Review: 2017-10-05 - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA

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    Setlist, Recordings, and Attendance for: 2017-10-05 - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA

    I headed to Northampton after work on Thursday afternoon with a raging headache and killer hangover from the Outer Space show the night before. I checked into my room downtown and headed to the Tunnel Bar/Platform for the meetup. I had two high school buddies in tow, both with no prior experience with Spafford. (They loved them BTW.) I was most happy to see @Kyle-Burbank and @uconnwes again- we had such a blast raging together the night before. We kicked it outside in the fairly warm October air for a bit, blazed up, and talked about what we hoped to hear that night while the band milled around their bus smoking butts and mingling with us.

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    The *Iron Horse is an older, smaller venue with a real old-school living room feel—kind of like your grandma's house that hasn’t been updated since 1976. An older beatnik crowd took up the tables and chairs that lined the walls. The small balcony was kept roped off. The stage was small, without a lot of room for the band to move, and there was no real lighting rig so the venue kept the house lights on... for the whole show! There were two cans with a green and red light that stayed dimly lit as well, but otherwise effects were as minimal as possible.

    Windmill got us off to a solid start, never really straying from its structure but delivering just the same. A quick romp through the bluegrass jaunt of Hollywood lent an easy-breezy feeling to the set. My friend leaned over and said something about how any song with a whistling section is awesome. The band then switched it up into a bouncy shuffle jam with all four members totally locking in. Brian brought the energy way up with a searing bluesy solo while Cam killed a funky ride bell pattern.

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    Out of this jam, Red began some beautiful melodies as they landed on their first cover of the evening, Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand. It's the kind of song that everyone knows, they just don't know they know it. The looks of surprise were everywhere as people began to figure it out and nod in approval. Brian crushed the ending solo as it turned into a dark and heavy jam. The setlist labeled it Space Jam and the band certainly did their best to make us feel like we had just landed on the freaking moon. Red’s opening notes of The Remedy snapped us all back to reality as we gathered our brains just in time to have our faces melted by a Brian-heavy version of the tune.

    The rocking Dream Jam that followed gave way to the super-funky, Red-sung, JJ-Call-favorite After Midnight. (I incorrectly thought it was going to be Midnight Rider... It had the same bouncy/funky intro... It fooled me bad). Midnight kept it upbeat and funky until the last few minutes where they slowed it down to a real bluesy rock jam to finish up the set.

    Set break involved more weed, more hugs, and excited talk about Friday's coming show in Boston.

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    A rocking Seven opened up the second set, followed by the improv standout of the evening, In The Eyes of Thieves, where the jam included several movements and peaks. A standard America followed with The Reprise right behind, which seemed to have a little bit of extra sauce at the end. Mind's Unchained closed out the set with as loose of a feeling as the show began, and with a powerful solo from Brian who let rip with clear, clean tone.

    The band left the stage for only a moment before returning for Into the Mystic, which had everyone swaying and singing along joyfully, feeling the vibes as Red poured it all out on stage.

    Outside the air had cooled as friends parted ways and we headed off for a slice at Mimmos before they closed up for the night. Sleep was a must... The Sinclair was up next!

    Thanks @uconnwes for some of the pics!


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    @crappygeorge i love this review, thanks man! You are descriptive and succinct, accurate and dreamy, musical and social, personal and universal... ah, look at me, i'm rambling again... that space jam was something else ... i know ive heard some pretty spacey stuff from the early days but this was not your typical Spaff jam and not at all unwelcome.... windmill is also ascending in my soul.... i had an early attachment to it when i first started listening to Spafford and then it kinda faded from my longview.. i loved the description of The REDmedy intro snapping us back to reality.. it's so friggin good at that :) rock on, brother... hope Spaff comes back east SOON!

  • @crappygeorge I'm listening to the nugs release that just came out. HOLY SMOKES! This first set is absolute MAGIC! Jordan's vocals, and the harmonies in general sound excellent. The Phone Booth is sublime with the transition into Remedy being mind boggling. This is where it's AT!!! WOW! WOW! WOW!

  • @crappygeorge Great review and such a sweet little run of shows. NoHo never disappoints and this was a special night to see the band unfiltered = we have to enjoy that shit while we can! Awesome to hang with some of the nerd herd again! Blaze On Massachusetts, Blaze On!

  • Listening to the Nugs recording. During Dream Jam somebody yells "YEAH DRUMMER!!!!!" I guess Cam is winning fans, even if they don't know his name :D

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    @damian that was my fairly inebriated former bandmate lol. He was HILARIOUS all night long. Dryest humor ever.

  • @crappygeorge said in Review: 2017-10-05 - Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA:

    @damian that was my fairly inebriated former bandmate lol. He was HILARIOUS all night long. Dryest humor ever.


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