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04/08/2009 G. Love & Special Sauce, The Movement (Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall)

By Eric | April 9, 2009 7:52 pm

I’ve had various people tell me over the years that I really needed to check out G. Love & Special Sauce, either on albums or live. They always seemed to be one of those bands that I said, “Cool, I will”, and then never did for whatever reason. So after enough of that, coupled with being bored on a Wednesday night, coupled with Tiff being out of town for work, I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about. Total whim. I wandered downtown to Water Street, stood in line for about 10 minutes or so, and grabbed a beer while waiting for the openers. I ran into some friends from volleyball, so I had someone to chill with for the night as well!

The Movement were the openers, and they were a roots/reggae/hip-hop type of band. Kinda like Skindred but not nearly as hard. Having little experience with this type of music, I can say they kept me entertained, they sounded good, and the crowd seemed to appreciate them. The one singer/guitarist I swore could have easily been the leader of a RATM cover band. He kinda looked and really sounded like Zack at times. Anyways, they were pretty good.

After the requisite long wait, G. Love and his band came out. I’d only listened to a couple of clips on the web, so I was pretty much coming at this not knowing what I was in for. I’ve seen descriptions ranging from hip-hop/country mix to “lazy blues” and every other permutation thereof. It didn’t matter much. G. Love and his band are talented musicians whatever they’re playing, and kept it coming all night long. He can sing, he can rap, even a bit of beatboxing. I’m also forever impressed by bass players that play an upright, so they had that going for them also. Plus someone playing keyboard/organ, which also never hurts. Obviously as a G. Love neophyte, I knew a sum total of zero songs, but that didn’t matter either (No, not even Cold Beverage. Seriously.). As I remarked to my buddy Cory, this is the type of show that if someone didn’t have a good time, it’s their fault, because the band and 99% of the crowd were having a blast.

Speaking of the crowd, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect there either. A mix of your usual jam-band fans (Phish, Dead, Dave, etc.), and then the young college crowd. Considering G. Love has been playing for approximately 15 years, I thought the majority of the crowd would be older than it was. In any event, the peoplewatching was fun as always, especially when I’m in the back taking in the whole scene (as opposed to focusing solely on the band while up front). It was good tunes, good beers, and I’m glad I went.

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