Over the past couple of years I've seen the Ryan Montbleau Band open for both moe. (thrice, including moe.down) and JJ Grey & Mofro. Their particular brand of upbeat feel-good jam rock always leaves me happy, so I was totes psyched to finally be able to see a headliner show (though this turned out to be 1 long set instead of 2 to make way for a DJ, wah waaah). Recently, RMB had a lineup change. Violist, Laurence Scudder left, and his spot was filled by Guitarist, Lyle "New Guy" Brewer. While Scudder does have really nice hair, Brewer totally shreds-- so it's cool. It also seems to have increased the Bluesy Guitar Rock vibe while simultaneously decreasing any sort of lineup similarity to The Dave Matthews Band^ -> Instantly More Street Cred, so it's really a win-win-win.
Dwight & Nicole opened the show. Their backup band were actually the Ryan Montbleau Band, minus Ryan Montbleau (this made the set change pretty easy). D&N were fun, funky, had tons of soul- the room was definitely getting down. However, I spent most of this time slightly freaked out because none other than the infamous LUCY (yes) was there (what are the odds?), recognized me (how??), and (seemingly) came over for... a hug?!? (whaaaat??!?) Luckily, I actually had no idea who she was^^ and stayed back while I inquired, so there was never an opportunity for any surprise ice pick stabbies to the kidneys. But, ooohhh, awwwkwaaard! Who's walking me to the car later?
The place was pretty packed and by the time RMB hit the stage, there wasn't much elbow room on the floor. I immediately noticed that more than half of the room was female, which felt totally bizarro cuz the shows I'm at are typically Sausage Fests. No joke, though-- Ryan Montbleau is like The Pied Piper of chicks. For good reason-- his music radiates some sort of contagious YOU GO GIRL feeling that's even better than a really good episode of Oprah. Ladies-- you know.
HOT DAMN, it was a great show! A spectacularly rockin' set with a ton of energy and good vibes. As a noob, I can't dissect everything that went on cuz I don't really know song names, but RMB blew the back walls off of Brooklyn Bowl. They were JAMMING and it was AWESOME!! John and Scott Aruda sat in on horns for a few songs scattered throughout, which was super funky. As were Dwight & Nicole on backup vocals (and tambourine) for a couple at the end of the night.
There's a reason I always refer to Ryan Montbleau Band as feel-good. You could be in an epically shitty mood and I'd still Double Dog Dare you to refrain from smiling and dancing by halfway through their first song. They're uplifting and carefree. The room was full of happy. It's always amazing how a night of music and dancing can cure what ails you.
Honestly, I don't know them well enough for the Violist/Guitarist switch to be an issue (I may even like it better), but lineup switches always create heated arguments amongst the fans. Max Verna -> Todd Pasternack. Tomo & Bevo -> Aubrey & Pete. David -> Sammy -> the guy from Extreme -> David (- Michael, + Wolfgang). I'm interested in hearing what old skoolers have to say about it.
Obligatory rip on Brooklyn Bowl's sound: If only the sound was as good as the Fried Chicken! I would have stayed all the way up front for most of the show, but the bass was so painfully loud up against the al.side stage that it was hurting my skeleton (again). WHY WON'T THEY FIX THIS?? It's a live music venue, sound should be waaay up there on the Priority List. Brooklyn Bowl strikes again!
Ryan Montbleau Band, (w/ Dwight & Nicole), 4/15/11, Brooklyn Bowl: 8.8 HUZZAHS!! If you haven't heard them yet, check them out-- you'll be all, "Ohh, so that's why all my friends love these guys and keep telling me to see them!"
Grain Of Sand
Here et al
75 And Sunny
Head Above Water*
Inspired By No One
A Way With Women
You Haven't Done Nothin'@
I Can't Wait*
*John Aruda Saxophone & Scott Aruda Trumpet
+Scott Aruda Trumpet
@ Dwight & Nicole / John & Scott
** Waiting on a few recordings to go up on the archive before choosing a favorite one, when I do- the link will be HERE **
^ Dave Matthews Band wishes their fans were as cool as Ryan Montbleau Band fans. They're not. I'm sure they sob themselves to sleep every night atop their giant piles of money.
^^ Didn't recognize her with shoes and socks.