Tuesday, 1 March 2016

C.R.R. Dot CO Dot UK Concert Review: Catullus_Consider The Source

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
29 Feb 2016
ClassicRockRadio.co.uk Concert Review
Bands: Catullus / Consider The Source
Venue: River Street Jazz Cafe
Location: Plains, PA., U.S.A.
Date: 26 Feb 2016

By Gary "Uncle G" Brown
American Correspondent for ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
Twitter @GBrown0816

So the first concert I attend in 2016, ends up being a band that I first found out about last year; Consider The Source.

Because of my writing for ClassicRockRadio.co.uk, I get music CD's and whatever else sent to me throughout the year from various record labels, etc.. Which are useful at times. With the type of writing I do for the station, I need new topics to write about on a pretty consistent basis. So I see all the CD's/DVD's that I receive as potential subjects to write about. It's impossible to do stories on everything sent my way. I'm sure those who pack the padded envelopes, realize that. For sure, nothing goes unlooked at. It's helpful, and flattering. Fact of the matter is, I do actually spotlight some.

Here's how I got turned on to; Consider The Source. I just happened to be sent what was their latest new studio offering at the time; Consider The Source - World War Trio Part 1 (2014). An almost 24 minute instrumental, that I fell into. It was on repeated play for weeks. Simply blew me away. Some time later I would get hold of the continuation; Consider The Source - World War Trio Parts II & III (2015). Two discs, full with over two hours of original music. All parts united, and The World War Trio project is an accomplishment the guys can be proud of the rest of their living days. It solidified my interest in the group. I knew after my review of World War Trio Parts II & III, that seeing the band perform live, would be just a matter of time. Glad my wait wasn't that long. It worked out I got to see tracks from World War Trio done live. Lucky me!

I woke up this past Friday morning the 26th, telling myself it was time I got my feet wet in Pennsylvania, and dive into the PA music scene. For the past thirty years, the majority of the shows I have attended, were in Texas. Seeing a show in PA, would be a new experience for me, and it was! Let me elaborate.

First off I'd like to thank Bryan the Red Cab (actual color of the taxi) Driver for getting me safely, to the gig, and back home. Around my age, he told me he's been a taxi driver on and off for a considerably long time. Having done so myself decades ago, I concluded Bryan's really good at it. He knows northeastern PA., like the back of his hand. He could tell you how many bars/taverns each small town that made up that part of the state had. Cool guy! I'd certainly would use his services again. Not having a car sucks! Another story for another day.

The River Street Jazz Cafe, where I saw not one, but two high energy fusion bands inspired by various backgrounds, do live sets, really had their act together. Wish I could remember the waitress's name who tended to me throughout the evening. I really appreciate how she made sure I didn't starve, or dehydrate, the whole evening. Very reasonable prices at the River Street Jazz Cafe. The french fries were cooked to perfection, and the beer I chose for the evening, Guinness on draft, was cold and tasty. Just right! The jazz club itself was cozy, yet sized perfectly for the evening. Attentive employees, and a good looking crowd whose age on the average was 20's/30's.

A small handful of us older dudes sprinkled around. I bet we had one thing in common, and it wasn't that we all wore false teeth. Could it have been only me? My first night ever wearing them out. Should have known better. What a fucking disaster. Don't know how I survived the whole evening wearing them. Well wait, beer could have helped. I could barely talk. Thanks to all for trying to understand what I was trying to say throughout the evening. Unbeknownst to them, as if not bad enough, I'd gag if I said too much. Hindsight, should have practiced speaking more at home before going out in public with them. Had to be done sooner or later. Hopefully it will be easier for me as time marches on. Regardless of my disability, I met some people. Everyone I encountered was cool!! One guy I met was named Daniel. As we bullshit some, he'd tell me about his recording studio; The Studio At The Spot. He said that he also had plans for opening up other new businesses; head shop, and a tattoo parlor. Enjoyed our conversation. I wish him luck on his ongoing/future business ventures.

Opening Band; Catullus.
Left to Right: Anthony Zinno (Percussion), Justin Minnick (keyboards),Michael Fazekas (drums), Andrew Meehan (guitar), and Chris Bailey (bass) 
I talked to those associated with the Pennsylvania group Catullus while the band played their set. I was given their debut CD, released this year; Catullus - A Maze In Life. FYI … I'm listening to it now for the first time while typing this. I'm impressed enough that I already decided to do a write up on it. Advanced notice. Probably sometime this March.

The music group Catullus describes themselves to me as an electronica jam band. And jam (includes extended instrumental segments) they did the evening of the 26th at The River Street Jazz Cafe. While doing so, the packed crowd was animated, with much dancing during Catullus' time on stage, while others like myself, simply enjoyed the party like atmosphere their music created. Looking around, the crowd just ate it up!

Electronica YES, but not done so in a way where it becomes redundant. That's where I draw the line. It makes me lose interest. Hate when that happens. Like most, I can only usually take so much, of even a good thing. 'Catullus' knows how to ride a melody, and keep it interesting. And here's a clue as to how they do it. A super tight rhythm section consisting of a full time percussionist (Anthony Zinno), a rather energetic drummer (Michael Fazekas ), and a bass player named Chris Bailey, who was spot on the entire performance. Add the well placed guitar sounds of Andrew Meehan. Next, the keyboard playing of Justin Minnick. This dude knows what he's doing! I was impressed right off the bat with his timing, and different use of synth sounds. Seems to know how to fit in, and not so much stand out. Justin's playing compliments the band's sound for sure. He gives it a lot of its get up and go. Now add the final ingredient, being the vocals. Not excessive, and kind of to the point. More like a treat, than a main course. A somewhat group effort which is refreshing.

Justin Minnick (keyboards), with guitarist Andrew Meehan by his side
Venue: The River Street Jazz Cafe'
Catullus Setlist:

Equalizer / A Maze In Life / Mumbles / Fresh Prince / Jumbo / Aimless Nameless / Cicones.

Next up was the headline act; Consider The Source.

Here was the reason why I paid Bryan the Red Cab Driver, all the money I did. The performance Consider The Source made it worth every penny spent. Especially considering how I was given the World War Trio CD's for free. Plus, now the new download that the band is giving away to celebrate a milestone of CTS being together a whole decade. Back in the day, and I'm old enough to remember, a band might last five or so years, and then GONE. Musicians having moved on to greener pastures. Being together ten whole years is an accomplishment, and should be celebrated. Their gift to their loyal fanbase is called, Consider The Source - Past is Prologue: 2005-2015. A compilation album spanning the history of their ten years and counting career. Includes cuts from all of our studio albums, including a bonus track from our untitled EP released in 2005. I HIGHLY encourage the time downloading/sampling. For myself, half the album's new material to ME. It took me some time to discover these guys. So the FREE download is perfect for me. It'll make a cool burn/car CD. Really nice when I actually have another car. Who ever said going through divorce was easy?

Consider The Source - Past is Prologue: 2005-2015 - FREE while supplies last!

Aquarians (World War Trio Part II), the first offering on this very cool give-away, is very matter of factly, the song they started off the concert with. When finished setting up, the trio just started to play. And it was this song, Aquarians, that they started with. Beginning to end, a very lively set! Shades of progressive/hard rock throughout. The crowd was deeply into it. I talked with fans in the audience that had seen Consider The Source multiple times already. A young man in his twenties sitting next to me with a group of friends told me he saw the group four times before. Once Consider The Source hit the stage, this guy was out of his chair, and heading towards the stage.

Consider The Source is:
Gabriel Marin - Guitars
John Ferrara - Bass
Jeff Mann - Drums and Percussion
Gabriel Marin (guitar) - John Ferrara (bass)
Jeff Mann: Drums and Percussion 
Uncle G's Closing Statement

This was a very high-powered performance. All three musicians that made up Consider The Source, one as equally good a player as the other. I personally, one who's been into rock n' roll since the 1960's, can't be any more impressed with the musicianship of all three of them. Capable of not only performing well, but motivating and inspiring others as well. Meeting fans after their performance, I observed the guys were as professional off stage as they were on. A favorite moment for me was when this pretty young lady walked up to Consider The Source's bass player John Ferrara, after Consider The Source had finished their performance, and told him in all sincerity that he and his band were; "The Shit!" Looking at her, I quickly concluded that she reserved this high praise for those things in her life that must have been truly outstanding. The comment made John smile, and say 'thank you'. I'm sure he'd heard that before. But my personal favorite female in the audience, was this chick who danced with a hula hoop. Picture this. 'Consider The Source' be on stage doing their thing, and she'd be in the back of the crowd, getting into the music, and looking all cool dancing around with her rather large plastic hoop. Confused me some, cause being a newly single guy and all, I wasn't sure what I wanted to look at more, the band or her hooping. The answer revealed to me after enjoying the sounds more and drinking more beer; I'd keep my eyeballs on both.

Consider The Source Setlist

Aquarians / Many Words of Disapproval / This Dubious Honor / I'll Fight for the Imp / So Say We All / Abdiel / The Transported Man / A Monument To Compromise.
Gabriel Marin_John Ferrara
jamming out @ The River Side Jazz Cafe'
On the Drums, Consider The Source's Jeff Mann

Consider The Source's Gabriel Marin
                                                 2016 CTS Tour Commercial

Summary: I strongly recommend checking out/supporting both bands; Catullus/Consider The Source. Each performance I enjoyed thoroughly. Would luv if ever possible, to catch the same double bill again in the near, not so distance future. Catullus and Consider The Source absolutely RULED! A wonderful night at River Street Jazz Cafe, in Plains PA. Looks like I found a new place to visit from time to time. Maybe I'll see you there (wink).

Helpful Links:
Consider The Source: Official Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/CTSmusic
The River Side Jazz Cafe: www.facebook.com/riverstreetjazzcafe/
The Studio At The Spot: www.facebook.com/thespotonmontage

Story edited 4 FREE by Adele T.

Photography by Gary Brown. Photos owned by ClassicRockRadio.co.uk / Gary Brown. Used with permission.

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