Saturday, November 28, 2015

G.E. Smith, Chad Smith, Will Lee at Irving Plaza

G.E. Smith
George Haddad began playing guitar at the age of four in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. As a young adult, he left the Poconos for the New Haven, Connecticut area, and later moved to New York and became the guitarist for Gilda Radner's 1979 Broadway show Gilda Live. Now known as G. E. Smith, he went on to become the lead guitarist for Hall & Oates, Bob Dylan and Roger Waters, as well as the musical director of Saturday Night Live.

Chadwick "Chad" Smith was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but spent most of his childhood in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He started to play drums at age seven. Later, Smith moved to California to pursue his musical aspirations. He has drummed in the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot and recorded with many artists.

William "Will" Lee IV was born in San Antonio, Texas, but started playing in bands at age 12 in Miami, Florida. Upon moving to New York, he played with several bands but is best known for his work on The Late Show with David Letterman. Lee also performs in a Beatles tribute band, the Fab Faux.

Hang around the New York music scene long enough and you will see all three of these musicians jam in various bands. Tonight the trio came together to headline at Irving Plaza, simply billed as G.E. Smith, Chad Smith, Will Lee. The set mostly consisted of covers and instrumentals. The cover songs were hardly meant to emulate their popular versions, however, but rather became the skeletons for extended jams, with G.E.'s vocals simply as bookends. The three musicians demonstrated exceptional skill at their craft and, with no album to promote, played simply for the love of creating music. For the audience, the thrill of the experience was in watching expert musicians ripping masterfully and passionately on their instruments almost spontaneously. Local music lovers need to encourage them to a repeat performance.