!!! and Maserati: Hi-Hat Machine Madness
!!! and Maserati blew the roof off the Satellite Ballroom, in Charlottesville Virginia on May 29th 2007. Folks came in droves and came to dance. Asses even shook to the psyche-drenched grooves of Maserati, who kicked off the show. It was refreshing to see such love offered up for an opening act, and one of a slightly different ilk, than the main event
!!!. Maserati and !!! share a certain continuity, in that both outfits are based around driving beats, and in fact share the same drummer. Gerhardt Fuchs is the powerhouse drum machine (man machine) behind both bands. His beats are inspired by a lineage of bad-ass drummers, and find a niche in Maserati which harkens to Meddle era Pink Floyd or the kraut-magic of CAN. !!! employs Jerry aka "the regulator" for disco-dance punk-house-new/no-wave grooves which can mutate and explode in manifold directions.
Maserati - Live at Sattellite Ballroom (16.4 MiB, 6,701 hits)
With Maserati, Jerry's kit, a vintage blue Vistalite, sat front and center. Guitarists Coley Dennis and Matt Cherry flanked the stage with their echo driven guitars, and touring bassist Chris McNeal hung center stage behind the drum kit. Maserati is a well oiled machine. Blending lush atmospherics with exciting momentum, the fellows tear flawlessly through show after show. (I've seen them dozens of times over the years, most recently sharing stages with them on a three week European jaunt.) This show was particularly interesting, as it featured songwriter and sometimes touring band member Matt Cherry, who is more often replaced by the ultra-capable Josh McCauley for extended road missions. Maserati manages to captivate and charm crowds better than most instrumental bands, likely because of the hypnotic pulse they create. Their recent signing to Temporary Residence Ltd. places Maserati in a more visible position, and within a league that they certainly belong. Their new record shreds hard.
For the !!! set Jerry moved towards the back half of the stage to a different, as the front filled with tons of gear and a 9 person band. On tour, Shannon Funchess, becomes the bands secret weapon, and sole female presence. Her passionate delivery of vocal hooks and stage antics, fed off main vocalist and fellow crowd-tamer, Nic Offer, and added dimensionality that softened the testosterone laden grooves. The rest of the band laid back and delivered, bobbed heads, and tapped along to the beat, as Nic and Shannon went ape-shit to fuel the dance frenzy.
Nic, told me when I asked for permission to stream the recording of the show, that "a recording can never capture the energy and excitement of a show". He explained that for him live recordings never were satisfying and that I would have been better advised to just post away without permission. He continued saying that the internet is so sprawling and out of control that nobody can really manage what is posted on the web anyway. (Monkeyclaus never wishes to post recordings against the artists wishes, as we exist largely to positively support bands we admire, and to help connect fans with unique sound experiences.) In the end, Nick gave me license to decide if the recordings were engrossing enough and admitted that it was a really fun show. As a result I chose two live cuts that really transmitted the feeling of the night, and left in some banter which was a crucial element to the band-audience connection which was obviously flowing in abundance that night.
Asses shook like crazy. Nearly all folks in attendance were moving and sweating. The band devilishly cut off the AC as they took stage to provoke that "Nellyish-it's getting hot in here vibe." !!! recognized that playing in a college town, after school lets out for the summer, leaves behind a special breed of "partier nerds" and served up their jams accordingly. All shapes, sizes, and sexes mixed it up as the band raged through a lengthy set. The music attracted a very diverse demographic to the Satellite Ballroom. Apparently, it is easily agreed that shaking your shit to the pulse of New York's finest and most talented touring dance machine is a well spent evening. In the end it was the hi-hat machine that connected all the dots.
Photo by Chris Makarsky
Text and Recordings by Matthew Clark
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