The Mike Dillon Band • Salvage Station • May 18, 2017

I arrived at the venue early and had the pleasure of hanging out with local AVL drummer Claude Coleman Jr. of Ween and The Mike Dillon Band, weirdos, doppelgängers, and a friend who was down and out. I said to my friend, “Maybe you’ll find a hundred dollars on the ground!” Just a few songs into the set, Mike bursts into his own song “Maybe you’ll find 100 dollars on the ground!” (which I had previously not heard… I swear!) Synchronicity was in the air, and similar life stories and duplicated local plot lines in conversation with the doppelgängers, made it obvious this concert was an AVL “Westworld” hub! Whaaaat? What do these cats sound like? This band is like an acid trip with punk rockers at an amusement park. Picture cartoon circus elephants blowing their trunks in unison, side-to-side, with looney musical jazz accompaniment. Picture crazy clowns escaping the asylum to mass percussion. Part jazz concert with vibraphone, part raging and “Primus / Fantomas-like”, with spoken-word stories that reminisce of The Dead Milkmen and even Frank Zappa. Annnnd I can’t help but think of Iggy Pop during the new cut “Iggy Iggy!” off their newest album release (it’s off the charts!) So many great influences, and such an original sound. Headliner Karl Denson made a guest appearance mid-set on some swinging jazz, belting it out on the sax. Claude Coleman Jr. obliterates on the drums, he is a machine, we love you Claude! Just when the music gets too heavy to handle, it calms at just the right moment, and morphs into hilarious ecstasy. “Is today National Viking Day?” Mike asked the crowd… A super fun story about how Mike went to a Grateful Dead concert and tripped out too hard was the icing on the cake of this perfect set of live music and psychedelic comedy. I love this band, this was super fun, do not miss them when they come to your town. Thank you!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography by Libby Gamble Photography

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe feat. Melvin Seals • Salvage Station • May 18, 2017

Multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson brought his authentic blend of funk and jazz to AVL’s Salvage Station this past Thursday night, along with Melvin Seals of The Jerry Garcia Band fame as 2nd keyboard player. Denson has played with Lenny Kravitz and helped form The Greyboy All-Stars. He has also extensively toured with The Rolling Stones, whom they covered tonight with a tasty rendition of “Tumbling Dice.” Tonight Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe consisted of Alan Evans (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), David Veith (keys), Chris Littlefield (trumpet), and Seth Freeman (guitar). The Universe expanded beautifully with the addition of opener Mike Dillon adding a new vibration of percussion to the already solid rhythmic landscape, and Melvin Seals spinning his own brand of funky B-3 magic. Although Karl previously announced that he doesn’t play much Dead in his live set, the band went into a smooth version of The Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” which had everyone in the crowd grinning ear-to-ear.  The Station was packed with friendly dancing heads who were twirling and flowing to the spirit of the music  — and the spirit was alive and well.

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family with Libby Gamble

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography