reCAP:: Melvin Seals & JGB :: 2012.03.08-09

Mar 11  / Monday

Written by: Charles Rosenberg
Photos by: Alex Pines

Melvin Seals and JGB took The Capitol Theatre on extended excursions musically Friday and Saturday nights, recreating shows each evening: June 12 and June 13, 1990, respectively.

These protracted shows didn't just recreate the shows. The gifted musicians all had played with Mr. Garcia throughout the years and live this music. What that meant for those there were journeys into the songs played, suffusing their interpretations with renewed verve and vigor.

Mr. Garcia was usually able to imprint his signature sound on songs visited, and Mr. Seals successfully continues to take risks musically. The sets unfolded naturally with an ease and acuity that includes the audience as an active, organic participant. "How Sweet It Is" opened the first evening's set. "I Shall Be Released" was a languorous, dreamy landscape of Mr. Hebert's guitar phrasing and prowess. Notes seemed to fall and cascade from all corners of The Capitol Theatre, the acoustics once again proving to be crystalline and thoroughly immersing. In addition, the band barreled forward, gaining momentum with "Tough Mama" and "Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" — soaring celestially only to land with atomic force, sealing things with "Deal."

Mr. Seals, Dave Hebert (guitar), and Jimmy Tebeau (bass) gave the band the solid foundation and virtuosity necessary to sustain the electric atmosphere both evenings. The second show opened with a silky, smooth "I Second That Emotion" leading eventually into "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." The band continued to be adventurous, giving new meaning and resonance to "Let's Spend The Night Together" and "Waiting For A Miracle." Justice was served when the ensemble ripped into "The Way You Do The Things You Do," settling into a placid groove for the remainder of the set.

What. Mr. Seals & Co. accomplish as "Keepers of The Flame" is honoring a tradition and form that Mr. Garcia took tremendous pride in mastering and sharing. Musical history is well served and is a positive force in preserving an art form concertgoers appreciate and support, as few and far between as they may be.



The Capitol Theatre Photo Gallery

Photos by: Alex Pines

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