Brooklyn Bowl - New York City, NY (Wasabi)
December 9, 2012
no setlist available
Larry Bloch Memorial Tribute Concert:
WASABI (FT. ORIGINAL LINE-UP OF JOHN POPPER, RENE LOPEZ, ERIC SCHENKMAN, MARK WHITE & AARON COMESS)
Download this show here: archive.org/details/wasabi2012-12-09.tlm170.flac16
Scott Bernsteinīs show notes
On Sunday night, Pete Shapiro organized a tribute to the life of Larry Bloch (whoīd recently passed away) -- the original founder / owner of Wetlands by reconstituting a band that had hardly ever played together -- Wasabi, a "supergroup" of sorts which consisted of the rhythm section and guitarist from Spin Doctors, John Popper from Blues Traveler, Rene Lopez percussionist / vocalist / flautist from The Authority, and Erik Lawrence (who you might know from Levon Helmīs band or Steven Bernsteinīs Millennial Territory Orchestra) on sax. Ericīs dad, Arnie was the person who actually introduced the Spin Doctors guys to each other (and also introduced them to Blues Traveler) and both father and son were in the original band -- though Arnie himself passed away a while ago now. The ethos of the band was to not have any actual songs that on the whole the entire show would be improvised on the spot (though they would thrown in a cover occasionally).
Of course, the members were happy to pay tribute to a man who had such a big influence on their lives, really providing the springboard to all of their careers, and those of us who attended as fans also have to pay our respects to the man who had (in some cases) a major impact on our lives -- myself included.
Starting off with a very heartfelt tribute from Pete Shapiro, and continuing in the 2nd set with an ode to Larry from one of the original Wetlands booking agents and another from Larryīs son, there was a lot of love and respect to the "man with the dream" of starting a club devoted both to music and ecological activism (a portion of all of the profits from the club went to fund its activism efforts), and his vision to make it happen.
Musically, this sounds pretty much what youīd expect a melding of John Popper and the Spin Doctors guys to sound like -- but add some Latin percussion and saxophone to the mix. Eric Schenkman who plays ALL of the leads in the Spin Doctors sits back a bit more in this band so that everyone has a chance to solo, but when he steps up, LOOK OUT!
There are some songs with lyrics -- and sometimes itīs hard to tell which are made up on the spot and which are previously composed -- but at least Rene Lopezī "People Are Just People" appears to be a song that he brought to the group and asked them to back him on.
This band got together very very rarely even in the old days (there are but a handful of known performances), and the known time that they performed together in this configuration was 1994(!).
So give a listen to this rare and excellent performance for a flashback to the old days of Wetlands (minus the roasting temperatures, PACKED area in front of the stage, and thick haze of cigarette smoke).