Saturday, August 6, 2011

Frequent Flyers, OneFishTwoFish Rock the Bistro

I was feeling restless last night, so I decided to swing by The Bistro in downtown Hayward (California) for some musical entertainment. I've been there before--it's an intimate, yet roomy venue in the corner of a century-old building, with a long bar along the left side and room outside for talkers (and smokers) to hang out.

The Frequent Flyers opened with a rousing set. Mike Meagher provided a thumping, mobile bass bottom for the other three, which included Dave Peterson on guitar, Matt Albarico on drums, and some sweet saxophone and vocals from Dale (including a soulful rendering of "Ain't No Sunshine." Dave's guitar work was complex, and sensitively rendered--you could hear every note. Matt, who apparently had not played with this group before, put down the solid time you need--and to these ears, didn't miss a beat.

While the songs varied, what I came away remembering was a set-ending rendition of the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows. As guitarist Peterson told me after, they used the "good skeleton" of the song and made it their own. Nice.

After a break, OneFishTwofFish came up and started their set. This had a very different feel, particularly because they were just a duo--John Ojeda on guitar and Pat Fleming on drums. Based on the name on the drumhead, the kit was Fleming's that both bands used, and he really worked his way around it. With no bassist, the sound seemed a little thin, but the incredible tone and dexterity of Ojeda's work (and vocals) kept the audience's interest (it was a full house by then) and with no help with the rhythm, Fleming really showed his chops. To my ears, the selections flowed together, but it was a satisfying set.

The Bistro is a great place to hear live music every day. Kevin the bartender was a whirlwind, serving the entire house on his own. I enjoyed two pints of Deschutes Hop in the Dark. There is always a variety of beer to choose from. Today--August 6, 2011, The Bistro will have its 14th Annual IPA Festival (featuring the Giant Garage Spiders!!), so if you're in the vicinity it should be well worth showing up.

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