TVD Live Shots: The Budos Band with Paul
& The Tall Trees at the 9:30 Club, 1/18

We burned the midnight (Old Engine) oil in DC when The Budos Band presented its funk/rock/soul party as a burnt offering at the 9:30 Club on a cold, wet Saturday night.

Kicking off the late night party was Paul & The Tall Trees. Led by Paul Schalda who, like the Budos Band, hails from Staten Island, NY, Paul & the Tall Trees are described as an intersection of classic bands like Buffalo Springfield and The Band. These are apt comparisons; live I also heard hints of Neil Young. It’s a poetic, occasionally tortured, but ultimately warm sound. Underscoring that warmth was Schalda’s frequent references to his father, a member of his own band.

The Budos Band (Jared Tankel, Thomas Brenneck, John Carbonella Jr, Mike Deller, Daniel Fodor, Andrew Greene, Rob Lombardo, Brian Profilio, and Dame Rodriguez) took the stage at the stroke of midnight. I’ve been a Budos fan for ages, having discovered them when I was taking a walk on a summer evening in Milwaukee. They were performing in a park near the Milwaukee School of Engineering and I stopped for a listen. After ten minutes, I bought up half the merch table and never looked back, having fallen hard for the band’s ’70s Afro-funky instrumental sound. Saturday night marked only the third time I’d seen them since that first evening in Wisconsin years ago and I couldn’t have been more stoked.

The Budos Band released Budos Band V last spring and have toured a bit over the last year; the DC show was one of a handful of East Coast gigs the Budos treated fans to this month. The new album has more of a rock-oriented sound, picking up where 2014’s Burnt Offering left off, while maintaining the Ethiopian-inspired grooves the band is known for. It’s a great sound—of course it is, because The Budos Band can do no wrong. In concert it’s one hell of a good time. As a photographer I get three songs to get my shots before I have to leave the pit. It’s hard to remain focused when one is dancing in the photo pit to “Chicago Falcon,” one of my favorite tunes by anyone anywhere but somehow I managed to fire off my shots.

The crowd was into it as well, cheering and dancing into the very late hours. Finally, after 1:30 am, after beers had been thrown to the crowd, after fist bumps had been given, and after the keyboard player had been wrestled to the floor of the stage, keyboards overturned with him, that the party finally ended.

The Budos Band have a few dates scheduled for April in the Midwest; miss this show only if you hate fun.


Old Engine Oil
The Sticks
Chicago Falcon
Black Venom
Peak of Eternal Night
The Enchanter
Arcane Rambler
Veil of Shadows
Ride or Die
Unbroken, Unshaven

Aynotchesh Yererfir

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