Particle in Hollywood | Review
Almost an afterthought to a long weekend in 2000, Particle was born on a boat cruise in the San Francisco Bay to commemorate what ended up being Phish's first hiatus. The then-unnamed Particle ended up surprising everyone on the boat cruise with their fresh sound and original compositions.
Six years later, the band has evolved into something almost completely different than what was heard on that night in 2000. However, many things have remained the same. Eric Gould's bass and Darren Pujalet's kick drum still drive the heart of this band. And Steve Molitz's keyboards and electronic toys remain the heady spice to the beat they lay down. Perhaps the most consistent factor in Particle's six years of evolution is the crowd. Resembling a party more than your average show crowd, it seems everyone is separated by no more than a degree or two of separation, where hugs and high-five greetings are given out like LSD at a Merry Prankster party.
Guitarist Ben Combe rounds out the new incarnation of Particle and he brings a bag of tricks new to Particle altogether. Not only is he a very capable guitar player with excellent listening skills, but he brings a new flair that Particle has shied away from for most of their existence: Vocals. This opens up a whole new door for the band, not only in original compositions, but also in the songs they can now cover.
Saturday night brought an abundance of both as the band debuted a new song named "Control/Escape," as well as a first time covers of Herbie Hancock, Newcleus and Egyptian Lover. The band also surprised their fans with the Groovaloos dancers, a break dancing trio who brought their amazing break dancing moves from the stage to the crowd and back to the stage again, once again making the evening seem more like a party than a concert.
It wasn't until the beginning of the second set when the band reached deep into their ever expanding catalogue and played a staple of their live show "The Elevator." But regardless of whether they were laying down one of the five new songs they debuted, or playing an old staple like "The Elevator," the large crowd remained glued to the stage and dancing like a scene out of Matrix: Reloaded.
The Particle experience has evolved into a full body assault. Rounding out the fast paced dance music and the amazingly talented Groovaloos dancers was artist Jeremiah Harrison (http://phalonart.com/ ), who had a dozen or so large paintings on display under black lights in the venue. Not content to just play music for dancing drunkards, Particle seems intent on making every show a special occasion with visual, audio and mental stimulation.
By the end of the encore, which included a Pujalet drum solo, the exhausted and sweaty crowd was treated to an announcement by Gould that for the first time in their history, Particle would be playing their New Year's at home here in Los Angeles, CA. Stay tuned to www.particlepeople.com for more announcements. If their anniversary show is any indication, it should be a raging party.
10.13.06 Fonda Theater - Hollywood, CA
I: Sun Mar 11, Howl At The Moon > Control/Escape*, Rockit**^ > Egypt, Egypt**^^ > Planet Rock**^^^ > Jam On It**^^^ > Axel F**, The American Dream
II: The Elevator, Vital Things***, Robots > Six Long Weeks > Eye Of The Storm > Key Loop
E: Drum Solo > Walking By^^^^
*new song; 1st time played
**w/ Groovaloos dancers breakdancing both on stage and
in the crowd with the Particle People
***Bad Shoe original; 1st time played in Particle
^Herbie Hancock cover; 1st time played; w/ Chameleon
^^Egyptian Lover cover; 1st time played
^^^Newcleus cover; 1st time played
^^^^After the music stopped, Eric thanked his
bandmates, the crew (past and present), the artists
who have contributed to Particle's world and the
Particle People. He then announced that Particle
would be playing in Los Angeles for New Years Eve.