Particle, an L.A.-based jam band that was formed in 2000, was all over the map last Wednesday at the Charleston Pour House. One of the first bands of its kind (like Sound Tribe Sector 9 or the Disco Biscuits) to blend rock, funk, jazz, and electronica, Particle has taken part in creating a synthesized genre that has been dubbed “livetronica” or “funktronic.” To make this unique sound, the musicians bring DJ-produced music into a live jam-band setting and end up with the best of both worlds.
Band members include Steve Molitz on keys, synths, and vocals; Ben Combe on guitar and vocals; Brandon Draper on drums and vocals; and Clay Parnell on bass. They sell out venues all over the U.S., giving some very memorable performances—for example, a five-hour set at Bonnaroo. This was my second time seeing the band live, and after opening with a bang, the funk was nonstop. They got right into it, bringing a dynamic energy to the easygoing hippies in the crowd.
I wasn’t sure what to expect because every show is so different, but the danceable beats and psychedelic guitar riffs—along with a combination of their impressive display of lights, sick guitar slides, and even some funky bass drops—made the show for me. The weight of the music was constantly shifting from metal to jazz and even some Middle Eastern sound influences.
One of my pet peeves is when the artists do too much talking and not enough playing, and fortunately that is something I did not experience with Particle. They truly never disappoint. Plus, you gotta love the $3 PBR tall boy special at the Pour House.
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Upcoming: Papadosio at the Music Farm