Two Nights of Spafford at Charleston Pour House (Photos + Recap)

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    Two Nights of Spafford at Charleston Pour House (Photos + Recap)
    Published: January 20, 2023

    Photo: @away_from_the_shire

    Spafford zipped through Charleston earlier this week for a two-night stand at the Pour House during the first leg of their 2023 winter tour.

    Hot off the late-2022 release of their new album, Simple Mysteries, this is Spafford’s first tour with their new keyboardist, Cory Schechtman, who joined in place of longtime member Andrew “Red” Johnson at the start of the year.

    Both nights at the Pour House showed Spafford hasn’t missed a beat with the lineup change, with Cory adding flavor to jams like he had been with the band much longer than two weeks.

    He did in fact play with them for four nights in September, when Red wasn’t able to make the shows, but prior to joining Spafford his main gig was with the Cape Cod-based jam/funk band The New Motif.

    Photo: @away_from_the_shire

    This was my first time seeing Spafford outside of a festival setting (Bonnaroo 2018 being the only other time), and they certainly caught my attention with these shows.

    They aren’t the type of jam band to tell you a story, or really sing or talk much at all. They simply come out there and get right into the thick of it, going as deep as possible into every jam they come across.

    Of course, this exploratory jamming comes with a light show, as you’ll surely notice in the photos (all from night one by @away_from_the_shire).

    Spafford brought in a lighting rig of their own, along with their lighting designer Matt Collier, to supplement the house lights at the Pour House. The lights made for a glorious visual accompaniment to the band’s grooving through many genres, from rock to funk and electronica.

    Photo: @away_from_the_shire

    Spafford’s genre-blending comes in waves, where one moment has them playing something that makes you want to dance, the next moment calls upon some trope of classic rock, and then a slower portion makes you want to ponder your existence.

    This was put on full display late in the second set on the first night, when a 27-minute “Dirtbath” found its way into “Bohemian Rhapsody” territory, followed by some cerebral jamming, and then into some heavier Black Sabbath-like stuff.

    The set opened with a funky “Electric Taco Stand” > “Dis Go in 5” > “Electric Taco Stand” that could only bring to mind Phish and “Weekapaug Groove”.

    Spafford gives more hints at the feel of these songs than straight-up sampling or covering, and it makes for a fun listen. Though they do include some covers, like The Cure’s “Lovesong” played night one, as well as “Take Your Mama” by Scissor Sisters, also night one.

    Photo: @away_from_the_shire

    Night two started off with a laid-back groove that included a mellow “Bee Jam” early in the first set. A slight slump near the end of the first set (maybe a bit too much singing) was made up for by over 75-minutes of non-stop weird and wonderful jamming in a three-song + encore second set.

    It’s always challenging for a band to come and play two nights on a Sunday and Monday, after fans in town had already partied at other shows the whole weekend. However, Sunday night’s show was packed to the brim – as packed as I’ve seen the venue in recent memory, and Monday had a solid turnout as well.

    Spafford is on a roll right now, with fans excited to see what the lineup change brings to the table and a clear enthusiasm from the band. At least in their playing, and the constant on-stage motion of bassist Jordan Fairless. Brian Ross continues to look like he just woke up on a couch and picked up his guitar, but damn he can play.

    Photo: @away_from_the_shire

    Check out setlists and listen to soundboard recordings from both shows below.

    Spafford Setlist – 1/15/23 – Charleston Pour House

    Set I

    Fake The Fate >
    Plans
    Be Strange
    America (>)
    Love Song *

    Set II

    Electric Taco Stand >
    Dis Go In 5? >
    Electric Taco Stand
    Take Your Mama #
    Dirtbath

    Encore

    The Reprise

    * The Cure
    # Scissor Sisters

    Live at The Charleston Pour House | 01-15-23 | Charleston, SC by Spafford

    Spafford Setlist – 1/16/23 – Charleston Pour House

    Set I

    All My Friends >
    Bee Jam >
    Fuel
    Todd’s Tots
    Settled In

    Set II

    When It Falls >
    Pursuit Of Madness >
    Diesel Driver

    Encore

    Home (One Place I’ll Never Be)

    Live at The Charleston Pour House | 01-15-23 | Charleston, SC by Spafford

    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
    Photo: @away_from_the_shire
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