Talent is an asset, and Super 400 has it spades!
Super 400 hit the Rockin’ on the River stage running, with the apropos “Blast the Message,” and clearly singer-guitarslinger Kenny Hohman was in rare form. The real fulcrum of the set featured a trio of songs – the hard rocking “Needle Down” into the dreamy “Green Grass End” which segued into the powerful pop of “Flashlight” – where Super 400 shifted to a gear found only on a Pagani Zonda supercar!
The Troy trio was nailing ’70s influences effortlessly on the hometown stage, from the big swing and perfect groove of drummer Joe Daley to the monster bass lines of Lori Friday, who also served up breathtakingly beautiful vocals along with feather-dancer stage moves. Playing well after sunset, the band went out on the heavy “Emergency,” with its King Crimson-meets-Masters of Reality blend and enlisted the vocal talent of opener John Powhida for a cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” A truly deserved encore then found J-Po rejoining Super 400 for a bang-on cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Man, please don’t fall asleep on Super 400 just because they have longevity on the scene. If just flat out being able to play from the first note is not enough, they churn out great original songs and display a real stage presence that sets them head and shoulder above the pack.
If you missed them in Troy, make an effort to see them “blast the message” at the At the Plaza Food Fest on Wednesday. It’ll be your last chance to see ’em before their September tour of Spain.
John Powhida’s International Airport, a dual guitar and keyboard-boasting five-piece outfit, opened the night with a hybrid mix of rock, humor and soul, ala Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall through a Cheap Trick filter. J-Po, won over the late-arriving crowd with winning numbers like “Dirty Birdy and the Funny Bunny” and “Downtown John Brown,” along with his good humored stage patter and seemingly unlimited vocal range.
JPIA is a Boston band last seen around these parts on a bill with the Neighborhoods at Valentine’s Music Hall. Front-man John Powhida is actually a native son best known as a member of the critically acclaimed Staziaks, a band whose farewell dates back to a May, 2000 gig at the late, lamented Lark Tavern. A Staziaks reunion show is slated to take place at The Egg in October, as part of a Humane Society benefit concert.
In this instance, the Rockin’ on the River concert series was blessed with perfect weather, a legitimately talented and interesting line up and a big improvement over last year’s sound system.
Review and photographs by Matt Mac Haffie
SUPER 400 SET LIST
Blast The Message
Push Back Now
It’s Gonna Burst
I’ve Got A Feeling
Green Grass End
I Ain’t Got You
I Feel The Earth Move
In the Presence Of The Lord
I Could Be Reborn
Another Heavy Word
Highway To Hell*
*with John Powhida