Review: John Kadlecik Band @ The Aggie 2/20/18

From left: Jay Lane (Drums, vocals), Dave Burlingame (Bass, vocals), John Kadlecik (Guitar, vocals) and Benjie Porecki (Keyboards, Vocals)

The John K. Experience

Last night I was fortunate to make it out in the bitter cold to see a rare Tuesday night show at the Aggie. The group performing was the John Kadlecik Band, a wonderful collection of talented musicians with years of experience playing the music of one of my favorite bands, the Grateful Dead. Before attending this show, I was familiar with John K. because of his work with Grateful Dead cover groups Further and Dark Star Orchestra in the past. During his time with Further, he played with the music legends Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. I did some more research on his history as a musician and according to his bio on his website, he has been playing in improv groups since the late ’80s and touring around the country for the last 20 years. This show was the first time I have seen him perform with his band.

Dave Burlingame and John Kadlecik

Although it was a Tuesday and very cold out, there were still far fewer people at this show than I was expecting. It made for an intimate listening experience and made it feel like a private show in a way. The band started out with a cover of the George Harrison song “Any Road.” They followed this with an excellent string of Dead tunes that included “They Love Each Other,” “The Business,” and “Ramble on Rose.” John K. and his band closed the set with a beautiful rendition of one of my top Dead songs “Cassidy” and transitioned smoothly into a jammed-out version of “Box of Rain.” This first set was well constructed and had a great selection of songs that fit nicely together.

Set two was even more Dead heavy with a killer opening “Sugar Magnolia” that flowed into a groovy “Sugaree.” Things got characteristically dark and bizarre in a spacey and otherworldly version of the classic “Dark Star.” In a moment of brilliance, John K. guides us out from the fog and confusion and pulls us back to earth by leading into the opening chords of “Stella Blue.” This had to have been the best part of the show for me. Putting these two songs together evoked a classic Grateful Dead sound. Images of the full sets can be seen below.

I Will Get By

Getting to hear the music of the Grateful Dead is so uplifting for me and it brings new feelings of inspiration, confidence, and optimism to my life. I’m very grateful to have been able to attend this show and to have gotten my necessary dose of the Dead. While I would love to share my personal audio recordings of parts of the show, I am unable to because it requires a premium plan. Instead, I have provided a link to a recent show I found on YouTube. All the credit goes to the user who uploaded it: gerryjdvideo

For more information about the band, here is a link to the JKB Website:

I’ll be back again soon with more music news and topics! Until next week, happy jamming Phriends!



The Phish Got Away

As hard as I tried, it wasn’t enough. Last Friday I logged on at 11 a.m. to enter the pre-ticket queue. Once the clock struck noon I was then given a “random” number and required to wait in yet another queue for my chance to get tickets.

After about 10 minutes went by, I was getting nervous. I imagined how many other people must be scrambling to buy the same tickets I was after and there I was, sitting and waiting for my turn. Finally, I’m able to select the 3 day field pass and click “Add to cart.” But then the dreaded error message: Tickets are not available in this section. For the next 40 minutes I desperately tried to refresh the page, opened new windows, and kept clicking the same button to buy tickets over and over. It was no use, unfortunately.

While this was going on, I was texting my friend who was also trying to buy tickets and had no luck either. He told me that he checked on StubHub and found that hundreds of tickets had already been posted for twice the face value. Keep in mind, this happened less than an hour after they went on sale. The bots beat us to it and we both felt scammed and cheated out of our time.

It really is a shame this had to happen but I’ve come to accept it. I’ll look forward to going to the lots this Labor Day weekend, holding my finger up, and hoping for a miracle.

I Lost the Lottery

Hello, Phriends!

It’s official. My first blog post! I’m excited to begin this blog and to start sharing my thoughts on live music, Phish, and everything else in between. Unfortunately, this first post is less upbeat than I was hoping it would be.

You might be wondering what I mean with my somewhat ambiguous title. Well, let me explain. I lost the Phish ticket lottery. Again.

Phish recently announced their Summer tour and they are concluding in epic fashion at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park over Labor Day Weekend as they have done the past 7 years. I’ve been attending since 2014 but I went to all three nights for the first time last year. Obviously, I was ecstatic when I heard the announcement and I hopefully tossed my hat in the ring once again for the ticket request. But the memory of last year’s experience getting tickets was still fresh in my mind. I had optimism for this year but also a sense of realism that the chances of me getting tickets were pretty low and that I would have to fight for it during the public sale. Even though I was prepared for this harsh reality, it still stings.

Rewind to about this time last year. I jumped on the ticket request as soon as I could, selected “field only” as my preference, and crossed my fingers. The request period came to an end and I got that gloomy email in response that begins with “We regret to inform you…” However, I had another shot when the public tickets went on sale. I refreshed the ticket page the second it opened and it froze. Thousands of people were doing the exact same thing. The website was crashing. I started panicking.

“What if I can get any tickets?!” I desperately tried to secure my coveted field tickets over and over again only to see the message “Tickets are not available in that section.” Plan B. I started trying for tickets in the stands instead. After several unavailable messages I was finally able to score a three day pass by some miracle. I counted my blessings and felt fortunate to be going at all because the entire allotment of tickets sold out within minutes.

Today I received that same disappointing email that my request had been denied. But this year is different. Yes, I will be trying again to get public tickets the moment they go on sale. Yes, I am mentally preparing myself for the inevitable chaos that ensues. No, I won’t be settling for the stands.

I had an amazing time last year at each night and it was an experience I’ll never forget. It was fun to see what the stands were like. But after getting a taste of being down on the field, in what I refer to as the “Phishbowl,” the stands don’t come close. The energy on the field is electric, you are with thousands of other Phans, the sound is thunderous, and you can actually see the guys on stage doing their thing. I need to get back there this year and even if I can’t get the public tickets, I’ll find a way.

Anyone who is interested in more information about Phish’s Summer tour and ticket information, please follow the links below!

Phish Summer Tour

Phish Ticket Info