The Everyone Orchestra 11.15.13
The Oriental Theater
Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)
Everyone Orchestra Live at Oriental Theater on November 15, 2013.
In 2005, I had the incredible experience of performing at an open mic with a backing band of Scott Law, Tye North, and Matt Butler at Horning's Hideout. To this day, it is one of my favorite experiences I've ever had. Since then, I have seen each of the above perform in various projects. The one I have seen most often... Matt Butler's Everyone Orchestra. Basically, Butler has traveled around the country organizing jam sessions. Often he's played at festivals and simply pulled from the available musicians. Other times, he has hand picked musicians to hit the road and let it all fly. This past Friday night at the Oriental, he pulled together Furthur's John K. and Sunshine Garcia Becker, Particle's Steve Molitz, ALO's Lebo and Steve Adams, Elephant Revival's Bridget Law, the Disco Biscuit's Allen Aucoin, and the Euforquestra Horns. Those brave souls volunteered to follow Matt Butler's whimsy.
Steve Molitz has always been a monster behind the keys. His ability to mesh with anything from rock and roll to searing electronica was impressive. I'm accustomed to a Molitz dance party, but he showed his versatility by tearing up the Dead covers and jams. I have enjoyed seeing Molitz play every time I've seen him in the last 5 years. Stellar musicianship. He occasionally picked up the energy singlehandedly and kept the improvisations from falling flat. Allen Aucoin was another standout. His drumming went far outside the womp-tronica I expected from a Bisco drummer. I have enjoyed some electronica, but the key for me was variance. Allen proved he had the skills to keep it fresh all night. Though the jams occasionally dipped dance-party, it was mostly a groovy, organic, natural sounding night. He was versatile, metronomic, and inspired... all I could ask for in a drummer.
Of the many different configurations of EO I have seen, this one was remarkably consistent throughout the evening. Sure, they dropped a groove or two, had a tough start here or there, but on the whole, I enjoyed 90% of everything they played. In fact, the one jam I was disappointed with picked up and took off within a few minutes (way to go Molitz!) and rarely lost speed through the end of the show. Everyone Orchestra delivered a unique, exciting, and inspired show at the Oriental. The confidence, ability, and bravery of each of the players was truly amazing. Matt Butler's ability to direct such musicians in interesting and entertaining ways was almost as remarkable as his ability to get the crowd to participate. The major thing I took away from it was that it takes special people to make the Everyone Orchestra work. It takes the immensely talented musicians and the tremendously adventurous listeners.
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