Dead Feather Moon at The Belly Up Tavern – Concert Review

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Dead Feather Moon put on a record release celebration show for their new album Dark Sun with a rousing high powered set Friday night at The Belly Up Tavern. You could feel the energy and the anticipation in the air when the band ripped into their first two numbers. The five members of Dead Feather Moon hit the stage like they were shot out of a cannon, obviously pumped and proud to be playing their new material. And the way they played the first two songs, a combination of furious emotion and over-the-top exuberance, you had to wonder if they had anything left for the rest of the show.
 
Be it intentional or not, the band seemed to recognize that their energy needle was in the red, because they immediately slowed it down with a more acoustic approach for song number three. And this is where this band’s talent shines. Shifting gears musically is one of their strong points. It doesn’t seem to faze them at all. They can hold the energy of the room with their rocking three guitar attack but then also keep the connection with the audience when they do down shift and add a little more texture to their sound. The audience seemed to be made up of a solid fan base that was just as excited to be there as the band, holding on to every note and rocking when the groove became too much to resist.
 
The night was made up of a fine blend of new material from Dark Sun and some of Dead Feather Moon’s older crowd-pleasers. Lead singer Justen Berge thanked the audience and family members over and over before leading the band through an exhilarating last song of the set. “Free Hand Blues” was a rollicking number that had the members of the band finishing the song, leaving guitarist/keyboardist Greg Peters alone on stage playing the final notes of the piano melody before the lights faded black.
All in all, this show came off like a giant celebration for an obviously enthusiastic crowd and just-as-into-it band.
 
Shout out to the opening band The Grass Heat who brought their power trio rock to a high voltage set. Three guys locked in tight, running through solid, straight ahead rock and roll is what they delivered, so much so that Tom Petty’s bass player Ron Blair joined them for a few numbers. Blair nixed his usual choice of instrument, grabbed a guitar, and even took a pass at the vocals on the classic “Loving Cup.”

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