reCAP :: Melvin Seals & JGB :: 2014.03.07
The Melvin Seals and JGB engagement at The Capitol Theatre turned into an intimate affair at Garcia's after a few simple twists of fate. The pre-show buzz from the crowd was very positive and enthusiastic that the show would be so comfy.
Melvin has come a very long way and traveled millions of miles since joining the Jerry Garcia Band in 1980. After all of his travels and distance, he still plays every tune with boyish enthusiasm which is contagious to everyone in the audience. Even though the room was packed, there was plenty of room for dancers to get their freak on.
The first set opened with "Cats Down Under the Stars." Immediately everyone sprung into dance, the hoola-hoopers spun, the magic sticks were magically flying, everyone was singing along. The circus was in town! Dave Hebert launched into very tasty leads with Melvin laying down the rhythm so sweetly. Second up was a slow tempo "They Love Each Other" with more nice leads from Dave into Melvin's first organ solo for the night back into another nice solo from Dave. The crowd was in full swing by now. Next up they played "See What Love Can Do" with emphasis on the soothing vocal harmonies of Shirley Starks and Cheryl Rucker. Later on in the set we were treated to a very nice "Money Honey" with Pete Lavezzoli laying down some fluid drum fills driving the band. Melvin played a very soulful solo here too. Later on we catch a great version of "Lonesome and a Long Way From Home" with more beautiful vocal harmonies and some extended jamming from all on stage.
During set break, because this was so intimate, Melvin stayed on stage and talked to fans and posed for photos. He was showered in love from the audience and he rewarded them back with his generosity of spontaneous meet and greets.
The second set opened up with Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell (C'est La Vie)" with a nice mellow groove that got the crowd swaying in unison. Later on we have a high quality version of "Forever Young" with Dave Hebert highlighted on lead vocals. The backing music from Melvin had such a gospel and church like feel here. Blending this all with the backing harmony vocals and this was a true moment to enjoy. Next up is a jumping version of "That's Alright Mama". This got the crowd jumping in a big way and smiles were everywhere. Allen Toussaint's "Get Out Of My Life Woman" is up next. Melvin takes command here with a showcase solo. The set keeps building with fan favorite "Sister and Brothers" and the whole audience is singing along. They go straight into "Deal" to close the show on a rocking note, the crowd of course is in a frenzy dancing as Dave lays down some fiery leads with Melvin laying a rock solid base to jam over.
The vibe at the Cap (Garcia's tonight) was one of euphoria. Everyone was smiling, smiling smiling.