Ten years later, Particle is still blowing minds with their funky, bluesy, electronic style that has no rival in the jam band scene. The band took the stage at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for the fourth show of their 10-Year Anniversary Tour. This tour featured the band’s original lineup, including Charlie Hitchcock (guitar), Steve Molitz (keyboards), Eric Gould (bass), and Darren Pujalet (drums). The spark was still alive, and Particle raged on until nearly 1:30 am.
Opening for Particle was the OTS (On The Spot) Trio out of Santa Cruz. One of the best opening acts I have seen, the trio was a super funky improvisational band. Members include Kris Yunker (bass keys, organ, etc), Danny Mayer (guitar), and Emery Nelson (drums). The trio set the stage for one of the wildest shows I have seen at the Great American. Yunker provided the steady bass lines and groovy organ solos, Mayer the Garcia-esque funk jams, and Nelson the intense drum solos. The set was closed with an extremely funky mash-up of several Michael Jackson songs.
Taking the stage soon after the OTS Trio, Particle opened strong with “Kneeknocker,” followed by “The Golden Gator” instantly going into high-powered, deep funk and electronic jams. The crowd began pouring in, and within five minutes, everyone was on their feet, dancing like maniacs. Watching Molitz play was incredibly entertaining. He seemed to be doing at least five different things at the same time, exhibiting a masterful knowledge of the keys and many different sound effects that enhanced the jams and took each song farther away from the norm. The band proceeded to jam almost without stopping for the entire set, playing several spacy versions of Pink Floyd songs, including “Another Brick In The Wall” and “Any Colour You Like.”
The highlights of the second set were “The Elevator,” “W,” and “Eye of the Storm.” The set was played with extreme fervor, as Molitz jumped back and forth between his keyboards like a madman, Hitchcock shredded solos, Gould threw down heavy bass grooves, and Pujalet violently attacked the drums. The set seemed to get more and more energetic, and the crowd danced harder. After the set, the band came back out and Molitz played a short piece of “Imagine,” followed by “Road’s A Breeze,” where the band gave the crowd one last jam to get down to.
The energy at the Particle show mirrored the masterful playing. Before leaving the stage, Molitz quickly told the fans that the Great American is one of the band’s favorite venues in the world. Everyone was happy, myself included.
2010-10-9 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
Set 1: Kneeknocker. The Golden Gator, One Of These Days*, Any Colour You Like*, Another Brick In The Wall*, Gator Reprise
Set 2: Make It Real, The Elevator, W, Girth of a Nation, Eye of The Storm
Encore: Imagine**, Road’s A Breeze (At 3 Am)
*: Pink Floyd
**: John Lennon