Lucky Costello, a quartet from Jacksonville, plays “Organic-Electro Fusion,” and they play it really well. I heard them for the first time at AURA Music & Arts Festival 2014; they had the opening set Sunday morning, and they were tremendous.
They had a fabulous set at last summer’s Reunion: Campout Concert Series, also at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. Their trance-dance-y set was perfect in that setting, and they killed it once again with the opening set at this year’s AURA (the last one!).
Lucky Costello had the closing at Roosevelt Collier’s Summer Splashdown at the end of July, but we had to leave before they played, so I promised myself — and them — “Next time.”
Next time turned out to be September 2 at Dunedin Brewery. There was heavy competition that night — The Heavy Pets were playing in Tampa! But I was determined to hear a full night of Lucky Costello. I know the Pets knocked it out, but the Jax Four had a spectacular night themselves.
They introduced themselves to a good crowd with a great long bouncing jam, the first portion of their tune “Streetwalker.” The music continued as guitarist Gerry Raimondo introduced the rest of the band and announced the next tune, “Vulgar Waltz.” Which was half right; it was a waltz, for sure, but it wasn’t vulgar at all.!As they jammed this through the roof, I said to myself, “THIS is why I came!”
Next up in the all-instrumental jamtronic funk parade was a Notorious B.I.G. tune, “Big Poppa,” with the tempo slowed down from the rollicking waltz. “Natalie’s Song,” another original, hit Disco Biscuits territory with that perfect drum propulsion courtesy of Jeremiah Bacolor.
For this set, keyboard wizard Bill Begley was set up front and center with racks set up on his left and right, piloting the spaceship. On MJ’s “Don’t Stop,” he was pumping synthesizer sounds similar to those Jamie Shields of The New Deal uses, and it was superb.
The first long set closed with “Freedom 35.” Gerry explained it was about being able to retire at 35. There were flashes of STS9 and Phish in the jam, but make no mistake: Lucky Costello is the real deal, and they will trance you right into space.
Set two opened with killer jamtronic goodness, a tune titled “Moneypenny.” A magnificent disco-funk jam ensued, a medley of “Jungle Boogie” and “Give Up the Funk.” Gerry was getting some great sounds from his pedal effects, and brother Jeff Raimondo was absolutely blowing it up on bass. All night.
During “Capone,” another great jamtronic romp, Begley used a beautiful effect that made the keyboard sound like… glass! He had used it in the first set as well. This tune was hot! Then they kept the dancers happy with a knock-out “Do You Think I’m Sexy?”
“Hustle the Rabbit” was just ridiculous, shades of Steve Molitz and Particle, grooving so hard. Then out spilled some serious prog rock with “Cryptid Creatures.” This was hammer time! WOW!
Gerry announced “one last long one,” and he was right, a 20-minute opus that began with The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” eventually segueing to the ending of “Streetwalker,” bringing the show full circle. Bacalor was a monster, pushing the beat both sets in lockstep with Jeff.
And it never hurts to have an excellent soundman at the board; Chris Fama nailed another one!
If you dig jamtronica and electronic instrumental music with superb originals and imaginative covers, you owe it to yourself to check out Lucky Costello. (If you go to a show, maybe their go-go dancer will be there!)
Find much more information on their official website: http://www.luckycostello.com/
You can find their music on Bandcamp: https://luckycostello.bandcamp.com/ and on Soundcloud:
Photographs by kind permission of Chris Sgammato of Displace!
[LUCKY COSTELLO 1: Streetwalker (unfinished) > Vulgar Waltz, Big Poppa, Natalie’s Song, Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough, Freedom 35; 2: Moneypenny, Jungle Boogie > Give Up the Funk > Jungle Boogie, Capone, If You Think I’m Sexy, Hustle the Rabbit, Cryptid Creatures, Can’t Feel My Face > Streetwalker (ending)]
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