Ice Petal Flowers @ The Klub 45 Room at Connolly’s Times Square

August 26 2016

Written by: Gary Blicksilver    Photo Credit: Sharon Budman

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Strangers Stopping Strangers

When I first got on Facebook, I probably did what many others before me had done – reconnect with people from my past.   Some were by my reaching out; some were by theirs.   Some looked the same; some almost like strangers – a safe bet I had no idea how I looked to them!  In time though, I thought I might like to “meet” some new friends…different friends and certainly friends of their friends.

One such connection cycle led me to Dave Fuller, lead guitarist for the relatively new (founded Spring 2015) Grateful Dead tribute band Ice Petal Flowers.  Regarding the term “tribute” – I don’t care for it much.  These bands interpret their chosen music no differently than symphony orchestras take on Beethoven or Mozart.

With old friend and newest member Lane Steinberg on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Van Ophuijsen on bass, Kevin Uehlinger on keyboard and youngest member Adrian Mullins on drums, the band performed at The Klub 45 Room at Connolly’s Times Square this past Friday night.

Check out the full gallery of photos here.

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Before the show, I had the opportunity to talk with the boys about what led them all to this place.  Some things you should know about Ice Petal Flowers:

  • Dave takes the nuts and bolts – the technical aspects of how the Dead created their sound, and balances it with a desire to emulate, but NOT perfectly recreate note for note what came before. Kevin added, improvisation WAS the Dead – they never played the same song, the same way, twice.
  • A 14-year-old Lane heard “Dark Star” and it was reminiscent of the first time he heard the Beatles – a seismic shift away from what was.
  • Adrian articulated on the concept of the jam band formula – there is no right or wrong.
  • Chris started playing the bass in his 20’s, went on hiatus for another 20 years only recently picking it up again for this project.

The band opened up with the earliest of Dead songs, “Beat it On Down the Line”.  The nearly 2 hour set didn’t get much past 1975’s Blues for Allah, with a fine rendition of “Franklin’s Tower” followed by “Promised Land”.  An excellent “China>Rider” with a bridge that reminded me of my first Dead show in ’79, led into “Truckin'” and a beautiful “Eyes of the World”.  While my friend was busy taking pictures, I tapped her and said you’re missing the best shot – my smile!

The “Playing in the Band” hit all the jam markers of the original studio and live versions.  “Tennessee Jed”, “Not Fade Away” and “US Blues” rounded out the night’s pre-encore selections.

But as the clock went past midnight, and the band was still on fire, and the small but Dead-loyal crowd kept begging for more, Ice Petal Flowers went deep into the proverbial vault and delivered a stunning Dark Star > The Other One > Morning Dew.  This triple was a bases-loaded home run (hey – it’s still baseball season!).

Back to the whole friends of friend’s concept…imagine strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their hand, and Ice Petal Flowers keeps on playing in their band!

To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.