Words by Christopher Snyder
Photos by Karl McWherter
On Friday evening in Ardmore, PA, magic was in the air as piano virtuoso Marco Benevento brought his trio to the Philadelphia suburb along with special guests, WOLF!.
The trio of, WOLF!, set the stage early with an eclectic mix of country/blues rock to energize the crowd early on. Led by guitarist, Scott Metzger, you could tell from the beginning the group of musicians gelled together, with their perfect interplay. Jon Shaw was particularly groovy, showcasing his stellar bass grooves and attention to detail. Shaw gelled perfectly with Taylor Floreth’s exceptional drumming technique. This is a very solid band.
Headlining the night, the veteran Marco Benevento wowed the crowd from the get-go. In support of his latest release, Woodstock Sessions, the trio treated the Ardmore crowd with a full suite of tracks to kick things off. Without skipping a beat, Marco, bassist Karina Rykman, and drummer Andy Borger brought the energy with a rousing version of “If I Got To See You At All.” All three musicians were firing on all cylinders early on– you knew that this was going to be a special evening. The three members were setup in a roundtable fashion, enabling the group could make eye contact and really “feel” the emotion in their playing. They were locked in.
Rykman and Borger complimented Benevento perfectly throughout the evening. Some stand outs from the evening included “All The Other Dreams,” “Heartbeats,” & “Me Not Me.” With his sunglasses and top hat on, the wild man on the keys gave a nod to The Grateful Dead with a rockin’ rendition of “Turn On Your Lovelight”.
As the roar in Ardmore grew for an encore, the band treated their faithful to a trifecta of songs including “Dropkick” and the night closer “At The Show.” The talent onstage from both groups was exceptional, With top notch songwriting and their excellent musicianship, the live setting is where they shine the brightest.
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