Review: 2019-11-02-2019 The Orpheum- Flagstaff, AZ



  • All right Flagstaff! How have you been? It’s been over a year since I got to enjoy a show in your cold embrace! I was super excited to not only see a show in Flag again, but also to see all my northern Nerds that I hadn’t seen in a minute! Spafford has such a cool community around them and heading to a home town show is always a special event. You know that the band is going to bring it, hometown crowds rage just a little harder and it’s the last show on their Fall into Place Tour.

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    Lindsay McHenry @linmack.photo

    First disclaimer, huge thanks- Lindsay McHenry (@linmack.photo) for allowing me to use your pictures. I didn’t take any so thank-you for graciously allowing me to use your images and Lizzy Morelli for running such a cool site and allowing me to borrow images!

    Well we needed to get to Flagstaff and while I wish we had taken the bus, I was afraid that I would not have made it to the show if I was allowed to party all the way to the venue. I did see some pictures from the bus, looked like a lot of fun, I’ll have to make sure that I do it next time.
    But good thing that I was driving! @FL-AF was still rolling with us, having met me in Santa Fe a few days prior showing the west how they do it in sunny FLA. Eventually we made it out of the valley having picked up a few more nerds on our way out of town. I wish I could say that the ride up was filled with non stop raging our way to the venue, nope, I think we all knew to enjoy the calm before the storm.

    Obligatory first beer at Flag Brewing Company and then headed over to the Orpheum. Now I was told that it wasn’t that cold (low 40’s) but it was a little too cold for this Phoenician. Quick stop by will call for out tickets and to give the attendant there some slaps as he requested on the Spaffnerd Facebook page earlier that day, I was able to secure the newest work of Mr. Sean Tierney. “Autumn’s Keeper” a 4 color screen print looks absolutely stunning in person. I lifted this image off of Spaffords Facebook.

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    Spaffords Facebook

    We setteled into our spot for the evening, right behind the sound board. The Orpheum is a big room and the sound from the ADA seats was amazing. Last night in Tucson ADA was right in front of Red, and while I am great full for the accommodations for my show buddy, I think all she got to see was the back of Reds Keys and his groin area. At the Orpheum we got to see everything from our seats behind the sound board.
    I know that I stress checking out the opening bands when seeing Spafford and I really wanted to catch Stig. A self-described quartet power Trio these guys absolutely rocked it! Love me that sax!

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    Lindsay McHenry @linmack.photo

    Dirtbath kicked off the evening clocking in at right around 25 minute mark. I am amazed that this is one of the few repeats that I have gotten this run and couldn’t be happier with it. Its such a fun jam that bobs and weaves, zigs and zags, not really letting you know what you’re getting next. And I can say that this song has really grown on me since I first heard it in April of this year. Give it a spin and let me know what you think!
    Up next was a song with some of my favorite lyrics. Eternity keeps us going and starts the evenings sing along. I remember writing in a previous review that the lyrics really resonated with me and it couldn’t be truer this evening. Hanging out in Flagstaff with all my friends, “Here to stay, We all belong now”, Jordan belts and all I can muster is to belt out some Yeah, Yeah Yeahs!

    Ohh, what’s that? One of my all time favorite songs? Easiest to introduce new nerds to us? And, I’ll ruin it for the sake of the review now, or first Jammwich? I know its referred to as a Sandwich, but I like Jammwich better. Electric Taco Stand takes a whole different turn than what I’m used to, and then I remember that Jordan got a new bass today and is taking it for it’s first walk. Not sure if the bass has been given a name but it is a new custom 5 string by Solstice Guitars.
    Ahh there is! The opening notes to Palisades! Wait, isn’t it normally Weasel >Palisades> Weasel? Switching it up, I like it. I love the guitar work on this one, absolutely brilliant and allows you to catch your breath for just a second while not losing any of the vibe that the previous songs have built. And then to complete the Jammwich, back into ETS and everybody was jumping around and just feeling the vibe of the evening! “As the times go Byyyyyyyy
    Short tuning break and then it’s Radio! One of the slower songs with a steady build, Brian serenades us with every instrument taking a few moments to shine. That last part could be entirely made up and that’s just how I’m hearing it, but this is my review so I’m going to go with that.

    Brian welcomes out Drew Hall for the first sit in of the evening. Drew is local to northern Arizona plays with a few different bands, is a solo artist as well as a teacher he plays with northern AZ’s The Cheektones. This is of interest as I was able to confirm with my Prescott correspondent @SonrisaSmiles that Brian had performed with The Cheektones prior to Spafford, so a little local connection there! And once Drew steps on stage they jump right into the Allman Brothers classic, Whipping Post! Go get lost in this song/jam!

    Set two kicked off with Fünkenseven, a new original that wasn’t even a month old as it is being played at this show! A funky jam that gets us back into our dancing rhythm and I can’t wait to see how they start to stretch this jam out as they get to perform it more and more!
    All In for the win! This version saw Ryan Stigman from the opener join the band on stage. This is now the 3rd time that I have seen Spafford with a Sax and the first time for All In to get the treatment. This version absolutely kills it. Stig seems to take over the jam and leads the band down an entirely different path that I have ever heard this song go down. And not to be outdone Nick unleashes some Untzes on us as well. Listen to this jam, this song earned the gold star of the night from me!

    Next up was Hollywood! One song that for an original Spafford tune I have not heard nearly enough. According to Spaffnerds I have only heard this one a mere six times. I really get into this and try my best to whistle along but give up in favor of miss singing the lyrics. Still one of my favorites.
    I thought Hollywood always ended abruptly, but not this time, what are they jamming, that’s defiantly some Virtual Bean Dip. This song made it’s debut during my first Spafford show and might be one of my most listened to songs of theirs ever! Go give this a spin and keep a post jam cigarette at the ready. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you finish. Speaking of finishing, that Jammwich that started out as Hollywood> VBD has now just dropped into In The Eyes of Thieves. But a really short version of Thieves. Look and you shall find. Jordan put in the nugs notes that this was to finish the Thieves that they didn’t finish the night before in Tucson!

    The Remedy brought the show to the end of it’s second set. Another song from the old guard, this was one of the first songs where I really appreciated how many turns a Spafford song can take. Vocals, jamming where it seems like the guitar is taking the lead, then the piano and back. Slowing things down to picking the tempo right back up and dropping back into lyrics.

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    Lindsay McHenry @linmack.photo

    Right as I was thinking that the Band would stick to old staples they busted out the first song of the encore for its 3rd time ever, Ginger Stardust. This is a new Jam and I’m not sure what they have in store for it but I am excited as I think they can take this in a lot of directions and for it only being the 3rd time played it sounds like an old staple. Now I had heard rumors of the closer and I was floored when they dropped into Rusted Roots Send Me On My Way! Such a perfect funky way to end the evening!

    Flagstaff it was a blast to see you again! Thanks to @FL-AF @AZCOUG and @phokus for doing an impressive run with me, all the nerds I got to hang with and meet on this run! Also @persevere for agreeing to the AZ run on a bad leg with me as a helicopter parent. Lindsay McHenry for taking pictures and allowing me to use them and Lizzy Morelli for allowing me to lift them off your website. If I forgot to thank you, make sure I do it on the next review. Wait also @damian and @Johnny-Love for all they do for this site!
    Hope to see you all at the next Show!



  • @mccuem Love you dude! This run was an amazing experience and I will forever be grateful to you and everyone along the way!! See you in LA......


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