Live Review: Marco Benevento

The Middle East, Upstairs // Cambridge, MA // October 21, 2010


By the time Benevento came onstage, the small club was tightly packed with fans, mostly huddled around the left of the stage, where Benevento sat behind a piano garnished with the heads of big, wild cats. His hair was shorter, and he came with delightfully special guests – bassist Reed Mathis (formerly of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) and drummer Andy Borger.

Benevento made a half-witted scoff about being charged as “slacker jazz” his last time around in Boston. He sat down with a laugh, put his lighting fast fingers to the keys, and continued to play yet another effortless show.

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Mathis and Borger were seamless in how they incorporated their own energies into Benevento’s routine, which esteems itself to jazz amidst an array of jammy, electro-quirks and brightly colored melodies. Armed with a mass of electronic trinkets, acting upon sound with circuit-bending austerity and effectual radiance, Benevento sent the crowd into electric shock – a wave of swaying, teetering fans, with bobbling heads and wide, open smiles. He made them dance with “The Real Morning Party” and doped them out with tracks like “Greenpoint” and “Bus Ride”. It was a perfect show.

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