You’ve already seen some of the stellar Aaron Fortin photos and recaps from this year’s High Sierra Music Festival, but one set that I saw (among many others) needed to really be highlighted on its own. Any one reading this site knows we have a certain tendency towards musical projects that involve some combination of either Marco Benevento, Stanton Moore, Skerik or Mike Dillon, and when the always-supergroup known as Garage a Trois gets together on stage there’s something magical that just seems to happen.
Maybe time fades a bit for me because I can respect all of their talents on a level of that of a wannabe musician and long time music fan so I know their sound pretty well, or maybe I can respect the Skerik and Mike Dillon hard-charging punk rock antics, or maybe I can respect how hard Stanton slams his drumset when he plays with this project, or just how experimental and weird Marco Benevento starts to get with his rig…. no matter what part of the group I’m focused on, I’m beyond transfixed and impressed. Every. single. time.
And this show was just better than before…somehow.
Earlier in the year I saw the band play the LMB NOLA presents show at One Eyed Jacks during Jazz Fest, and the exhaustion of the week had set in for the band resulting in one of the funnier and sloppier sets I’ve ever seen them play. At one point I actually saw Marco Benevento get summoned from Stanton mid jam and being asked to count out the “1” for Stanton…. he actually lost the beat. I’ve never seen him do that before, and it just blew me away in a great way — these guys get on stage and challenge each other through some of the best space rock jazz funk you’ll ever see. And Jazz Fest was obviously part of that show vibe and we had a great time there…. but it wasn’t the strongest musically in a few ways.
Something about this High Sierra set just clicked for everyone I was with; it was 90 minutes of everything I love about live music. At first we saw songs like “Omar” makes obvious early appearances, which rips every single time it’s play. And other tracks like “Earl Harvin” and “Fragile” just tore through the Vaudeville Tent with ease…. everyone in this crowd seemed to be feeling this energy big time.
Skerik was, too… and Marco had to exorcise the demons from him at one point before the show could go on!
The show ended with a raucous run through of Ween’s “It’s Gonna to be a Long Night” with Mike Dillon taking off his shirt and exclaiming “he wanted to climb something” or something like that. He hopped on his amp and then took a heroic punk rock jump off of it, which somehow I captured. Then Stanton took off his shirt too…
Easily the best set I saw at High Sierra. Check out photos from me and also our good friend @PeteLikesMusic below…