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Review of Ish Marquez NYC show!

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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1382

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Review of Ish Marquez NYC show! Reply with quote

Great Ish Marquez show at the Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club in Williamsburg on Friday night, two sets, with Scott Fragala on electric bass and some poor guy on drums who obviously had almost zero preparation.
Spotted in the audience:
Mike Rechner
Turner Cody
Manny (Ish's old bandmate in the 90s)
Spencer Chakedis
James Levy
Siegmar & Michaela from Wetzlar!
Jim Flynn
Steven Mertens
and the guy who made the recent Adam Green documentary and
various other folks and a bunch of people I don't know who just seem to like hanging out at that venue.
Not much of a venue really, just like one table and a bar, right on the street on Kent Ave, weird spot.

Ish was in good form, voice sounded great, and there were many intense and awesome parts of the two sets. Things suffered a bit from the drummer's inexperience with the material, and Ish's constant harsh looks towards the drummer trying to teach him songs in the midst of songs, but then some of the highlights of the set were when the drummer nailed things and Ish was super happy.
Also, interestingly, although Ish is usually notable for his great voice and great rhythm guitar playing, the Friday night sets really highlighted Ish as a lead guitar player. I think a lot of the audience members who were just random people hanging out might probably have walked away from that show thinking "I just saw a great lead guitar player" and that's not usually what one would first think of when describing Ish's music. He must be playing a lot of guitar at home in France lately, because his occasional guitar leads were great.
There were a couple of songs that should have been great but were semi-flops... "Goin' Thru" suffered from amp problems and the band fell apart a bit... but "Gin Is Not My Friend" had awesome harmonica solos from Ernesto, and "Papa's Gotta Go Now" was SUPER AWESOME in a new mega-rockin' arrangement. There were also some great new songs, at least new to me, including one in Spanish; Ish should sing more songs in Spanish, it sounded amazing.
Whether songs were nailed or a mess, there was no denying Ish as an incredible performer, giving his absolute all to every song and every movement of his guitar and face and head and body, thrashing and and mugging and emoting and wringing everything out of the material. It wasn't the best Ish Marquez show I've ever seen, but it was certainly a good one, and had enough of the riveting moments that you'd want from an Ish show. Hopefully next time this drummer will be given more prep time, he's probably a great drummer, he was just lost a lot of the time dealing with dozens of songs, and Ish kept throwing surprise endings at him (perversely cutting songs extra-short just to keep the drummer on his toes).
Oh yeah, also - one of Ish's encores was a GREAT "Motherless Child", and I wonder if Ish did this on purpose as a tribute to Richie Havens who had just died... that was one of Havens' signature songs... Ish made no mention of it being a tribute, but it was one of the night's perfect moments.
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jack fe

Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 865

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep missing his trips to the UK (which seem to have been coming fairly regularly). Always a total thrill, even if a small part of that is just willing him to hold it all together! When he does... phew.
Did he play that song from the last few years, "Be By Me" or something (that was repeated a lot). Totally stunning song. It's almost begging someone to stick around, and then this flippant "she said, nah, nah...". Amazing.

The shows he did in the UK with Stanley Brinks on bass and Dave on drums felt like such a great match all around. He would take off with lead stuff a lot then. He's a great player. Glad to hear he's on top form!
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