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Michael Manring and Greg Howard in Charlottesville VA on Wednesday

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Veej007, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Veej007


    Sep 6, 2004
    Ordinarily it wouldn't be my style to try to try to scoop Michael on his own tour dates, but I usually slip in Greg's gig announcements somewhere here on TalkBass and I figured that for this particular show, this would be the most appropriate forum.

    Greg Howard and his Chapman Stick will be opening for Michael on Wednesday, March 9th at the Gravity Lounge in Charlottesville. It's right on the downtown mall and is in my humble opinion the coolest concert venue anywhere near here, so if any of you are curious and in the area I'd highly recommend it.

    (434) 977-5590
  2. jetforcex


    Sep 23, 2003
    I went to this performance. First time I ever saw these guys play. It was amazing, and that folks is the understatement of the year.

    Greg played first. He did tunes on regular and alto Stick. He converted a couple old Stick Figures songs over to the alto, and they sounded really really great. He also played some new material and a really ripping "Blues For Ayman". Also a terrific version of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." It was a real privilege to finally hear him live and his relaxed, invigorating, masterful performance left me thinking that he is really one of our unique American musical treasures.

    And on that note...Michael Manring. What can I say? I am hesitant trying to put it into words for fear it might cheapen or diminish the experience. I think perhaps the most eye-opening and soul-stirring live performance I have ever seen. I wish I could go back and sit through the very same performance again because honestly it was just too much to absorb in one pass. Michael, as he played, seemed to be just as genuinely surprised, excited, and awed by the music coming out as those of us in the audience. Every once in awhile he would break out in the biggest grin and nod in agreement as if a pending issue between himself and the music had been resolved. Michael has that wonderful quality in his playing of being relaxed and in a very special place, which comes out in his expressions and body language and his feet almost dancing on air. But most importantly it comes out in the music, and I must say he is an open channel for some of the most wonderful combinations of sounds. Hearing such things restores a faith that music really is infinite.

    My favorites of what he played were two songs called Adhan and Helios. Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) filled my chest and made my eyes water, as a purely physical reaction to the immense sound waves. At one point, Michael struck and held a low note, and then did something, I'm not sure if it was a finger or a knob or a pedal, but that note grew and grew and hung there until it felt like the whole venue would just explode from the air pressure. It was quite a moment. Helios was explained by Michael as one of two songs (along with Selene) composed to showcase the opposing extremes of the Hyperbass' capabilities, and the song was a force of nature, opening up with these huge growling notes that felt like they would bite your head off. I loved it.

    The most amazing thing happened about 2/3 through Michael's set. He brought his brother and guitarist Doug Manring onto the stage (total surprise for the audience) and they did a song they had never actually played together before. It went really well and then (even bigger surprise) Doug played solo guitar for two songs, the first of which was a thematic continuation of the duet (I believe the song was actually called Continuance or Continuing...), and then a really nice song called October. Doug has his own voice on guitar and it was just a really really cool thing.

    After Michael finished his set, Greg and Michael and Doug all got up together and played All Blues. The highlight of this for me was Doug's solo, which had this skronky tone and really gutsy licks that were anything but typical.

    So there you go. Really an amazing and wonderful experience. Michael if you happen to read this, THANK YOU and please come back often (anywhere on the East Coast, doesn't matter, I'll drive). Everyone please buy Soliloquy in two weeks, these songs are extraordinary. :bassist:
  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thank you so much for your very kind words, jetforcex. It was nice to swing back by Gravity Lounge and such a pleasure to get to play with Doug again. He lives in the area there so I hope you'll go see him when he's playing nearby.

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