Nobody puts on a Monday night Dead night like Funk n’ Waffles downtown Syracuse. Nobody! Monday, January 30th was a capper, as they brought in Marco Benevento to headline a show opened by Dead night house band Pearly Baker’s Best. Marco is no stranger to extended Grateful Dead family. He agreed to open his Winter tour in Syracuse January 30th, and his performance was off the hook.
The show opened with a full set of Grateful Dead music by Pearly Baker’s Best. They are one of the area’s premium Grateful Dead tribute bands and can be found hosting every Monday night Dead night at Funk n’ Waffles. They played a great set that began with “Feel Like a Stranger,” followed by “Promised Land” and a good “Help-Slip-Franklins.” Their versions of “Playin’ in the Band” and “Let It Grow” contained some hearty exploration, as well as “Throwing Stones” and a final “Not Fade Away.” If there was any disappointment in Pearly Baker’s set, it was merely the fact that Marco didn’t even sit in on one Grateful Dead classic. I’m pretty sure everyone in the house was hoping he would join for at least one song.
None the less, any disappointment was quickly squashed as soon as Marco hit the stage with his band, featuring long time drummer Andy Borger and the ever smiling Karina Rykman on bass. Marco began his headline performance with “The Story of Fred Short,” the multi-section concept song featured on Marco’s most recent studio album that was released last year. The first sections of the song were plagued by a “farty” sound in the house mix, which Marco quickly overcame. It didn’t take him long to sink into the groove and the right mood. He even took a walk through the crowd during “I Can’t See the Lights.”
They shared a brand new song that night that they just finished writing and had never performed live thus far. Not sure what the name was. If I were to guess, I’d say the song was called “I Like It Like That.” It was a super fun tune and as awesome as anything he creates. The show kept building and building into an overflowing dance party, culminating with the booty shaking favorites, “Limbs of a Pine” and “Dropkick,” before the final dance crazed encore of the live favorite “At the Show.”
Want a little taste of what it was like? Pick up a copy of Marco’s brand new live album, Woodstock Sessions, when it is released next week, on February 17th.
Read our review of Woodstock Sessions HERE
Author: George DiFabio
Photography: Jerrie DiFabio