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Music Consumption: Don Caballero
11/03/1998 Don Caballero: live

Saw the first show of the current Don Caballero tour. While the rotating bass chair has rotated again (this time ably filled by Storm&Stress bassist Eric M. Topolsky), they were in excellent form, seemingly loose in attitude while tight in timing and performance. Damon Che's drumming sounds as though he has more than the usual number of limbs--he's Pittsburgh's answer to Elvin Jones--but I was paying as much attention as I could to guitarists Mike Banfield and Ian Williams (who's always worn his guitar much higher than anyone else I've seen, except maybe Duquesne University music school graduates). They've incorporated a kind of Stanley Jordan (method, not style) two-handed tapping into the guitar lines, which adds an additional level of grace and complexity to the music. When I was able to get a clear line of sight, I was able to watch how the parts were separated from each other (it's with more room for flexibility than you'd think).

Their live sound is never quite as defined as it could be, probably a function of having good engineers on their studio stuff. Still, check them out. (It may or may not be your last chance; the show was billed as "possibly the last ever" local show, but guitarist/spokesmodel Ian Williams observed that "Pittsburgh's always trying to kill us off with these 'it's over' rumors.")

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