A great time was truly had by all.
Next week, IZZ. I can’t wait.