Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Dead Kenny G's 2.3.11

Words, Photos & Video By J-man

If you like intensity, idiosyncracy, and general rage, The Dead Kenny G's are the band for you. The music we saw that evening was not for the faint of heart. We arrived at Cervantes to a near empty room. The band sat up as the ever so enigmatic/annoying "super fans" approached the stage to talk gear. The band obliged with respect and a couple of solid moves to end the conversation. The band stepped off stage, only to return minutes later in costume...

Skerik is a force to be reckoned with. Every time I see him play, I am taken back. His combination of extreme technical skill and entertaining antics draw a lot of my attention... regardless of the other musicians present on stage. His utilization of distortion as well as his subtle work on the keys along with his persona make him one of my favorite musicians on the scene.

On the drums and vibraphone was Mike Dillon. Mike's quirky character driven antics make him and Skerik a perfect combo. Mike's heavy, sometimes overly aggressive playing rattled my cage to the core. There were times where I was left scratching my head wondering what the fuck was going on; and then there was his melodic vibraphone playing. It was beautiful, skillful, bright, and experimental... a great combination.

The other gentleman who joined Skerik and Mike D on bass and baritone was Brad Houser. I was not familiar with Brad going into the evening. I had heard his name tossed around but had never gotten the chance to see him live. His playing was strong and at times all over the place. He was very fitting with Skerik and Mike D.

Together the Dead Kenny G's tore through several short jams, often taking the initial concept way off course, only to resolve with a familiar hook. They reminded me of an experimental/metal/punk band. Though not specifically my style of music, I enjoyed their approach and execution.


  1. We walked into their set at Bear Creek not really understanding who these guys were, collectively. We were absolutely blown out! What the hell is it? Punk jazz? Coltrane in his Interstellar phase? WOW WOW WOW! We cannot wait to see them again. And the comment above is correct: not for the faint of heart.
    scott hopkins

  2. Gnasty Hell Powered Love Jazz