REVIEW: Pat Metheny Unity Band at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

Pat Metheny, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, June 2014
Photo credit: Monika S. Jakubowska. All Rights Reserved

Pat Metheny Unity Band
(Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. Review by Joe Stoddart)


Last night (11th June), saw the Pat Metheny Unity Group take to the stage at London’ Hammersmith Apollo. The show began with a 10 minute solo performance by Metheny on his 42-string Pikasso guitar, displaying the sort of virtuosity which was to follow over the next 2 and a half hours.

After the introduction, he was joined by Chris Potter (Reeds), Ben Williams (Bass) and Antonio Sanchez (Drums) to play 'Come And See' from the ensemble’s 2012 album Unity Band. The band continued with Roof Dogs and New Year from the same album before delving into some of Metheny's extensive back catalogue, firstly with Police People from 1986's Song X which gave Antonio Sanchez the perfect platform to show his explosive drumming. They then headed into James featuring an extended solo from Metheny with just Sanchez for company before finishing off this "support set" with Folk Song from 80/81.

Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, June 2014
Photo credit: Monika S. Jakubowska. All Rights Reserved

At this point, they were joined by multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi as well as The Orchestrion to play material from current release Kin (←→), beginning with the title track which featured some fantastic interplay between Potter and Williams. More cuts from the album followed, peaking with album opener On Day One which gave us the sole electric bass solo of the evening as well as a blazing tenor solo from Potter. What followed was a series of duets between Metheny and each band member, the highlight being a performance of Bright Size Life with Williams, a wonderfully simple head, solos, head arrangement excellently displaying each player's remarkable musicianship. After three encores, the show finished on a fourth, as it began with Metheny alone (albeit with a guitar with 36 less strings), this time to perform a beautiful rendition of The Beatles' And I Love Her. All in all, an evening of incredible individual and ensemble performances while exploring the back catalogue of one of jazz's most prolific artists which left you wanting even more.

Pat Metheny Unity Group, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, June 2014
Photo credit: Monika S. Jakubowska. All Rights Reserved



SET LIST 

Solo Pikasso introduction
Come And See
Roofdogs
New Year
Police People
James
Kin
Rise Up
Born
Geneaolgy
On Day One
Bright Size Life
Tune Up
Improvisation #1
Dream Of The Return
Go Get It
Have You Heard
Are You Going With Me
And I Love Her

3 comments:

  1. Brilliant concert. Enjoyed Song X and the encores most. As you say the solo start set the tone

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  2. The duet with Chris Potter was Miles Davis's 'Tune Up'

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  3. Amazing gig...

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