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Tuesday, June 24

Review and Photos:The Hornitz - The Stomping Grounds 2 Year Anniversary - June 5th, 2014 - Putnam, CT

The amazingly unique bar and music venue, Stomping Grounds, was already packed with smiling faces as I arrived before The Hornitz set. The Stomping Grounds venue is reminiscent of a smaller scale version of Nectar’s Lounge in Burlington, VT, where Phish got their jumpstart in their college days. The bar tenders were busy serving up high quality beers and the venues’ famous grilled cheese sandwiches as I scanned the venue, noticing the immense amount of eye catching art spread throughout. The owner Terry Paquette, had told me that his vision, was a live music venue, crossed with an art gallery, and in my opinion he nailed it. Art hangs all over the walls, and from the ceiling, the venue is literally dripping with creativity, and the energy is transferred as such to the artists on stage. 
 The Hornitz took the stage soon after I arrived. The dynamic duo, relies on few sources each, to create their surprisingly enveloping sound. “Stoo” performs with a tenor saxophone, keyboard and a looping system. “Friendship” performs using his beatboxing skills, while looping his voice and playing the bass trombone. Stoo’s afro flowed up and down with dance as the boys opened up the night with the funk packed track “Danciban” , a memorably high spirited and beat heavy song which transcended with a flow into “Chameleon”. The duo then busted out a sax filled sequence of songs, funking all the way through “ Yes, Have Some> Sails (Cover)> Moneyback”. The band changed up the mood a little to beatbox their way through a cover of the Phish song “Lengthwise”, which was quite the performance to experience, as they really put an interesting twist on their version, that you just have to hear to believe. “Overnight Success (Dance with Anyone)” brought the energy level up in the intimate venue even more, as the duo chanted the memorable lyrics to the song. A far out saxophone riff ripped through the middle of this song and into their bass beats heavy cover of “Insane in the Membrane” that was so well done, I enjoyed it more than the original version. While they were already crushing the last cover, they flew into “Superstition” an also crazily adapted cover, that would have made Stevie Wonder get up and dance his shoes off. 
The bass beats took a break, as the band covered “Dayman” the notable song from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The vocal heavy song underlaid by keyboards was a perfect way to end the extremely memorable funkadelic dance party of a first set. The second set of music opened up with “ Do What You Wanna” a trombone and saxophone heavy song, with interesting pac-man and cowbell reminiscent beats laying through the background to accent the horns. The band proved their diversity by covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into a reprise of their song “Danciban” that is sure to wake up anyones dancing spirit. The crazy human-made beat boxed grumbling and tweeting beats beautifully blend with the keys overlaying the track, creating a blend of sound that no-one can resist dancing too. 
The night closed out with a cover of “ Just a Friend” which showcased the duo’s ability to turn any song into a party of horns, keys and beats. The concert goer’s and the band were constantly throwing energy back and forth between the stage and the crowd, making for an awesomely impressive performance and extremely unique and memorable night. 
Words and Photos: Joe Schlee
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