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Review by Breanne Smith and Photos by J. Scott Shrader Marco Benevento came to The Grey Eagle on a cold night in February that was heavily anticipatory of snow. We expected a small crowd but we got one that wasn’t scared of snow and that knew what word came to mind when heard the name Marco Benevento- virtuoso.
With the release of Tigerface still fresh in the minds of fans and band members, the energy was sky-high in the open dance floor of The Grey Eagle. The concise stage was arranged with Benevento off to the left, a massive and realistic tiger face hung on the side of his old Gibbs acoustic piano which has been “Marco’d” to hold a multitude of guitar pedals. While turning knobs, clicking buttons and pounding away on the keys, he still found time to chug down 4 or 5 good ole’ Miller highlife’s. His haphazardly painted piano somehow has withstood the test of time and the brute force of “the moment”. He took off his button up to reveal a “starbangled” shirt and began chanting “USA! USA! USA!”
Throughout the evening, the lights were surprisingly excellent, given the tight parameters onstage. The song selection culled tunes mostly from the latest album, but Benevento also felt free to draw on past recordings. The crowd ate it all up and there was plenty of dancing among the audience.
Covers included The Knife’s “Heartbeats” which was a great surprise, as well as Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” . And everyone who caught the The Bangle’s “Walk Like an Egyptian” got a thrill out of that. With his own twist on covers, it made for a special moment with Marco.
Benevento, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Andy Borger took turns donning the giant tiger face and rocking out full force to the uber-catchy song. It was definitely a treat to see such a multifaceted musician get so into his music so close. If you haven’t seen Marco’s on stage- do it! If you haven’t listened to his latest album Tigerface- do it!
Check him out here- http://marcobenevento.com