Show Reviews

    Splintered Sunlight at the 8×10-April 1st, 2017

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    Splintered Sunlight - photo by Karl McWherter
    Splintered Sunlight - photo by Karl McWherter

    Splintered Sunlight

    The 8×10, Baltimore, MD

    April 1, 2017

    Story by Ryan Burbey

    Photos by Karl McWherter Photography

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    From the YouTube channel of sromeo55:

    On Saturday, April 1st, Splintered Sunlight rocked into Baltimore putting on an epic show laden with Grateful Dead favorites from all four decades of the songbook.  If you were lucky enough to catch their soundcheck, you got a preview of some of the songs coming up.  The show began with “Shakedown [Street].”  While the bass was not quite as assertive as I like, the song was nearly perfect.  “Minglewood Blues,” “Bertha> Passenger,” “Brown Eyed Women,” “Me and My Uncle> Mexicali Blues” followed each tune was performed to perfection but not in a bullshit, note-for-note fashion.  It is clear this band is breathing the same rarified air of improvisation that the Grateful Dead summoned.  The “Blow Away,” “Money For Gasoline> Might as Well” sequence was absolutely stunning to end the first set.  “Money for Gasoline” echoed strains of Bobby at his best but with a unique splash reminiscent of Jerry’s dripping 90’s guitar melding with Brent’s key-pounding grooves and spot on harmonies.  Who the hell does not love rousing “Might as Well” set closer? 

    The second set was more of the same.  Splintered Sunlight is not just a cover band.  These boys are rockin’ their asses off.  They may not have written the songs but they play them like they own them. “Iko-Iko” and “Samson and Delilah” kicked things off after the break.  The orchestration was more reminiscent of the high-energy 90’s versions than disco 70’s takes.

    Flawless renditions of these Dead staples were a prelude to a transcendental “Foolish Heart,” “Lost Sailor> St of Circumstance> Black Peter” sequence.  The “Sugar Mag[nolia]> Sunshine Daydream” and the “Keep Your Day Job” encore were a fitting end to a show that was a flashback the Grateful Dead unhinging the doors of the Spectrum.

    I have seen Splintered Sunlight several times before and have always enjoyed them.  I can remember seeing them at the Bank in Baltimore in the ’90s.  I all but forgot until Saturday that Splintered Sunlight used to play free concerts in the lot at the Spectrum. Ah the good ole days of the Disco Bus, dancing, and honest fun.  Good Grateful Dead music outside of the real deal was hard to find back then.  After Jerry died, bands like Splintered helped to fill the void.  Seeing them now, it is clear that they have not been just wasting time for the past 25 years.  They have honed their chops into an immersive, compelling group who play serious music.  No foolin’- check out Splintered Sunlight when you get a chance.

    From the YouTube channel of Erik Grubbs:

    To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at lmnandr@gmail.com

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