On the eve of Halloween and in the wake of the Frankenstorm, Page McConnell and The Meter Men (comprising 75% of the original lineup of The Meters – nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2013) hit Boston’s Royale Theatre for the first stop on their four night east-coast mini-tour. As the band walked on stage, McConnell was joined by George Porter Jr., on Bass, Zigaboo Modeliste on Drums, and Leo Nocentelli on Guitar. From the first note of “Fire on the Bayou,” it was clear that the Meter Men were ready to stage an old fashion Off-Bourbon New Orleans funk throwdown.
The Boston crowd was clearly amped up for the return of The Meter Men and loved the call and response interplay between band and audience on several first set songs including “Africa.” Being the night before Halloween, many fans in attendance were wearing fun and festive costumes, including a pair of female referees who were riding the rail.
The costumed pair were throwing out yellow penalty flags filled with candy and at one point in the night a flag was throw at Page (which he caught and put in his shirt pocket) for being too damn funky. The band loved it, and George Porter, Jr., announced the penalty to the audience like they do at football games.
After a short setbreak, during which almost the entire audience took a walk outside for some fresh air and a little mood enhancing The Meter Men took the stage for the second set. Without missing a beat, the second set flowed straight into the funk and you could tell that the band members were having as much fun as the audience, if not more! Page played almost the entire evening with a smile on his face as he scanned the dancing crowd and picked up on the energy of the room.
After a smoking a second set, Page and Leo returned to the stage for the beginning of “Ain’t No Use.” They were later joined by George and Zigaboo to finish out the song and the night. The buzzing Boston crowd cheered for the band, hugged and high-fived each other and slowly dispersed into the crisp fall night.
In summary, Page and the Meter Men is a another Phish side project success and one that I hope influences the band’s jams during the upcoming NYE run at MSG. If you have the ability to see them on this short tour, do it!
SETLIST: The Meter Men w/ Page McConnell in Boston, MA 10/30/12
Set I: Fire on the Bayou, Cissy Strut/Cardova (medley), Look a Py Py, Africa, Pungee, The Dragon, Hey Pocky Way
Set II: The Hand Clapping Song, The World, You’ve Gotta Change (You’ve Got To Reform), Just Kissed My Baby, This Is My Last Affair, Chug a Lug, People Say
Encore: Ain’t No Use
Remaining Tour Dates:
10/31 BB King Blues Club, NY, NY
11/1 BB King Blues Club, NY, NY
11/2 Howard Theatre, Washington, DC