Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Particle at American Beauty

Steve Molitz
Pioneer jamtronica band Particle formed in 2000 in Los Angeles, California, and in its initial run played major US festivals, building a fan base called Particle People. The band personnel changed several times, in 2005 morphing into a new band called Hydra with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. Through the years, keyboardist Steve Molitz has been Particle's sole consistent member, although he has moonlighted with Phil Lesh & Friends, Rich Robinson and other artists. Presently, Particle consists of Molitz, guitarist Mike Daum, bassist Clay Parnell, and drummer Kito Bovenschulte. Particle is based currently in New York City.

Numerous jam bands this week flocked to New York City to perform pre- and post-sets to Phish's four concerts at Madison Square Garden. Particle headlined a post-midnight set tonight at American Beauty, New York's primary music club catering to Deadheads, Phishheads and jam band fans. Particle opened with "Organ Chords," and proceeded to flex muscular funk grooves and lush instrumental jams with only a few interjected spoken or sung words. Midway through the funktronic set, Particle changed course to interpret the late George Michaels' "Freedom" with assistance from Jon Schmarak (vocals/brass) of the band Chopin Jovi, and Tara Lawton (vocals) of the band Cousin Earth. Molitz boogied behind an arsenal of synthesizers, concentrating largely on a clavinet sound. In pockets during several songs, Daum proved to be a dynamic soloist; perhaps Particle's set would have sounded more balanced if Daum's extended guitar leads had received equal time with Molitz's keyboard jams. Overall, however, Particle more than satisfied the cravings of the dancing Phish revelers, who came to American Beauty for an ongoing soundtrack to a wee-hours party.

Setlist
  1. Organ Chords
  2. Triple Threat
  3. Accelerator _
  4. Launchpad
  5. Freedom '90* (George Michaels)
  6. The Elevator
  7. Metropolis
  8. Sun Mar 11