In the past, if you’d asked me who my favorite performers were, I could have given you a top 5 or top 10, in some semblance of order. More recently, however, I have seen and heard a number of truly outstanding musical performances, to the point where all I can say is: in the moment, this is as good as it gets. I can list 10 or 15 bands who have delivered truly transcendent shows, and I can honestly not distinguish among them.
The Lee Boys, for me, reached new heights last fall and consistently deliver heavenly music – in more ways than one. Shak Nasti is the consummate power trio, all three members constantly driving each other nightly through funk, jazz, and rock. Bogus Pomp, the Zappa tribute band, has always been internationally regarded, but they were absolutely stratospheric in a recent performance including originals and a stunning reading of “21st Century Schizoid Man” in additional to their usual treats.
Which brings us to CopE, an incredible quartet from the Tampa area. They are heading out on a much-deserved national tour, launched by a pair of shows at the Ringside in St. Pete. As great as I thought the dozen shows I’d seen before were, their Saturday show was a quantum leap beyond. Everything clicked. For starts, the sound was PERFECT. At first, bassist Kenny Stadelman stood out, playing from another galaxy, I think. Then I honed in on Juanjamon, whose tenor sax work was better than ever, and that was overshadowed by his awesome keyboards. Then came the realization that Dave Gerulat’s time on the traps was impeccable. Dennis Stadelman was killing it on guitar, and I saw this was truly an all-star effort.
Get your ass out to see CopE when they visit your area, and be sure to check out these great Florida bands and more including Bride of Chaotica, Burnin’ Smyrnans, the Heavy Pets, Infinite Groove Orchestra and J2K.
Am I a cheerleader? You bet! I have a vested interested in great music!