In one of those interesting and strange combinations of bands placed on a bill together, Donavon Frankenreiter‘s opener was Sara Watkins. While I’m sure you could find two bands who were farther apart, this one was good enough to create a near-complete audience turnover in between sets. Almost all of Watkins’ bluegrass-loving fans were replaced by a slightly rowdier, more eccentric crowd ready to enjoy the laid-back yet funky vibe of Frankenreiter and his backing band.
Despite the marquee mismatch, the show was great. I had never heard more than one of Frankenreiter’s songs (“Move By Yourself”), but I enjoyed myself nonetheless. The bass player had my ear much of the time, with impressive funky grooves behind every song, and the whole group seemed to do a good job balancing 70′s cool, spaciness, and genuine musical enjoyment.
The keyboard player whipped out the trumpet a couple of times. Even though he was sitting, he seemed to be one of the most active.
As if the colors and music themselves weren’t enough, they topped off the show with a disco ball. You almost expected it to show up, and when it did, well, it just made the audience’s day.