Screw Haggis, Missoula Montana had Leftover Salmon for St. Patrick's Day and it was great! The self described “Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass” band performed to a crowd of over 600 at the Top Hat last Monday the 17th in the midst of their latest tour to promote their first album in eight years, and their first album ever containing only original material.
With tons of green, funny Irish themed costumes and Vince Herman as front-man, Leftover Salmon featured Bill Payne from Little Feat on keys and played a mix of originals and covers.
Salmon kicked the night off with “Jack London” which was popularized by Great American Taxi, Herman's most recent bands which broke up earlier this year, blended with “G Medley.” The song accented dynamically fast finger picking on the mandolin that got the audience ready to dance.
Next, Leftover Salmon Co-Founder, Drew Emmitt strutted his stuff in the song “Bend in the River” which features the vocal styles of Emmitt while playing the fiddle.
Then the first taste of their new album came as they played “Aquatic Hitchhiker.” This song tore it up with string solos. Emmitt on mandolin, Herman on his guitar, and Andy Thorn, their newest member, on the banjo. They played so fast at one point, a cigarette could have been lit off the heat from the strings.
After introducing the band and the new album, it was time for Payne to let loose, and he did just that. The next song was “Six Feet of Snow” from Little Feat, but with bluegrassy St. Patrick's Day energy.
Leftover Salmon brought it back home after that and played a few of their own classics including “Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow,” “Dance on Your Head” before going back to cover Feat's “Fat Man in the Bath Tub.” With so many fast strings being played, guitar, banjo, and mandolin, it was amazing how smoothly Payne held his own in this musical environment.
A four-leaf clover party isn't complete though, with-out a cover Bob Marley's “Soul Shakedown.” Herman jammed out his “blue grass-tafari” and what few spots were left on the dance floor, filled in fast.
Rounding off their set, Leftover Salmon played “Whiskey Before Breakfast” blended with “Over the Waterfall” and “Pasta on The Mountain.” Both songs heavily featured the music styling of Payne and his keyboard and Herman even brought out his wash-board and spoons to play for a little bit.
For an encore, they jammed out a cover to “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. The fans ate it up and after it was done, the energy of the crowd was the only leftovers in the house.
Photos by: Kevin Kenly