Adrian Belew Power Trio
April 15, 2009
Adrian Belew still isn’t a household name. That alone makes a concert appearance by the guitarist an intriguing proposition as petitions continue to be filed demanding his inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His performance at Newport, Kentucky’s Southgate House was proof enough that the veteran of varied groups like Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, David Bowie and King Crimson continues to investigate new musical destinations and instruments.
Belew has surrounded himself with the energy of youth, and the brother/sister duo, Julie (23) on bass and Eric (21) Slick on drums, make up two thirds of the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Their ability to dominate the proceedings is impressive, as is Belew’s boundless artistic vision.
Premiering a new work entitled Planet E, the trio pushed rock’s avant garde borders, sounding stylistically like a cross between King Crimson, Sonic Youth and Tool. Belew’s enchantment with tech gadgetry continues, and he played a computer enhanced synthesized guitar that perfectly replicated the sound of a concert piano. Belew entranced the packed Kentucky facility with a riveting new arrangement of the title track from Young Lions, and led the ensemble through the twists and turns of "Writing on the Wall."
Both Julie and Eric Slick enjoyed extended solos while Belew played arching feedback laced lines over their pounding rhythmic attack on the multi-layered and distortion filled rocker, "Ampersand."
Belew commented that the group had not played any King Crimson, and the title song from Three of a Perfect Pair shook the walls of the Southgate ferociously. Then the Slicks and Belew finished the night with a transcendent take on "Thela Hun Ginjeet."