Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Live Review: Roses Grove Band 11/23/18 @ St. Vitus Brooklyn, NY

Roses Grove Band
11/23/18 St. Vitus Brooklyn, NY

The heavy metal club St. Vitus in Brooklyn was transformed for a private party (on Black Friday of all days) as tons of physical of roses was arraigned to augment the skulls which are always on display in the dark venue. Playing host to some of the owners close friends the club welcomed a completely different vibe than normal on this night as the Hampton's based Roses Grove Band took the stage to display two strong sets of their versions of Grateful Dead tunes; Skulls and Roses indeed.

The five piece on this night, Chuck Gallanti lead guitar, Nick Epstein, guitar/vocals, Ben Chaleff bass/vocals, Matt Lasurdo keys/vocals, Adrian Mullins drums, started with a fluid easy jam as the crowd mingled around the vegetarian spread by the bar and slowly filtered into the main room as "Jack Straw" kicked into gear. The tune got multiple inspired solos from Gallanti as it was extended and served as the perfect opener before an upbeat "Sugar Magnolia" brought the crowd fully into the mix. The following "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire On The Mountain" pairing and transition received excellent keyboard and drum work getting everyone up and shimmying as the night burned bright. 
The highlight of the whole evening arrived next as the band launched into "China Cat Sunflower" where Chaleff took lead vocals as Roses Grove Band displayed more grooving meat on the bone then the majority of lighter Dead versions as the players locked in and jammed before moving to the climatic "I Know You Rider". The triumphant pair delighted with both big breaks and delicate intricate playing. 

RGB kept the crowd moving with a lighter "Eyes of the World" and while "Terrapin Station" is always a mega song, most of the crowd took the time to relax and chat with friends before a set closing "Franklin's Tower" brought everyone back to dance floor via grooving bass runs and more killer guitar solos from Gallanti in the vein of Garcia.

A long break found the crowd smiling brightly before a winding jam started the music back up and lead into the funky segment of the show as "Shakedown Street" kick started the second set. The song was expertly paired with the slow funk of "West L.A. Fadeaway" (Did the Dead ever connect these two? They should have) before "The Wheel" and "Playing In the Band" pairing which unfortunately had a more bumps in the road then any tunes before them, however a pulsing "Casey Jones" immediately righted the ship via strong drum work from Mullins.

After an intro from the birthday boy the band started "St. Stephen" and they would spend the rest of the set weaving the tune in and out of the remainder of the songs. "Cryptical Envelopment" and "That's It For The Other One" contained ringing riffs and deep bass respectively with a tease of "Throwing Stones" and a "St. Stephan" reprise.

Twinkling keyboard work from Lasurdo and excellent vocals from Epstein made the closing usual rockers "Not Fade Away" and "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad" more dream-like then hard blues but the crashing "St Stephan" reprise once again came back to finish the strong show.

While the band was truly clicking during the first set the second set was more adventurous and with unique pairings. Any Grateful Dead fan who has the chance to catch Roses Grove Band should, the group powerfully showcases interactive live skills with a clear love of the originals and skills to go beyond. 
Support the band, catch them live and peep some video below:

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