Music to Move You: Orgōne at Bear Creek 2014
While we are celebrating the Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival (of blessed memory), I would be remiss in not recalling the magnificence of California’s Orgōne, whose two sets during the 2014 (a final) edition were absolutely heart-stopping. These reviews of their two sets were cobbled together from several short reviews I posted on my Tie Your Shoes Reviews blog before I was drafted by MusicFestNews. I am thankful that both sets are available on archive.org (links provided) and that there is also ample video evidence of the power of this great band.
[NOTE: These three videos have some overlap. Fine by me!]
When I last saw Orgōne in January (2014) in Jacksonville (with the New Mastersounds and Monophonics, just before they jumped on the Jam Cruise), I was totally knocked out. Singer Adryon de León was great, band leader/guitarist/singer Sergio Rios was amazing, and the band was on the one, but for me the star was bassist Tim Glum. He owned the evening.
Fast-forward to Bear Creek day one on the Amphitheater Stage. This time, it was bassist Dale Jennings who stole the show (and the night)! You know how I feel about rhythm sections. If I never see another performer at Bear Creek impress me more than Jennings this night at the amphitheater, I will not be surprised. Wikipedia says “Orgōne energy is a hypothetical universal life force originally proposed in the 1930s by Wilhelm Reich.” For me, this band puts theory into practice!
For those who understand the reference, singer de León is a soul belter who reminds me of Candy Givens of Zephyr. She was lit up all evening, and Rios was superb and fun to watch. This was as great a funk performance as I have ever seen, and I’m going back to Sly, P-Funk, EW&F and Graham Central Station. This entire band just smokes!
When they hit “It’s Time Tonight,” I was beyond bliss, and the band just kept knocking out song after amazing song. These seem to be a bunch of new compositions, based on not seeing any of them on archive.org setlists as recent as August. “People Beyond The Sun,” “Keep the Fires Burning” and “Love is the Answer” were equally impressive.
[11.13.14: Meat Machine (new) > PsychoticBumpSchool (Bootsy Collins cover), Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Otis Redding cover), Losing You (new), Funky Nassau (The Beginning Of The End cover), Take You Higher (new), It’s Time Tonight, When Someone’s Love Is Real (new), It’s Serious (Cameo cover), Hot Karl, People Beyond The Sun (new), Don’t Stop, Strike (Union cover), Keep The Fire Burning (Gwen McCrae cover), Let Me Be Your Lovemaker (Betty Wright cover)]
Sandwiched in between the UM sets was a second night of Orgōne, this time on the Forest Stage. Given that I thought they owned Thursday, I definitely wanted another shot in the closer confines of the Forest Stage.
It was brilliant. Again. This was funk as good as it gets. Let me say that again. As good as it gets. Toward the end of the set, they played several of the superb new tunes they had unveiled the previous night. And bassist Dale Jennings was again THE MAN. Just incredible. I was hoping they would make “Time is Right,” the song I loved from Thursday most of all, the last song of the set.
And suddenly, Jennings, man of the match, was handing off his bass. Whaa?? Who would dare take the bass out of this man’s hands?
OK, if George Porter, Jr., wants to sit in, you let him sit in. After all, he IS King of Bear Creek. I certainly think so. When Sergio Rios hit those opening notes to “Ain’t No Use,” pandemonium erupted. Brought the house down, and my first tears of joy. Legendary. Just unreal. [Cannot lie. This video made me cry AGAIN while prepping this.]
[11.14.14: More, Califever, Can’t Buy Soul, Say Goodbye, Take You Higher, Dialed Up, Southern Man, Sabi, Sophisticated Honkey, People Beyond The Sun, Don’t Stop, Keep The Fire Burning, Ain’t No Use]