February 13th, 2009

Box Five

I saw Box Five last night at the Philly Farewell show at L'Etage.  It was really nice, probably the best I have ever seen Box Five.  In case you don't know, Box Five is a band, of varying lineup that backs up singer-songwriter-pianist Mary Bichner.  I rode down with Joe D'Andrea and we enjoyed some crepes with Nicki Jaine at the restaurant downstairs from L'Etage, known as Beau Monde.

Last night, the lineup of Mary, plus Steve Toy (gtr), Joe Gribbons (bs) , and Chris Pires (dr), were backed up by Terri Rambo (b vox) Brian Hopely (perc), plus a string quartet and a woodwind quartet.  Different musicians were on stage at different times, but the evening's finale featured everyone at once - 14 musicians on stage!  I used to sit in with Mary playing accordion (usually when she did not have a string quartet, playing the string parts) but last night I sat comfortably in the audience, and it was a fine show.  They played just about every song Mary has written for Box Five, in a set that was over an hour long.  I joked with Steve Toy that it was almost like a Grateful Dead concert.

The opening act was Jaggery, from Boston, in a stripped down lineup of piano & drums.  Nice set.

Good luck to Mary in Boston, I am sure she will restart her career soon up there!