On Friday night, John Kadlecik brought his band to New York City's Highline Ballroom for a night of original songs mixed with popular covers and Grateful Dead songs. The Furthur frontman assembled a cast of musicians that included Nate Graham (drums), Paul Grepps (keys), Larry Joseloff (bass), Lizzy Friel (vocals), Katy Gaughan (percussion), and a guest sax / clarinet / flute performer named Trevor Specht. It wasn't a sold out show, but the extra space allowed those who attended enough room to dance freely and meet new friends in the crowd.
The band opened up with "That's What Love Will Make You Do," a song often performed live by The Jerry Garcia Band. Instantly, the crowd recognized the song and gathered closer to the stage, filling up the floor space. After playing a funky "Givin' Me The Business" and 1982 Van Morrison tune "Cleaning Windows," John K. and the band got the crowd dancing when they broke out The Grateful Dead's "Women Are Smarter."
For the next song, the band premiered an original titled "Liquid Silver." In the first minute of the song, fans thought it was "Scarlet Begonias" because it contained a similar groove and sound. John Kadlecik commanded the song and led it into a spacey jam that included a wonderful flute solo. Keeping the momentum going, the jam led into another original song titled "Riverrun" that contained a drum / bass beat very similar to The Grateful Dead's fan favorite "The Other One." The band ended the first set with "Feel Like Dynamite," a song that served as a minor hit in 1975 for New Orleans soul singer King Floyd.
After a brief set break, the band took the stage and opened up the second set with an upbeat version of "Life Is A Carnival," originally written by Rick Danko and performed by The Band. "Hard Highway" followed next and contained a cowboy tempo that had some fans in the audience doing the do-si-do. Throughout this tour, the band has been breaking out never before played songs and tonight it was "The Good Friday Experiment." John Kadlecik informed us of the history of the experiment that involved Timothy Leary and LSD (which you can read here).
The band effortlessly segued into "What's Become Of Mary" before surprising a few people with a mellow version of The Police hit "Walking In Your Footsteps." Once again, John Kadlecik and the band took the song on an instrumental jam journey that led into an energetic version of Julian Lennon's "New Physics Rant."
At this point in the night, the crowd was feeling groovy and when the band broke into "Not Fade Away" towards the show's conclusion, the audience erupted with chants of, "You know our love will not fade away!" John Kadlecik and the band honored a fan's request and performed "So Many Roads" for the encore. John's clear and passionate voice, along with his solo, really highlighted the song and was one of the best versions I've heard live. As is the case with most shows of this particular genre, it was a disappointment that it was over, but fans left satisfied and saying to each other, "See ya at the next one!"
John Kadlecik will be performing two nights with Everyone Orchestra in Pennsylvania before rejoining his band and returning to the road in May and June. For complete dates and ticket information, check out his official website. Below is a crowd sourced audio recording of the show courtesy of taper "TimeZoner" along with the setlist.
The John Kadlecik Band At Highline Ballroom, NYC 4.18.2014 Setlist:
01. "That's What Love Will Make You Do"
02. "Givin' Me The Business"
03. "Cleaning Windows"
04. "Women Are Smarter"
05. "Liquid Silver"
07. "Feel Like Dynamite"
08. "Life Is A Carnival"
09. "Hard Highway"
10. "Good Friday Experiment"
11. "What's Become Of Mary"
12. "Walking In Your Footsteps"
13. "New Physics Rant"
14. "Not Fade Away"
15. "The Great Vehicle"
16. "So Many Roads"