I saw a fantastic show at the Executive Surf Club featuring Donavon Frankenreiter, John Craigie, The Mammoths, and Rich Lockhart on February 21, 2019. Let's dive right in and review the sets!
Rich Lockhart Band - First I need to point out that Rich Lockhart is a damn good guitarist. That much was made apparent pretty early on. The band was musically tight and vocally strong. They also engaged the audience extremely well throughout their set. There was a twinge of 90's nostalgia to their style of music that I dug and many in the crowd were into as well. One of the moments of the night came when Rich Lockhart left the stage and went into the crowd promising he'd "Be back with us" and proceeded to lay a sick guitar solo in the crowd. It really engaged the audience.
The Mammoths - The Mammoths played some lighter tracks for their set to fit the Corpus vibe as well as to better accompany John Craigie and Donavon Frakenreiter, who play on the very light side of alt. They also played quite a bit of new music from their upcoming record, (which I'm told has work done on 10 tracks thus far). They opened with new tracks to me that had been played on the road before, one of which was titled "Green Eyes". It featured fantastic harmonies and some killer solos from Michael Jekot, Lead Guitarist. There were also several moments in the newer tracks where Tyler Rush's bass was heavily emphasized, as a former bassist, I dig it.
David Kapsner did not have his keyboard with him for this set which was sad, but he did a fantastic job vocally and on the rhythm guitar throughout. A special shout out goes out to Tim Duran on Drums and Back Vocals who busted his ass during The Mammoths set. I really loved the drum sections in the new stuff. It was complex, it was on point, and Tim killed it. The group debuted a new song called "Slow Burn" that the crowd ate up and it was a straight banger. I will say this set has me excited for their new record. The crow also really got into The Mammoths set, they have a way of winning over crowds with their energy.
John Craigie - John Craigie took the stage with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and I will admit just after hearing two full bands perform, I had my reservations. Craigie quickly put those to rest, as his set was so strong. He's so strong on the guitar and harmonica that you quickly underrate his vocals. If I had to comp him, I would say Bob Dylan, which is not a comp I make lightly, he has a sound and he knows how to work it. He's witty on stage and in his songs gets the audience engaged through laughter with songs such as "I Wrote 'Mr. Tambourine Man'". He did exceptionally well with his set.
Donavon Frankenreiter - Donavon Frankenreiter had everyone in the audience on their feet dancing. There was something instantly approachable about the man as he walked through the middle of the crowd to get on stage. Something that instantly stuck out to me is how much of an underrated guitar player Frankenreiter is, he's great. His band was exceptionally tight just hammering away tune after tune to the delight of the crowd. It also warrants mentioning that his harmonica player is fantastic. After Frankenreiter had played for a while, he began asking the crowd what they wanted to hear, which I thought was pretty cool. So while they may have had some loose set, they were willing to bend it quite a bit to take requests.