Saturday, 17th October 2015
Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Heerlen, the Netherlands
Article, photos and Video By André de Boer
A night on one of the outer edges of the progressive spectrum.
Missed this band for their Holland gigs, together with the Metropole Orkest, in April and May 2015 unfortunately.
But took my second chance to visit and experience Snarky Puppy in October when
they played the beautiful Parkstadtheater of Heerlen in the south of Holland.
Outer edges? These guys are progressive avant la lettre! It's in their veins and in a very special way.
Mixing jazzyness, funkyness, groovyness, fusionness,
progressiveness and innovative contemporary instrumental music in such a way
they get all people in the venue utterly relaxed and heavily involved at the same time!
About all of my British and many of my Dutch prog friends have bought Snarky Puppy albums
and are very excited on this band. Only starting in 2004 Snarky Puppy easily made their
way to stardom producing nine albums to date and are almost constantly travelling around
the world with a 10 musician selection of their 'hive' of 40 musicians called 'The Farm'.
And Snarky Puppy won a Grammy Award in 2014 because of being innovative.
There is a strong connection with Holland too. Not only did they record their 2014 album
We like It Here in Kyteman's studio, the band also recorded their 2015 live album Sylva
in the Dutch city of Dordrecht with the Metropole Orkest.
Which allows me to label them as a living legendary band.
The band is being led by bassist (on stage tonight) and composer Michael League.
On stage we see two huge drum / percussion sets, two trumpets, three keyboards, bass,
electric guitar and two saxists, one of witch a Dutch guest.
These young men play songs from a variety of albums and filled the venue with a groovy
feeling you might encounter at gigs only one or two times a year.
If you are lucky. The venue's sound quality was rather good, judging from the fantastic balcony.
The perfectly young and old mixed audience to my opinion are also equally mixed between the
open minded progressive ear and the open minded North Sea Jazz visitor.
We get wrapped up in the opener Intelligent Design with the warmth and energy rising every song after that.
Several solo's get the heat on, Mark Lettieri on guitar, Robert Searight and Nate Werth on drums and percussion,
Mike Maher on trumpet and Justin Stanton on keys and trumpet.
Metropole Orkest saxist Leo Janssen (from Nuth!) enters the stage to do his impressive sax guest solo on Outlier.
A guy close to the stage, which I see as a silhouette from the balcony,
is dancing in trance all the time which is so great to see.
This is what it does to you. And when this is all done Snarky Puppy does an overwhelming Shofukan as an encore.
What passion and emotion. Such a splendid night. Hat hat!!
Get your feeling of the show by watching the Live Impression video (loud is best):
Thing of Gold
What About Me?
Oh yes, beside guitarist Mark Lettieri I also met the 'silhouette guy' afterwards.
His eyes were still tinkling, the corners of his mouth hooked up behind his ears.
Listening to the album Sylva on my way home I found myself with the very same smile.
Just go and see Snarky Puppy if they are around!
Snarky Puppy Official Website
Parkstad Limburg Theaters