Andy Frasco-Triple Header in Virginia (and Various Communicable Diseases)
It’s been a few weeks since I saw Andy Frasco and The U.N. in Richmond at River
City Roll. I’ll be honest with you; my ears are still ringing on and off. I looked everywhere for my hearing protection before I left and couldn’t find them. I want to express the importance of hearing protection especially when seeing such a raw and rambunctious band as, Andy Frasco And The U.N. This hearing loss however does not keep Andy Frasco and his band of merry men from touring non-stop and even, hitting three dates here in Virginia. Andy Frasco has been on my must-see list since last January on my first Jam Cruise and although, he is not back on the boat this year, his spirit will forever be intertwined with that of Jam Cruise. Having been to the Brooklyn Bowl in NYC, I can my compare River City Roll with that venue but can honestly say, I like River City Roll alot better.
The opening act, Wild Adriatic was off the charts talented and covered: Rick James “Mary Jane” and Frank Zappa’s “Muffin Man;” two songs that have a special place in my heart. I wasn’t sure how rowdy the crowd would get at this venue, as all was calm on the western front until The U.N. took the stage. Frasco can always rile up the crowd. It was quite a surprise to see Dave Schools of Widespread Panic silently hovering overtop me taking a video of the band onstage. I wanted so bad to talk with him and basically, “fan boy” out but I kept it together. Having been behind the scenes in this music business, I have seen how annoying people can be to artists just trying to live their lives. When the time is right, I’ll meet Schools and sometimes, it’s not always best to meet ones heroes.
Andy’s act hasn’t changed much but I can see him slowly refining it, evolving and making it less about the pussy and more about a solid, fun, entertaining experience. The Charlottesville shows and Roanoke shows would both showcase Andy Frasco and The U.N.’s raw stage talent. I haven’t talked a lot about the band members themselves and want to applaud all of them for putting up with (Sweet Dick) Andy for this long! Shawn Eckles is one of the best guitarists on the scene, a hidden gem in a dusty quarry. Ernie Chang is a consummate player, although he can be over powered by the cacophony of sounds the band produces. Daniel Avila is obviously the heart of the band and extremely talented being able to shred guitar and sing. The numerous bassists that Frasco uses have become a revolving cast of characters but this tours, punk rock style player fits in just fine. The only thing the band is missing is Arno and the antics between him and Frasco but if we are being frank, he wouldn’t even fit on most of these stages.
There’s not much more I can say about this triple header here in Virginia, having started a new job and working to make some solid income, I haven’t been able to see as many shows as usual but I’m glad that Frasco is one of them. I truly wish he was booked on Jam Cruise 2020 but I’m sure he will be back sooner than later. It’s awesome to see Andy and The U.N. coming into their own and finding their niche within this community. This band is exactly what we all need. Their energy is incomparable and every time I see them, I laugh, dance and have a memorable experience. Keep on doing what your doing. See you boys at Floydfest 2020!
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.