For three days in July, the jam band world converged in Chicago, Ill., chosen specifically because it was between the two coasts—where the majority of the Grateful Dead’s fan base resides. Now, after tapes of the performances have been circulating for months, the band is releasing Fare Thee Well (The Best Of), a two-disc set compiling the 16 best—or at least best flowing—performances from the three-night run.
Seconds after 8:00 p.m., Dweezil Zappa and his tribute to his father, Zappa Plays Zappa, strode out onto the Barrymore Theatre stage to the theme from “Star Wars.” The space-y theme was a fitting introduction to the wild world of Frank Zappa’s music. To keep things interesting, both for fans and for themselves, the band is touring behind the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s 1975 album, One Size Fits All in the first set and then a selection of tunes from throughout Zappa’s catalog in the second. The first frame opened with the intricate composition, “Inca Roads.” The six-member outfit paid fitting tribute to the complex tune, nailing each segment of the meandering song.
With a heavy heart and enough retrospect, we look to the future, to next year’s team. To attempt to put Monday night into some greater context, in my birth year of 1994, the Badgers made their third-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Since 1999, they have not missed the tournament, a remarkable stretch of consistency the likes of which few programs have achieved.
The titans of the jam band world, moe., formed in Buffalo, New York in 1989 as a part of a wave of improvisational rock bands in upstate New York. Vinnie Amico, moe.’s drummer, attributes this boom of bands to the culture surrounding the region and the heavy influence of the Grateful Dead. The Daily Cardinal spoke with Amico as they prepared for their winter tour.
Last Thursday, Greensky Bluegrass had the pleasure of taking the Stoughton Opera House’s more than 100-year-old stage for the first time where they made the most of their experience, playing two sets brimming with improvisation, technicality and innovation.
When the Badgers and the Iowa Hawkeyes come together Saturday for the second time in 11 days, fans of both teams should expect a closer game than their Jan. 20 tussle at the Kohl Center.
After years of reliably playing the Orpheum Theatre on State Street at the beginning of February, the month on the calendar is not the only thing changing when Yonder Mountain String Band comes to Madison on Saturday night.