Review: The Get Right Band at Asheville Music Hall

It’s been said that The Get Right Band doesn’t play the same set twice, but while that signals unpredictability, it’s not a sign of inconsistency. Completely at ease on stage (singer/guitarist Silas Durocher was barefoot, despite the chill outside), the band launched into its first song — “The Carpenter’s Daughter” — to a mostly empty room. But they’d filled the dance floor of the Asheville Music Hall before the wah-wah-fueled song ended.

The Get Right Band warmed up the stage for Marco Benevento on Saturday, but the local trio performed like a headlining act — all energy and swagger. “Voodoo Doll,” slinky and slow with plenty of bass, added a glimmer of danger to the set list. Like most of The Get Right Band’s catalog, the song flirts and suggests and winks. But while the lyrics don’t take themselves too seriously, the musicianship does.

Based in funk, but wildly exploratory, songs nod to rock, polka, pop and jazz. The percussion (Jian-Claude Mears) is exacting, the bass (Jesse Gentry) catapults from elastic to nasty, and Durocher’s vocals roller coaster from gritty tenor to seductive falsetto. New song “Almost Invisible” embarked upon a wild ride from cool snare rolls to haunted carnival melody to a Procol Harum-esque guitar part.

The set moved organically from fast to slow songs, maintaining a fluid energy and a kind of kinetic connection to the audience. Around the half-way mark, the band launched into a deft rendition of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” followed by its own coy, “You Can Come.”

But, as flirty as The Get Right Band’s material can be, 1) The trio has the chops to pull it off; 2) There’s always a wink; and 3) the band’s lyrical moves are underscored by a certain sense of daring. Take the heated “Fingernails,” with its litany of complaints against a girlfriend, only to open into the surprising hook, “I love your fingernails.” That, and there’s a serious funk break just in case any listeners forget that the main point of the song is to cut loose.

The band ended with a cover of Prince’s “Kiss.” More groove- than pop-oriented, it managed — fittingly — to be both true to the original and refreshingly unique.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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