On Phish’s second to last night of the Baker’s Dozen run Saturday, a number of couldn’t miss after-parties went down, like newer jamband Spafford playing a sold-out show to B.B King Blues Club and Grill (and up and comers Formula 5 playing in Lucille’s Grill), and The Michael Jackson Chillifam Allstars coming together at The Gramercy Theatre. Over on 32nd st, premier jamtronica group Particle brought the show they’ve called “Director’s Cut” to The Cutting Room, for a night of fantastic jams, song debuts, and endless dancing.
Director’s Cut is something that Particle does only every once in a rare while. With a big projector screen behind the band looping famous scenes from classic films, the four piece takes memorable theme songs from each movie and jams on them in unique, thrilling ways. They started off with the theme from Indiana Jones, and while things sounded at first like they might be just a little bit hoaky, musically speaking, people were going to have a lot of fun.
But “Disco Inferno,” coming next, with background visuals of John Travolta’s famous sidewalk strut in his Saturday Night Fever suit, assured The Cutting Room that the band was here to throw down an intense night of jamming. Particle improvised on this 70s superhit really well for a long, great first groove of the night. This was followed by a great, heavy-handed version of the Theme from Kill Bill, and then the theme from Beverly Hills Cop. Guitarist Michael Daum rounded out the last, rocking stretch of the Eddie Murphy movie number with some truly wild, ecstatic soloing.
Steve Molitz, longest leading member of Particle, was no doubt doing fantastic all night long, smiling and having a blast while ripping it up on his keys. Midway through “Machine Gun,” from Boogie Nights, Molitz played an amazing, in-the-zone moog solo that threw the Cutting Room crowd over the edge.
After this, Director’s Cut made sure to have the right movie theme on their setlist: Star Wars’ “The Imperial March.” Although at first it was unclear as to how the band would jam on this one, Darth’s Vader’s anthem was one of the best night, with the band inverting the theme into their own awesomely funky, crunchy digital dance. Particle wrapped up Director’s Cut with another fun one in Top Gun’s “Danger Zone,” which they funneled into into a long, intense trance jam.
The night wasn’t quite over, with Molitz saying that the band wanted to debut some brand new Particle songs, of which they played two: a couple of dancey, prog-rock songs, one written by bassist Clay Parnell called “Devil’s Work,” and the other written by Michael Daum called “Wired.” After these two came uproarious chants from guys in the crowd for one of Particle’s most vintage tunes, “Elevator,” and to theirs and the room’s delight the band obliged, for one last jam in which members traded awesome solos.
8/5/17 Setlist — The Cutting Room — New York City, NY
Indiana Jones Theme
Kill Bill Theme
Requiem For A Dream Theme
Scarface: The World Is Yours
# New Particle Songs
Written by Miles Hurley
Photos by Daniel Stein