Umphrey’s McGee (Photo courtesy IVPR)
Not unlike the rest of the country and the world, improv-rock gurus Umphrey’s McGee have found themselves with an empty-for-now itinerary and, in isolation, the strange daily balance of making sense of it all and making use of the extra time. Today, UM released “Easter in Quarantine.”
Fellowcraft rehearses in The Pocket at 7DrumCity not too long ago. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Hard-rockin’ DC blues band Fellowcraft tells Parklife DC that they are transforming into a prog-rock outfit. Whatever the case, we like what we hear! Last year, the band made a transition in its sound with a new lineup, now consisting of Jon Ryan MacDonald (guitar, vocals), Brandon Williams (bass, vocals), Pablo Antón (guitar, vocals), and Zach Martin (drums). This year, the band plans a fourth full-length album, following Get Up Young Phoenix (2016), Fellowcraft (2016) and Three (2018).
The peculiar power of Fellowcraft lies in the camaraderie of the band’s four members. These guys love playing together and hanging out together. And they have the rare gift of making you feel like you’re part of the gang when you’re in the audience. That’s the special defining quality of Fellowcraft.
Parklife DC Editor Mickey McCarter met Fellowcraft at 7DrumCity recently to chat about the band’s future prior to a show at The Pocket at 7DrumCity on Friday, Jan. 10. Fellowcraft also perform at Pie Shop on Friday, Feb. 7.
Martin Barre performs at The Birchmere, April 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
How am I going to do this?! Pick 10 favorites shots, moments, concerts, etc., from a year that was packed with them. Of course, the year had its fill of frustrations and challenges, as well, but those quickly fade from memory to be replaced by the realization that I am, indeed, very fortunate to combine two loves of my life, music and photography, into something I can share.
These moments, documented in the following images, all taught me something… about photography, about the power of music, and, ultimately, about myself; what I value, what moves me, and what’s important.
Tool performs at Capital One Arena on Nov. 25, 2019. (Photo by Chris Smyth)
For the band’s final performance of 2019, prog-metal icons Tool brought the Fear Inoculum Tour to Capitol One Arena recently. Known for putting on one of the best concert performances across all genres of music, Maynard James Keenan and company did not disappoint. A light- and laser-filled spectacle, a Tool show is a two-hour long sensory overload.
Tool (Photo by Travis Shinn)
Not long ago, frontman Maynard James Keenan reunited his progressive metal bandmates in Tool for a fifth album, titled Fear Inoculum, and now the quartet are conquering stadiums across the country. Tool performs at Capital One Arena in DC on Monday, Nov. 25.
Rick Wakeman performs at The Birchmere on Sept. 25, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Rock Star tour featured a man who is anything but. Rather, we got a wonderfully intimate, hilarious, and jaw-dropping performance from the former Strawbs, on-again off-again YES, and unparalleled session keyboardist recently at The Birchmere. Not a grumpy soul in the room, least of all Mr. Wakeman himself.
God Is an Astronaut performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)
“Buying records cheers me up…whenever I feel low, I buy some new records.” Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz
The ability of music to lift us from pain born of tragedy is one of its enduring qualities. Recently, God Is an Astronaut (GIAA) showed us how despair and grief can be relieved — if only temporarily — with soaring melodies, a huge backbeat, and the sort of musical intimacy between player and listener that gives solace at the Rock and Roll Hotel.
Dante Frisiello and his band perform at Jammin’ Java, Sep. 9, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Dante Frisiello was in a state of nirvana one night recently at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia. The progressive rock composer and guitarist released his debut album, Alignment, earlier in the year — and this evening was his third opportunity present the material to live audience. That alone would have been enough; but on this evening, Dante was on stage as the opening act for one of his favorite musical influences, instrumental rock drummer Virgil Donati. It was a dream come true.
Jon Anderson performs at The Birchmere on Aug. 5, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Getting older, aging, maturing — whatever you’d like to call it — does have its upsides. Like wine or whisky, guitars and violins, aging produces deep tones and a richness that can’t be duplicated any other way. The same can be said for music, the timelessness and appeal that cuts across space and time.
Jon Anderson (Photo courtesy the artist)
Jon Anderson released 1,000 Hands, a new solo album, on March 31. The album features his former Yes bandmates Steve Howe, Alan White, and the late Chris Squire! Jon plays songs from the new record solo at The Birchmere on Monday, Aug. 5.