Scott McMicken and The EVER-EXPANDING bring 'SHABANG' to the stage at South Street's TLA - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Scott McMicken, of Dr. Dog fame, finished off his solo tour at the TLA this weekend. The short east coast run brought him and his band, The EVER-EXPANDING, to Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, DC’s Union Stage, and final Phillys own The Theater of the Living Arts. With support from Arc Iris — which included employing 2/3 of its members in The EVER-EXPANDING. Scott was promoting his recent album SHABANG, which he released on his label Press On Records.

With up to 11 people on stage at certain points, The EVER-EXPANDING lived up to its name. Frontman Scott relegated himself to mostly lead vocals, although could be seen wielding two flutes, sitting at the drumset, and ripping a few guitar solos. It was a veritable game of musical chairs the way musicians would switch instruments and positions at the end of each song. A keen eye could spot Jocie Adams, lead singer of the opening band Arc Iris, adding clarinet to the horn section, annd Zach Tenorio Miller, also from Arc Iris, on one of the dueling pianos on stage. Besides the frontman, the real stars of the stage were the three percussionists that added the groove, the vibe, and the best dance moves.

Scott McMicken and The EVER-EXPANDING | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren

Scott began the set with “Another One,” the lead single off SHABANG, and a throwback to old Dr. Dog songs with a joyous large ensemble sound. The title track “Shabang” featured group vocals and fully utilized the percussion section, adding a driving bongo groove to a 70’s almost psych-rock song. “Mountain Lion” continued to highlight the percussion with a jungle groove and lyrics that introduce you to the animals of the world. “In My Mind” is a reggae track that pulls from all the quintessential reggae tropes, including a melodica solo. “What about Now” opens the album and has the most lo-fi, group jam feel. Other notable songs include the forward-moving “Diamonds in the Snow,” and the harmonious ‘Grateful,’ which features pensive lyrics.
“Call it fate or call it chanceSet in stone or like a danceChalk it up to circumstanceBut call me grateful”
The band ended up playing essentially the full album and left the stage, only to return for an encore of Procol Harum’s  “A Whiter Shade of Pale” transforming the English rock band’s song with a one drop reggae beat and crowd participation on the lyrics.

Check out photos from the concert below, listen to SHABANG here, and for more, read his interview with WXPN’s Sean Fennell about the album here.

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