Aqueous Makes Powerful Alabama Debut On Halloween Night November 01, 2017 16:44
Photos by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
While there was plenty of hype surrounding Tuesday night's Halloween show with Aqueous and Soul Mechanic at Zydeco, I'm not sure that anyone was quite prepared for what was in store. Being Aqueous' first-ever show in Alabama, many people (myself included) were finally getting a chance to see these guys in person. I can't think of a much better way to be formally introduced to a band of this caliber than an intimate, raging Halloween show. This was a special occasion, to say the least, and both bands certainly planned accordingly with quite a few surprises in store.
Soul Mechanic kicked off the festivities in powerful fashion, to no one's surprise. Ever since catching these guys at CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival earlier this year, I just can't get enough. The Chattanooga-based five-piece takes the concept of experimental funk to another level, and the energy and stage presence they bring is beyond palpable. There aren't too many young bands touring with a world-class viola player, and that's certainly one element that makes Soul Mechanic so unique. The chemistry between Jessica Nunn (viola), William English (guitar), Parrish Gabriel (bass) and Marcus White (keyboards) couldn't be much tighter, and the sky is the limit for these guys. The highlight of the set came in the set closer, when Tommy Bowen (trumpet) and Desmond Sykes (saxophone) of Tragic City joined the band for a killer take on Lettuce's "Breakout." See below for video footage of "America."
Having watched the rapid progression of Aqueous amongst the 'jam ranks' in recent years, I had pretty high expectations for the upcoming set. While this would be my first live AQ experience, I've certainly spent hours watching and listening to the band's well documented online content. As expected with a Halloween set, these guys came out swinging with Metallica's "For Whom The Bell Tolls," the first of six debut covers for the night. This led perfectly into "Origami," which officially turned Zydeco into an all out dance party. A nice transition into "Somebody's Watching Me (Jam)" ultimately led back into "Origami."
Next up was the band's most recent single, "Weight Of The Word," which you can't miss if you're a regular SiriusXM JamOn listener. "Willy Is 40," the title track from the band's 2012 release, was executed with precision before busting out No Doubt's "Spiderwebs," another debut cover. "Kitty Chaser" was at the top of my wish list for the night, and it was an absolute monster. Guitarist Mike Gantzer then invited Travis Gray of Wild Adriatic on stage to take lead vocals on AC/DC's "Highway To Hell." This smokin' set would ultimately wrap up with "Don't Do It," a tune known for it's extensive jamming, which was absolutely held true on this night.
While the band didn't technically exit the stage, the "encore" was far from average. The entire stretch of four songs fell within "Complex Pt. 1," with debut covers of Cranberries' "Zombie" and Van Halen's "Running With The Devil" sandwiched in between. The seamless transitions here, and throughout the entire evening, were truly next level. It's always a treat when you find a band that is so balanced with talent and precision. Drummer Rob Houk held such a powerful, tight beat throughout the show. Evan McPhaden (bass) didn't miss a beat all night, all while bouncing around on stage in a fantastic 'Tigger' costume.
I was definitely most familiar with Gantzer's well-documented guitar work coming into the show, but Dave Loss (guitar/keys) blew my mind as well. Watching those two trade off scorching solos from across the stage was such a treat. All in all, Aqueous couldn't have had a dialed up a hotter Halloween show, and it's safe to say this will be the first of many Alabama appearances to come. See below for video footage of both Soul Mechanic and Aqueous, complete setlists, and a photo gallery courtesy of Home Team Photography.
Watch Soul Merchanic perform "America" here:;
Watch footage of Aqueous performing "Highway To Hell" with Travis Gray here:
Setlist: Soul Mechanic - Zydeco - Birmingham, AL - 10.31.17
Set: 6 Milli, Frontier, Jack N Coke, 'Merica, Breakout*
*Lettuce cover featuring Tragic CIty horns
Setlist: Aqueous - Zydeco - Birmingham, AL - 10.31.17
Set: For Whom The Bell Tolls*> Origami> 'Somebody's Watching Me' Jam*^> Origami, Weight Of the Word> Willy is 40> Spiderwebs**> Kitty Chaser, Highway to Hell+*, Don't Do It
Encore: Complex Pt. I> Zombie*^^> Complex Pt. I> Running with the Devil*> Complex Pt. I
*First Time Played, Metallica (intro only)
*^First Time Played, Rockwell
**First Time Played, No Doubt
+*First Time Played, AC/DC, featuring Travis Gray from Wild Adriatic on vocals
*^^ First Time Played, Cranberries Jam, included choruses
*First Time Played, Van Halen
Post show crowd shot with Aqueous
Mike Gantzer & Evan McPhaden of Aqueous
Dave Loss of Aqueous
Mike Gantzer, Evan McPhaden, & Rob Houk of Aqueous
Mike Gantzer of Aqueous
Dave Loss of Aqueous
Aqueous feat. Travis Gray of Wild Adriatic
Travis Gray of Wild Adriatic
Soul Mechanic w/ Tragic City horns
William English, Parrish Gabriel, & Marcus White of Soul Mechanic
Jessica Nunn of Soul Mechanic
Aqueous Is Bringing The Halloween Madness To Birmingham's Zydeco October 27, 2017 13:52
Photo by Keith Griner: Phierce Photo
Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
Share this post directly from the Live & Listen Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments section of the post for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show. A winner will be announced at 10:00 AM CST on Tuesday, 10/31.
It's no secret that Halloween is one of the biggest nights of the year for most major touring bands. If you keep up with the latest happenings in the live touring circuit, you've surely seen the hype surrounding Aqueous, a four-piece, high-energy groove rock act out of Buffalo, NY. Whether its their impressive billing on just about every major festival lineup, their recent Green Day Dookie collaborations with Umphrey's McGee bassist Ryan Stasik, or even their heavy rotation on Sirius XM JamOn, the excitement surrounding this band continues to escalate.
While Halloween isn't conveniently falling on a weekend this year, there is a party you simply don't want to miss at Zydeco in Birmingham. Aqueous is making a rather rare appearance in Alabama, and you can rest assured that the band has big plans for this special occasion. If that wasn't enough, Soul Mechanic (Chattanooga, TN) will be providing direct support and warming up the stage in powerful fashion. At the rate things are going, Aqueous is on the fast track to playing even bigger rooms/stages, and this is a Tuesday night you're going to have to plan accordingly for. Do yourself a favor and join the official Facebook event for all of the latest updates. Tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking here.
Aqueous’s groove rock sound stems from Buffalo NY. They have built a name for themselves nationally, following years of touring and high profile sets at major festivals. The band is as strong in composing as they are at communicating and improvising during their shows. Their onstage persona is infectious and undeniable; their lifelong friendship stands as a testament to the tightness of the music. While the band is relatively young, they are polished - check them out as soon as you can, and discover firsthand what the buzz is all about.
For all things Aqueous, make sure to follow the band on Facebook and check their official website.
Check out Aqueous' latest single "Weight Of The World" here:
Members Of Little Raine Band & Soul Mechanic To Play Crestwood Tavern June 27, 2017 12:34
Fans of the Birmingham jam scene will not want to miss out this Thursday night (6/29), as members of Little Raine Band, Soul Mechanic, JOVA will be performing as a trio at Crestwood Tavern. LRB's Isaiah Smith (bass), Soul Mechanic's Devonte Hutchins (drums) and JOVA's Taylor Goodwin will be performing an extra funky set from 9:00 PM - 12:00 AM. Those in attendance can expect to hear a mix of funk, instrumental hip hop-soul, nu-jazz, as well as a variety of the trio's favorite originals. So Birminghan friends, make plans to kick off the weekend a little early and support your local music scene.
Crestwood Tavern is located at 5500 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35212
The 3rd Annual 'Jam In The Ham' Returns To Birmingham On June 24th June 15, 2017 12:42
Fans of the southern jam scene are in for a real treat next weekend, as the 3rd Annual 'Jam In The Ham' returns to Birmingham's ZYDECO on Saturday, June 24th. While the ever evolving Birmingham music scene has attracted many major national acts this summer, Jam In The Ham prides itself on featuring a lineup stacked with premier regional talent. Local favorites Little Raine Band and Winston Ramble sit atop of the lineup, which also features dynamic performances from Dirty Girl, Soul Mechanic, Space Phunk Express, and LilBigJack.
Live & Listen is a proud supporter of Jam In The Ham, and as a part of this year's promotion, we are giving away a few pairs of tickets to the event. In order to enter the contest, you must 'like' Jam In The Ham on Facebook (click here), share this post on our Facebook page (click here), and tag a friend on in the comments on our Facebook page. Make sure your Facebook settings are set to public, so we can see your share on our end. We will announce the winners at 3:00 PM on Friday, June 23rd.
In addition to the ticket giveaway, our friends at Avondale Guitar & Music are giving away a Les Paul electric guitar autographed by all artists playing at Jam in the Ham 2017 to one lucky pre sale ticket buyer (click here to purchase). The more tickets you buy, the better your chances to win. A winner will be announced Saturday, June 24th on the Jam in the Ham Facebook event page. The giveaway is presented by Avondale Guitar and Music. Their grand opening is Monday, June 19th. Check out their great inventory of guitars, amps, pedals, and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram!
Beck Hall of Avondale Guitar & Music
Jam in the Ham is a one-day celebration of local entertainment taking place annually at Zydeco in Birmingham, AL on Saturday June 24th. For more info on the event and to purchase tickets, click here. See below to view the event schedule and learn more about this year's lineup!
Watch Little Raine Band perfom "Terrapin Station" at last year's Jam In The Ham here:
Watch Winston Ramble perform "Miss You" at WorkPlay with special guests Davis Little & Daniel Raine here:
Listen to Soul Mechanic's recent single "Space Kitty" here:
Watch Dirty Girl perform "Worlds Closing In" (Tiny Desk Submission) here:
Listen to Space Phunk Express jam on "Shakedown Street" here: