Spafford Offers Debuts, Rarities, & Aliens For NYE Run [Full Audio/Photo]

first_imgLoad remaining images Spafford | Crescent Ballroom | Phoenix, AZ | 12/29-31/2017 | Photos: Ron Adelberg On the heels of a year of unprecedented growth in today’s jam scene, Spafford hosted a three-night hometown throwdown at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, Arizona, to ring in 2018. Selling out all three nights, the band’s energy and enthusiasm throughout the weekend were infectious. In addition to the group’s more standard fare, the group also treated fans to a handful of new debuts across the weekend, and in true Spafford form, the tunes frequently featured patient jams and an eclectic mix of Americana, rock, and reggae.Highlights from night one of the New Year’s Eve run included a first set chock full of major jam vehicles like “Virtual Bean Dip”, “Ain’t That Wrong”, and “Leave the Light On”. Set two started with the Spafford debut of Atlanta Rhythm Sections’ “So Into You”, which offered a tasty laid-back funk vibe before landing into a massive must-hear version of “Plans”.Setlist: Spafford | Crescent Ballroom | Phoenix, AZ | 12/29/2017Set One: See You [ 1 ], People, Virtual Bean Dip, Ain’t That Wrong, Leave The Light On, Radio [ 2 ]Set Two: So Into You [ 3 ], Plans, Todd’s Tots, Mad World, America > The RepriseEncore: Mind’s Unchained[ 1 ]: First Time Played[ 2 ]: First Time Played[ 3 ]: First Time Played[Audio: Taper Troy]Night two saw the band firing on all cylinders as they ran through classic numbers played frequently during 2017. One highlight of the night was a must-listen jam during the recently debuted Andrew “Red” Johnson-penned “My Road (My Road)”. The set also saw the debut of another new song, Brian Moss original “Night After Night”—a raging reggae dance party that lead the set to a fiery close.Set two, the band opened up with another first-time-played cover with the 80’s metal classic “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger. The improvisation in night two’s second set stands up against anything the band played in 2017. The instrumental “Bee Jam” saw the band explore several different themes before landing into a buttery smooth segue into “Walls”. Next up was the Jordan Fairless-lead “Lonely”, which was taken to a completely new dimension. A stirring emotional debut version of “Tuesday’s Gone” led the night to an epic conclusion.Setlist: Spafford | Crescent Ballroom | Phoenix, AZ | 12/30/2017Set One: Shake You Loose, The Remedy, My Road (My Road), Catfish John, It’s A Bunch > On Fire, Night After NightSet 2: Sister Christian, Backdoor Funk, All My Friends > Bee Jam > Walls, Lonely, The PostmanEncore: Tuesday’s Gone[Audio: Taper Troy]The anticipation of NYE was extremely evident as the crowd waiting for the band to take the stage on 12/31. Dubbed the Electrofunk Ball by a fan-led campaign, there was a truly festive atmosphere as everyone was eager to celebrate. The band rose to the occasion, with a night that the fans have been raving about to start 2018.In the first set, the band debuted a coupling of new music in the form of “Lovesick Melody” > “Soil”. This brand new rocker was infectious as it gave way to the funky instrumental to follow. The groove landed right in the pocket, and the crowd energy throughout the venue was explosive. Set two started with the only-twice-played “Steak Sauce” before transitioning into the fan-favorite “Salamander Song”, which built to a ferocious peak and the ending sing-a-long refrain of “dancing the whole way home”.Next up, it was time to see what the band had in store for the big ball drop, and they lit the venue on fire. Dropping into a heavy funk groove with its monster bassline and dirty drum beat, the band then turned to guitarist Brian Moss as he laid into the talkbox-led melody of the Eagles classic “Those Shoes”. Marking the first time the talk box has been used on the Spafford stage, it was an extremely welcome new tone. Jordan Fairless took over the Don Henley vocals with his smooth and scratchy voice, and the energy was once again explosive.Dropping into a minor key psychedelic spacey jam, the band launched into the only once previously played “Aliens” with its dark psychedelia and “aliens are coming” chant, and the crowd was treated to an impressive display of giant 10-foot alien inflatables, alien balloons, and confetti, creating quite a vibe to bring in 2018 with Spafford. The show concluded with heavy hitters “All In” and “Electric Taco Stand”.When all was said and done, the weekend served as yet another reminder of Spafford’s ever-growing presence. You can check out photos from the show below, courtesy of Ron Adelberg.Setlist: Spafford | Crescent Ballroom | Phoenix, AZ | 12/31/2017Set One: Slip And Squander, Windmill, In The Eyes Of Thieves, Feel Like A Stranger, Lovesick Melody [ 1 ] > Soil [ 2 ]Set Two: Steak Sauce > Salamander Song, Those Shoes [ 3 ] > Aliens > Auld Lang Syne > All In, Levilan ShoresEncore: Space Gadget, Electric Taco Stand[ 1 ]: First Time Played w/Full Band[ 2 ]: First Time Played[ 3 ]: First Time Played[Audio: Taper Troy]last_img

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