Blackwater Music Festival Concert Review: Tornado Rider

By Joseph Giannone 2011-09-27 21:29:56
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As I walked into the amphitheatre where Tornado Rider were playing, the band was already ten minutes into their set. Musically speaking, they sounded like a psychedelic New Orleans bluegrass band on crack; with a hint of punk for good measure. The group's lead singer, Grammy nominated cello player Eggleston, was the most eccentric member of the band. He wore pink and black tights, a Peter Pan hat and most importantly was equipped with his electric cello that was the highlight of this show. Not only did this guy rock the hell out of his cello, he jumped around stage and even took his wild persona into the crowd, throwing himself against his audience, egging them on to mash. Eggleston at one point even jumped in a trashcan, and slammed into the ground while rolling in mud as the crowd cheered on. Yet, while all of this was going on, he didn’t miss a note of the song.

As I stated about their music, it’s a deep mix of New Orleans jazz, blues, bluegrass and punk. They even added a tinge of jam band sounds by having a couple of extended “jam sessions” that filtered their way through in each song. The group’s silly style is also prevalent with its instrumentals, because Eggleston gets his audience pumped by screaming out the names of his songs. With tracks like “Big Dinosaur” and “The Goat God,” the trio from California proved that with a large dose of insanity, and an even heftier shot of entertainment value, no matter how bizarre you can get, it makes for an awesome show. Like metal heads of GWAR, the punk and bluegrass people have Tornado Rider.

The awesome Eggleston wasn’t the only impressive musician on stage either. Assisting him was bassist Graham Terry and drummer Scott Manke, who also explored worlds beyond. It was Eggleston who creates this crazy style of bluegrass-punk-freak out jam band music, but it’s his band mates that bring it all together and keep the songs from turning into a mess.

If my words of praise don’t convince you, check out the opening statement from their website’s band description. It will show you how awesome they are in less than fifty words.

Tornado Rider is a powerful bird band of swirling goat god victory, that lurks in the spooky forest regions and yells out over the mountains, glicking the gunt of Nairobi into the fortress of Norwegian butt-death, and taking the slippers and the coffee and the potato farm earnestness into the NOW.

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