Garage A Trois took the stage at One Eyed Jacks Saturday night rockin’ matching gray Puma track suits, setting the tone for the full-fledged weirdness that would ensue. One of the music universe’s more intriguing collaborations, Garage a Trois meshes the musical stylings of four immensely talented musicians into something altogether unique, disruptive, and powerful.
During the show, I commented to a friend that it would be impossible to label Garage A Trois’s sound without throwing “fusion” at the end for good measure, and a day later I’ve accepted the fact that it would be a disservice to put Garage a Trois into any specific category(ies). Blending elements of funk, jazz, rock, hip-hop, punk, metal, ska, and whatever they feel like exploring on a given night, Garage a Trois’s sound is truly one of a kind.
Perhaps the biggest reason for such genre-bending music is the fact that the quartet’s members hail from four totally different corners of the nation’s music scene. Here’s a quick run down of the current line-up:
Mike Dillon: percussionist from San-Antonio. Has performed with more bands than I can list; a few notables are Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Les Claypool’s Fancy Band, and Ani DiFranco. In New Orleans he also provided vocals for the hip-hop portions of the show, played the tin can, and absolutely murdered his xylophone.
Marco Benevento: the man on the keys from Brooklyn. Like all GAT members, he’s collaborated with countless artists, including George Porter during a late night Jazzfest show last year. I spent a lot of time focusing on his hands manipulating the keys with a mixture of ease and force.
Skerik: saxophonist and master of the uncomfortable facial expressions from Seattle. A regular in all of Les Claypool’s projects, Skerik held down the center stage and informed the crowd that GAT’s album title, Always Be Happy But Stay Evil, was inspired by the musings of a 10-year old.
Stanton Moore: New Orleans’ head drummer, Stanton is the heart and soul of so many outfits (most notably Galactic), and Garage A Trois is no exception. The only GAT member originally from the NOLA area, Moore absolutely dominated his drum kit and went into some super funky jams with Dillon. I think his drummer’s stool was empty for most of the night, as his pounding style makes him abandon the seat.
GAT kept the crowd bobbing, focusing mostly on material from the band’s newest album and ripping through songs with titles like “Resentment Incubator” and “The Drum Department.” Things got really wild during the encore when the boys unleashed their take on “Immigrant Song.” Always a treat to see them, and I’ve been impressed by how steadily they’ve moved up the NOLA venue ladder, moving from DBA to OEJ. Maybe next go around they’ll take on Tip’s.
If you missed them at One Eyed Jack’s or are hungry for more, you can catch Dillon, Skerik, and bassist James Singleton at the Big Top on Sunday night.
Grant Thomas writes about music for Live Music Blog: NOLA, a content partner of NolaVie.