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An evening Brew for all tastes

Review: The jam band took a small Westcott Theater audience on a ride across musical genres during a recently rescheduled show.

The Brew waited two months for this night.

The eclectic jam band with a chameleonic stage presence has been gaining prominence across the Northeast, but had their second appearance at The Wescott Theater delayed by one of Syracuse’ s infamous snow-heavy blizzards. Last Thursday the group finally played in an intimate, airy concert hall to an audience of about 50 people.

An improvisational quartet known for their versatile music style and energizing stage presence, The Brew played romantic, slow-paced tracks with smoothly-sang lyrics and soft bass riffs  (“Hunter’s Moon”) offset by screeching, progressive rock guitar solos ("Faces") and forceful guitar and bass sections ("Chance Reaching") during their Westcott set, which lasted a little over an hour.

The quartet showcased their brew of sounds, including alternative rock (“What I Want”), pop, reggae ("Sharks in the Pool") and jazz ("Control"). They peppered their set with animated interpretations of 1980s hits Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" and classic rock legends' Led Zeppelin's "Going to California."

The unifying thread of The Brew's multifarious music style is their well-balanced guitar/bass/keyboard/drum jamming. Chris Plante (keyboards/vocals) laced the melodies with dreamy classical piano-inspired passages, while Dave Drouin (guitar/vocals) performed blazing riffs, occasionally featuring progressive rock passages, exploring his guitar's ability to shriek. He showed off his original stage presence, featuring snake-like movements while performing solo or partaking in the band's instrumental improvisations. Joe Plante (bass/vocals) brought elaborate bass riffs and energetic movements to the set, while Kelly Kane (drums) balanced it with a seamless, steady beat punctuated by crisp percussion solos.

The quartet's infectious connection flowed into the audience, who unleashed dance moves mirroring band members, particularly Drouin and Joe Plante. They danced and jumped across the stage, and challenged each other to guitar-versus-bass duels.

The tightly-knit group of Amesbury, Mass. high school friends, have been performing together for nearly a decade. They're so used to each other they nearly finished each other’s riffs. Drouin and Chris Plante sang interchangeably during extended jams, such as “ Faces.” Aside from playing some of their classics, including "Eyes of the Giant” - the encore chosen by public demand, the group made a debut performance of "Lost" off their upcoming album Gardens In the Snow. It's set for release this September.

"We've got a brand new song we're going to play," Drouin told the enthusiastic audience." We'd like to pull that one out tonight in 'Cuse because we love this f*ing town." Drouin and Chris Plante kept the conversation going and offered the audience some insight into their off-stage lives.

"This kid just graduated MIT, we're very proud of him," said Plante about Kane. "It's kind of like our celebration show tonight for Kelly's graduation in aero-space sort of stuff. He's number 203 on the list of astronauts that will potentially
be launched in space in 2021. He potentially could be in outer space, and that's more than I can say for myself."

"That's why his drumming is so far out," Drouin added.

good read, nice video, should have asked them about the snakes..

Nice article...This was a pumpin' show. Apparently, they picked up a new crew member HITCH HIKING on the New York State Thruway on the way to this show. I know Ive spoken with Dave and Chris about their love for snakes and harvesting various kinds of snake venom to incorporate in their creative process, and apparently this guy they picked up was a venom guru.

Go figure! Some things were just meant to be.

LOVE the new tune Lost that they played (for the first time?) at this show....

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