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Bee and Wig Party - Pre-Phish Get Down

My first Phish experience is not limited to my first time seeing Phish. I had lots of other firsts too. It was my first time in the Sky Bridge at Madison Square Garden, which was life changing. It was the first time I ever pre-booked my parking, which was also life changing although I still had to pay $5 more because my car is enormous. It was my first time hitting up American Beauty for a beer and a show.

American Beauty is my kind of place. The beer is all very good. It's not easy to find a decent craft stout in the middle of the summer on tap anywhere, and they had one front and center on their chalk board. Yeah, the prices are a little high, but you do get a ticket to this enchanted land upstairs where a gentleman is busy making fresh thin crust pizzas all day. Not nasty frozen bar pies (not that those are not delicious when you are half in the bag) but real, fresh made in a real pizza oven pizzas that you can watch him make. You get one with every single beer you buy. He was super nice too, and you should tip him.

It really is just as magical as it sounds at American Beauty.

But I was here for a higher purpose than beer and pizza (if that actually exists) and that was to check out Bee and Wig Party. In a span of weeks loaded with Phish after party shows, I was pretty excited to be checking out a pre-party. It's a really great atmosphere inside the venue, and even when it's full of people, it just didn't seem too stuffy.

As I get further into the jam scene, I am picking up on a new sound - a new groove, if you will - that is coming up from underneath of everything happening in the scene now. I really got a strong sampling of that seeing Bee and Wig Party. Both bands are really outstanding. I have been familiar with the work of the guys in Bee for a while, as they used to be members of Mother's Wine, but I was really interested to see what they had created with this project. I was not at all disappointed.

Bee has this strong youthfulness to their sound. They are serious yet playful in the way that they construct a song. Their sound brings a light humor along side a stark reality and layers it in jam truth. Their songs don't exaggerate, and I really have come to appreciate that in any artist. Nothing is overdone for the sake of filling out empty space. The band doesn't have empty space. Honestly, you would never even know they were a three piece unless you were looking right at them. They have a huge sound that fills the entire room. They toss really tasty grooves around the room like a koosh ball you can't help but toss back again and again. Bee will engage you in their performance. They did me. I was really impressed and I look forward to the next time I can see them out.

After a trip back to the bar and back again to the magical land of pizzas upstairs, we headed on back down to check out Wig Party. I have checked out their stuff online so I knew generally what I was going to be seeing. I was surprised at how much better they were in person.

Wig Party is a band who does this grouping of really sophisticated jam blends within strong rock grooves. They have an inventive writing style that incorporates multiple genres at one time, adding dashes of flavors from all over the map. Like straight rock that rolls out really flowing jams. Their sounds sneak up on you. I tasted a little bit of The Shins in one song, and then like a flash it was gone and back in some traditional guitar driven jam sounds. It happened a lot. Like bits of tasty spices that you catch for a minute in something really delicious and before you can go, "Hey, is that bas..." its gone. The sound is familiar, but it's very much their own. They give their songs this way about them that is not brooding, but they still carry a sense of longing in their freedom. Wig Party also served up great vocals. Note: Their key player is a sleeper vocalist. He blew me away on one song and I was not at all expecting it.

All in all, it was a great show and I look forward to seeing both bands again really soon. Honestly, I think the jam scene will be seeing a lot more of both of them in the coming months and I would not be surprised to catch them on a few festivals for the 2018 season. (promoters, this is your chance) Their sounds really encapsulate what is coming up in the pike in the scene, and I think it's going to be amazing. You heard it here first. Check out their pages and get out to see them as soon as you can.

You can check out BEE here

You can check out WIG PARTY here


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