Ivamae and Arc Iris at ArtsRiot May 20, 2017   Leave a comment

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I had a great time seeing music last Saturday at ArtsRiot. I worked a long 8-4:30 day and was pretty stressed by the end. I hung out at home for a while then took the long walk to Pine st. It was a lovely day and the walk helped take me away from the work focus. I arrived a bit after 8:00pm doors opening and well before the 8:30 start time. I was about to wander in when Luke Adam called me over to the outside bar. I chatted with him and a couple of his friends for a while, then it was time to head in.

I settled in and found a nice post to stand and lean up against. The crowd was small and mellow and most of the seating area was filled. It was not long until Ivamae took the stage. Playing solo, she walked up the the mic and began singing. Though the room had filled a bit, it was pin drop silent as she mesmerized the room with her voice. She picked up an electric guitar for the second song and sang about true colors. She introduced the next song as The Reality Of It All and the room was still silent and listening. She sang a song about taking care of me and nobody else. I looked around and the standing area was filled with people quietly sitting on the floor. She followed with a cover of the Amy Winehouse song You Send Me Flying. I think the next one was about guilt and fear and she closed the set with a very new song about not being able to find the truth. Her strong voice, powerful presence and intent audience made it a stunning show.

 

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I hung out during the set break and chatted with Joe Adler, then it was time for Arc Iris. They were set to play their reconstructed version of Joni Mitchell’s Blue album. The band play a beautiful blend of pop, progressive rock, and jazz, or something like that. They played all of the songs in very unique ways that left Joni’s path intact but sounded like Arc Iris could have written them. They rearranged the order of the songs and began with A Case Of You. Jocie has a captivating voice and is a perfect front woman. Her keyboard and guitar playing just add to the mix. It’s a joy to watch Zach plays keys. He’s all over them and looks so happy doing it. Ray Belli is a tremendous drummer. When you listen to the arrangement and find the groove and swing to the beat, he’s already thrown in a few notes you weren’t anticipating. All three could likely do engaging solo shows but their power together is over the top. I tried to soak it all in as they played Carey and This Flight Tonight. My Old Man and Little Green were challenging and fun. California had a bit of madman jazz to it. They followed with The Last Time I Saw Richard and rocked River super hard. They closed the set with All I Want and Blue. They came back for an encore and I’m not sure what they played. It was jazzy and proggy and fun to listen to.

I headed out fairly quickly and ran into Luke again. We chatted until his turn off then I brought the body up to full speed for the long walk home.

Thanks Luke Awtry Photography for the pictures

 

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