Jam Band Purist Full Halloween 2021 Review and Vlog: "Witches, Horrors, Bears, and Cults" Oh My
While the Jam world looks to Phish and their Halloween spectacular in Vegas, I was stuck in Virginia trying to make the best of my Halloween weekend. Halloween for me is a palpable holiday unlike many ie: the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Easter. Halloween is real and can be manifested in many different ways. I have always taken it upon myself to find something to do during this All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain, or whatever pagan ritual it’s descended from. Music, movies, books, entertainment, and ghosts stories all fill this season to the brim with consciousness, making it more alive than most other holidays. So in the spirit of Halloween, in the spirit of being ALIVE, I got out and did something, anything. Even if it killed me...
The weekend began on Friday with a small show from the band, Litz. There are very few shows that come around my small Virginia hometown and I try and support these small shows as much as I can. The Golden Pony, like many of the downtown bars and small venues, has been going through hard times due to covid restrictions and unemployment. It’s sad to see these great small bands only get a handful of patrons when there is a huge college community. Either way, there was more room to dance and space to move around. There were no costumes to be seen except for a solitary Witch that sat in the corner practicing some sort of divination or casting spells on us all. Litz exceeded my expectations and put on a quality show. Each musician seemed familiar with the music, their instruments, and each other. I brought along some family members since it was a local show and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Litz is solid, in-sync, and fun. By the end of the night, the crowd would gather in the center of the dance floor and boogie. While it may have been a smaller show, Litz played like it was sold out and that, in itself, is a success. I highly recommend checking this Electro-Jam-Funk band out anytime you can.
Saturday's big plan was to see the Rocky Horror Picture show live presented by James Madison University students. I have always loved Rocky Horror even as a child I can remember dressing up and singing like a "Sweet Transvestite," or doing the "Time Warp" again. The show was an unrestrained good time and my first time seeing it with performers. While I enjoy the music, the rock & roll vibe, and the lyrics, I wasn’t much for the yelling and distractions from the storyline itself. Still, this is quite the experience that every red-blooded American should have before they kick the great bucket.
Halloween night my friends and I would gather together to see Andy Frasco and The UN in Charlottesville Virginia at The Southern. I adorned my Grumpy Bear onesie and we caught the opening act, Nick Gerlachs Cult Conference. It was danceable and fun to gather with friends and talk about whatever Halloween things people talk about. Witches? Ghosts? Goblins? The overall atmosphere changed drastically when Andy and The U.N. got onstage and the onslaught began. While this wasn’t the most high-energy or wild show I’ve seen from this band, something was growing beyond all the antics. Perhaps an air of maturity? Andy did not crowd surf but The Southern is a small venue and it was far from capacity. It was more like a low-key evening with the band than anything. I kept to the corner and tried to observe, record, and write as much as possible. The crowd was entranced and enthralled in the musical rapture that is the mystery cult of Frasco. What he says goes, he is Simon. He is the creepy Korean kid statue yelling, "Redlight, Greenlight." He is the leader. He is the ONE. He will transcend the JAM and into pop culture. God Speed. It’s just his world and we are living in it for the night. I will always see Frasco in my mind's eye, aboard my very first Jam Cruise, literally smoking dabs taking mushrooms, and crowd surfing across the entire venue. Pink boxing outfit, ready for battle. Andy, you are a treasure to this community and this world. Stay original.
After the show, we would catch a few songs from Seleus, a local Virginia band that played some Classic Rock songs mixed with their unique jam style. I wish I could have stayed longer but my group started to feel under the weather. We all came down with the dreaded covid. This is the main reason for this review and the accompanying VLOG is so late. It has taken all of a month to start to feel normal and I have also been very busy starting my Tik-Tok channel!
Yea yea, I get it. Tik-Tok but I am using my musical knowledge to spread fun music facts and music trivia. It has already been a wild start with nearly 500k views on my first video. Please join me on Tik-Tok at jambandpurist for more. I’d love to have my readers on this platform as well. Although I always feel as though my website is our little secret and the best way to get in my head. Thank you for sticking around and much more to come even if no one is reading.
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.