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Liquid Breakfast satisfies NoHo with a side of Orange

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(Courtesy myspace.com)

The Iron Horse was abuzz with the sounds of The Breakfast on Thursday night as costumed fans waited outside for the show to begin. It was the 11th anniversary of both their annual Halloween inspired Fonghoulish Freakout Tour and the band’s creation. Opening for The Breakfast was UMass’ own funk/rock band, Orange Television.

Orange Television’s lead singer and guitarist Howie Feibusch, bassist Miles Heffernan and drummer Alex Lombardi tore up the stage with their funk/rock sound. The trio has only been playing together since earlier this year but has quickly advanced to the status of opening for shows such as Sublime tribute band Badfish and The Breakfast. Playing their own original songs as well as a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” they swayed the audience into a frenzy of dancing.  They were the perfect opening band for The Breakfast, lulling the audience into a wonderful trance of funk-filled bliss.

As soon as The Breakfast set feet on stage, Tim Palmieri (guitar, vocals) modestly said, “It [The Breakfast] all started at UMass, in a dorm called Butterfield” to which a few assumed fellow Butterfielders whistled in approval. They then broke out into a hard-hitting, bass-driven jam. Keyboardist Jordan Giangreco joined in on the costume wearing by walking on stage with a blue afro wig, which was constantly moving throughout the show as he nodded and swayed his head to the music.

The Breakfast demonstrated their extreme talent through their ability to blend jazz, funk and psychedelic rock into various extended jams. They fit nicely into the jam band niche because they can stray from the song, fall into melodic and dreamlike playing styles and then bring it back to the original quick funk/jazz blend with which they had begun. Their effortless communication throughout their performance displayed the members’ talent and dedication to their music.

They were able to break away from their solid, classic songs and move into smooth, liquid jams. Building up their songs until a point that it doesn’t seem possible to go on before the height of the song was reached, they continued to play. This was unexpectedly but welcomingly done in one song which was suddenly merged into Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile.”

Members of The Breakfast introduced a new song written by bassist Chris DeAngelis, entitled “Existential Funk.” It was a powerful bass-driven funk piece that was exquisitely executed through the collaboration of all band members.

Constantly smiling throughout the performance, it was clear that all of the members were having as great a time as the ecstatic, dancing audience was. The positivity of the performance was present both on stage as well as off, and it was apparent that the band is truly happy with what they are doing.  DeAngelis, Palmieri, Giangreco and drummer Adrian Tramontano all appeared to be one with their instrument, effortlessly tossing solos back and forth between one another.

Soon returning the focus back to the importance of the Butterfield dormitory, where the band first came together 11 years ago, they decide to dedicate a song to it. “We had a lot of fun [there] in 1998,” said Chris DeAngelis. The song they played was just as high energy and funky as any other.

The Breakfast is just as famous for doing covers of entire albums at their shows as they are for creating their own form of music through fusing various genres together. At recent shows, they have played The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” The Doors’ “Morrison Hotel” and Phish’s “Lawn Boy.” They decided to end the show with The Doors’ “Peace Frog,” leaving the crowd in awe of their funk-influenced version of the classic song.

It was a tremendous show and demonstrated the talent UMass is capable of producing. The Breakfast will continue touring throughout New England to promote their new album, “Live As Is” until Jan 30th. Already together for 11 years, it appears that The Breakfast may in fact just be getting started rather than winding down, and it can only be assumed that they will continue on with their music just as successfully as they have been thus far.

Christiana McDougal can be reached at cmcdouga@student.umass.edu.

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