Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu
Nowadays, if you brought a set of killer instrumentals to your average record company, the first words out of the A&R troll’s mouth would be, “Where are the vocals?” But back in the day, stalwart souls like Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin and (to an extent) Carlos Santana used their razor-sharp axes to keep the world safe for people who were tired of hearing the same “Boy Meets Girl, etc.” lyrics for the thousandth Goddamn time! Jim Weider is a fellow axe-wielder from about the same generation, and Project Percolator’s incendiary show at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre showed he’s still fighting the good fight.
The opener “Flight” let us know that frills would not be on the menu this evening, as Weider and his regular partners – guitarist Avi Bortnick, bassist Steve Lucas and drummer Rodney Holmes – threw hot & nasty jazz-rock (with the emphasis on “rock”) right at our heads. Back in the day, Weider replaced Robbie Robertson in The Band, and he was certainly up to the task. There’s a delightful layer of fuzz on every lick and riff he plays, and the howling joy that runs through it all is that same motivator that makes you want to drive really fast and laugh for no apparent reason. By the end of that first number, you knew it was going to be a great night… and the guest of honor hadn’t even come onstage yet!