First time MM&Wer, though I've been listening to them for 10+yrs. The hook for me was that Airto was playing with them, though I'm pretty sure this is the first time I'd seen that they were playing in the UK, and in my hometown too, so had to go.
For the most part I liked the gig, but it did get a bit noodley for me in places. However, when the funk dropped, it really grooved along nicely.
I thought that the keys (especially the Hammond) were too high in the mix and were killing everything else- they really grated on me at times, which was a shame as Mr. Medeski knows how to rock them keys. It got to the point where I couldn't wait for his sections to finish. Maybe this was down to the acoustics of the venue, though I was sitting not too far off centre and near the front and the Dome's designed as a concert hall.
After the interval John Medeski played the Dome's in-house pipe organ. With its huge pipes on either side of the stage this promised to be an interesting experience. Unfortunately it didn't work very well- it was an interesting idea (the bass note drone was really cool), but should have been cut down to a couple of minutes.
I think Airto did great considering he seemed to be winging it. Then again, the man's a master of his craft, so I would imagine he could jump on stage with anyone and get on great. I really like his attitude- relaxed, funny, confident and amazing to watch and hear.
I'd go to see them again, if only to see whether the things that bugged me this time were a one-off or not.
Sat 24 May – Medeski, Martin and Wood with Airto Moreira at The Dome