Mountain Park hosted a fundraiser on July 21, 2012, which will forever remain in my mind. It featured four tribute bands, The Rum Runners, Changes in Latitude, The Machine and Get The Led Out. These talented artists came together to offer the spotlight not on themselves, but on all people and their families getting treatment for cancer. The benefit was to support the Jimmy Fund , Dana Farber Institute , Allie's Five O'Clock Fund .These programs, and the families they serve, were the rock stars that night. I felt great about attending this event. What I didn't expect, however, was to witness the impact of these programs on the children who are fighting cancer. Day after day, often for years, these kids are being challenged to endure evaluations, treatments and long hospital stays. The warm summer evening and fun party crowd was perfect to lift the spirits of cancer survivors and their families, while hopefully, adding some funds to the agencies whose mission we may not pay attention to, unless someone in our circle needs them.
The Machine delivered Pink Floyd close to the original, with their own persona, which instantly engaged the crowd.
Joe came out on stage and elegantly said, "We're The Machine. We're from New York City. We're gonna play Pink Floyd music for you."
"... later, another band will play Led Zeppelin ..." Some of the fans in this laid back barefoot crowd jokingly grumbled, because they had traveled several hours, just to see The Machine.
The members of The Machine include founding members Joe Pascarell (guitar, vocals) and Tahrah Cohen (drums), and long time stagemates Ryan Ball (bass, vocals) and Scott Chasolen (keys, vocals).
What impressed me about the Machine set and how quickly they captured this crowd were a few things. First, this four piece talented crew were tightly coordinated, talented musicians, using precise harmonies.
Fans approached me during the show to make sure I got photos of the drummer, Tara. "She's a girl!" a fan screamed, as she was amazingly on cue and tackled the complicated drum and percussion sequences of Floyd without flaw. "She rocks!" "Who is she?" "Nice job drummer!" came shouts from the crowd, over and over again. She rocked it back and forth with the lead, timing each other, classic!
The keyboard and bass players were meticulously timed and added their own subtle intricacies to the originals, as well as offering vocals. At times, there was a focused look on Scott's face, he knew what was ahead, musically, and that the crowd would love it, as this show took off!
The guitar offered metal slides and quieted the crowd at times, one fan tapped me on the shoulder demanding that I put my notebook and pen away, "You gotta feel it!" he said.
The most striking thing about the interaction between the members of the Machine and the crowd were the Joe, the lead vocalists' FACES. His faces were spot on, in tune with the music, in response to this very active crowd, and through his expressions, he told the Floyd Wall stories all over again.
"Which one is pink?" offered a snickered wide eyed face to the crowd, who cheered for more.
"Mother should I trust the government?" Raises his eyebrows and the crowd yells, "NO!"
"Mother do you think she's good enough ... for me?"
"Mother would she tear your little boy apart?"
He started looking at the crowd, scanning their faces. He looked at every fan as they were singing and looking back. This band wanted to 'know' us and they love what they do. "Where Were You?" while tears fly from my window watching, coming back to life.
"Usually when we play shows, it's really dark. It's really awesome to see all of your faces when we play." "And I don't think I'm over stepping my bounds by saying you're all very good looking!"
"I would like you to sing along, it will feel good!" ("Do You Think You Can Tell"),
Joe lead the crowd with this amazing band into the zone of appreciating the Dark Side of the Moon again. The Machine is top notch in musicianship, entertainment and transmits talent on its own that would make fans want to return to see their set again and again.
They opened with "Have A Cigar," and moved on to the album, Meddle, playing, "Fearless." "Money," came complete with change sounds. The change in the keys, almost gave it a reggae vibe, at one point, the leader said, 'give it up for Scott!' and slowed it down a bit too. Airplane noises hailed, "We Don't Need No Education." And Joe kept his head still, making the 'crazy voice ...' Brilliant! The crowd was movin and groovin. Vox box, wha wha pedal, nothing was left out of the set tonight. And we all sang along, knowing where to find "my favorite ax." Comfortably Numb" brought back memories and a feeling of unity with this crowd, the tearing solo really made you understand that they did feel every note.
They broke for encore, 'Thank you very much, Good Night!" And someone from the crowd yelled, "You ain't going no where!"
With the crowd screaming, "One of These Days" and "We Love You," Scott came out with his keyboards, which were smooth as glass, putting a contemporary spin on these classic songs.
These folded into screaching guitar work, the band members nodding to each other, laughing and smiling at themselves, while giving the energy back to the crowd. "Breaking down your door, you better run!" The set reminded us to dream again of what psychedelic rock was meant to be.
This Mountain Park concert was to benefit cancer research, with proportional proceeds going to the
To see photos of this entire event click here.
The reviews of the other bands in the line-up are below:
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