Saturday, September 6, 2008

Waiting for Hockey, my Summer concert tour continues

“If Ted Nolan played guitar, he’d look like Mato Nanji. No wonder you liked Ted.” This is what my husband said to me last night at B.B. King’s as we were watching one of my favorite musicians that no one knows about. But someday, I think those who love the blues will think Stevie Ray, Hendrix, Santana, Mato.

Okay, here’s a little background info why I was so excited about seeing Indigenous. In 2002 this unusual four piece band opened up for Johnny Lang at Northfork theater. Unusual because they had a female drummer. Additionally unusual -- they were Native Americans. We usually don’t pay too much attention to the opening acts because we’re there to see the main performer. But Indigenous just made everyone take notice within the first two songs they played. Their front man Mato Nanji is so talented, that sadly Johnny Lang’s performance paled in comparison. If Stevie Ray Vaughn could have been channeled into a performance, that’s what we witnessed. We bought their CD during intermission and became instant fans.

For six years we waited for Indigenous to play back in New York. We checked their website, I contacted their agent, but they never quite made it back this way. We ordered their next CD online and continued to check their website.

Then one day early in the summer I received an email from Ticketmaster and in the middle of the small pictures and dates was the news I had waited six years to hear. Indigenous would be playing in the city on Sept. 5th. We ordered four tickets knowing we’d find another couple to go with us, and I marked it on my calendar and waited.
We’ve never been to B.B. King’s, and I have to say it was definitely an experience. We went with neighborhood friends who were kind enough to drive us; we just had to meet his wife at work and then head into the city. Because I can’t get away from the place, my friend just happens to work at the Reckson building across from the Coliseum.

“Seems like home, Dee?” Chris said to me as we parked to wait for Linda to come out of work.

“Yep. I can’t get away from here. It sucks me in every time.” I stared across the street at the executive lot looking for cars that I knew.
With Chris driving, we made it into the city in record time and I kept my eyes closed the whole way. I hate driving in the city. It scares the life out of me. Too crowded, too close, too crazy. I needed a drink.

I didn’t realize that B.B. Kings was going to be a subterranean night club with two large areas for dining and music. The seating is tight as hell and the tables were small, but the food was very good and not overly pricy for Manhattan and the wine list was extensive with some reasonably priced selections. Again… Who cared! Big Angry Man and I were only there to see Mato. Their entire menu could have been popcorn and hot dogs and I wouldn’t have said a thing.

The room went dark and the band hit the stage.
“What? Is this an Allman Brothers tribute band?” There were two long haired blond men, one “Lucky Charms” refugee (as Big Angry Man called him) and a drummer that was far from the petite girl I had seen in 2002, but thankfully Mato was on stage right. I was a little disappointed because I felt they lost a little bit of their original charm, but the band did the songs justice. They were originally a family band, three siblings and a cousin. It was beyond obvious Mato isnot related to any of these new band members. Although the organist and slide guitarist were probably brothers and they came with their own family entourage.

Both B.A.M. and Chris play guitar and have multiples. They’ve even toyed with the idea of starting their own band called “The Un-cool Dads.” I watched to see Chris’ reaction to what he was seeing for the first time. He had the same reaction we had. Just floored. This man is so talented, that he makes it just look easy.

On the way out in the lobby gift shop we had to stop and pick up a few things. What a shock that the t-shirt was only $20 and the newest CD was only $15. A set of B.B. King picks was only $5. Considering how much shirts and things cost at the Jones Beach theater, I was amazed these items were so inexpensive.

So if you like the blues or ever loved Jimi, please check out their MySpace page or their website There are plenty of videos on YouTube of them, mostly from the early days so take a look if you have time. They won’t be playing in New York again any time soon, but maybe if they get a larger following here, they will. They certainly should.

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