The Everyone Orchestra 3.9.13

Asheville Music Hall
Asheville, NC

Words By Brent Mill
Photos By Scott Shrader (J. Scott Shrader Photography)

Everyone Orchestra Live at Asheville Music Hall on March 9, 2013.

The drive up from Greenville, SC was well warranted for what awaited the four of us at the Asheville Music Hall Saturday night. We made sure to arrive early to get some grub and make sure we got our hands on tickets for the show at the Music Hall owned, One Stop Deli & Bar. The combination of menu variety, brews and atmosphere for live music makes this place a must anytime I ‘m in Asheville now. The free pre-show put on by Asheville ensemble, Jahman Brahman, definitely put the energy in motion for tonight’s Everyone Orchestra rage. We shifted upstairs as the crowd began to pour in, grabbed a few beverages from the venue’s helpful and friendly staff and readied ourselves for the jams to come.

Led by arranger and musician Matt Butler, the Everyone Orchestra consists of an ever changing cast of high talented musicians, which over the years has consisted of members from The Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, moe., and a mix of many others. Tonight’s rage included Kyle Hollingsworth (String Cheese Incident) on keys, John Morgan Kimock on drums, Reed Mathis of Tea Leaf Green on bass, Dan Lebowitz of ALO on guitar, Anthony Thogmartin and Mike Healy of Papadosio, and Greg Hollowell of Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band on saxophone. Matt Butler, adorned with a psychedelic top hat and overcoat, demonstrated a great balance between his use of a white board as a cue card to dig into the group’s improv musical talents, while at the same time involving the packed out crowd’s energy and assistance. Typically Everyone Orchestra tours the festival circuit but this tour was being referred to as "The Carolina Sessions" and Asheville happened to be the last stop on the tour. These shows are truly something special considering the amount of energy transferred between audience and band.

The first few songs started with somewhat spacey jams before Kimock and Healy’s drum solo into “People Say” saw a welcoming funk get down response from the crowd which ultimately never showed any retreat the rest of the show. It's always a treat to see a musician play outside of his typical style or genre. Mike from Papadosio was one person who caught my ear with his contagious funk grooves. Meanwhile, Hollingsworth was laying down his signature sound without hesitation. The night never let up and Butler never let the audience feel unnoticed. Constantly using crowd interactions with the music made it that much more special. Mathis held it down all night with his thick spastic bass lines that kept everyone bobbing their head through out the show. Two notable covers were the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” and The Flaming Lips, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1." Hollingsworth and the others were musically connected and on point throughout the entire evening. I honestly can’t say I’ve seen such a well rounded group feed off each others' energy as well as these guys have in quite some time. If on the spot improv is what tickles your fancy then I suggest seeking out the next Everyone Orchestra show in your area and strap on for one musical roller coaster that never ceases to amaze.

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