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Wednesday, May 14

Photos and Review: lespecial - Nectar’s Lounge - Burlington, VT - 5/9/2014

The lespecial Rite of Spring Tour brought the heat to Burlington, VT with their second to last date on their two-night spring tour ender featuring the Hornitz. The intimate and nostalgic Nectar’s venue on a Friday night in bustling Burlington, VT was the perfect location for this night of dark funk and dance with lespecial and the Hornitz.
The lights were dim in Nectar’s Lounge as Burlington locals socialized at the bar and got loose after the days struggles, intaking the skillful and precisely uplifting acoustic sounds of Seth Yacavone. Seth Yacavone closed his two hour set with a grippingly energetic song. The Hornitz, followed, the crazy duo consisting of a trombone, a saxophone and a keyboard, and synth pad between them, brought a heavy beat-boxing, saxophone solo-ing dance funk set that got the Nectar’s Loungers’ off the bar stools and over to the live music stage.
The energy was positive and clearly widespread across the venue as the Hornitz closed their set. After a brief stage changeover, lespecial took the sold out Nectar’s Lounge by storm with a ripping opener “Gypsy Joint” that instantly let you know why the bands genre has been described as “Death Funk”. The set weaved through a soundscape of dark and eerie tones contrasted by an “Super-Mario sounding” 8 bit keyboard leads, most notably in their “Crusher” and “Dangus Khan”. The three piece band brought a wall of heavy dark jams that were overlaid with dance heavy beats that was turning the already up beat crowd, into an intense dance dark-funk party.
The bass beats resonated and vibrated through the room as if to shake the venue and crowd with it, at just the right frequency for a deep audio and physical experience that made your bones pulsate with every beat. The lights glanced and refracted off the golden saxophone near the end of the second set, as lespecial was joined by Hornitz for an formidable rendition of “Algentaye.”
The set got crazier and the bass bumped harder as the collaborative energy of two bands united blasted into covering Dr Dre’s “Whats the Difference> Next Episode.” The Horntiz crazy energy and beats combined with the crazy sounds of lespecial climaxed in the synergetic version of “Cannibal Holocaust”, which song title holds true to its sound and closed out a crazily energetic and other wordly performance from lespecial. The jams that lespecial conjure on stage make you feel as if you are in a post apocalyptic zombie-jam-band party, absolute organized mayhem.
The band plays with an unchained, no holds barred style that I have yet to see matched, aside from Umphreys’ Mcgee. The primal gypsy funk trio hails from Northwest, CT and will be playing a number of shows in the Northeast this summer. The band puts on more than just a jam show, its a soundscape experience full of tweaks, and twists, and turns that will keep your feet in a pretzel on the dance floor. 
Words and Photos: Joe Schlee
©Grateful Music LLC