The Comet is Coming crashed into Bowery Ballroom on the final night of their North American tour and delivered a transcendent set of cosmic bangers and celestial moments of interstellar bliss.
After releasing their great new album Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam earlier this year, the innovative jazz-rock trio The Comet is Coming wrapped up a lengthy North American tour with a pair of shows in New York City. Packing Bowery Ballroom to the gills on a Saturday night, the trio powered through a stellar set of intergalactic, proggy jazz-rock, further pushing the boundaries of what modern jazz can cover and saw the band reach deep down inside themselves to unleash something totally mesmerizing and out of this world. Slowly creating an atmosphere of endless drum fills, expressive tenor saxophone, and deeply rooted synthesizers, the band rocketed away on a trip of celestial bangers that kept the crowd in a transfixed state for nearly two hours. "Summon the Fire" was an early hit that really took off, setting things on a new course for the night as the energy began to increase with the growing intensity of the track. The driving rhythm put things on a course for total madness that saw the group blend together avant-guard free-jazz elements with festival band style jams. Aided with a stunning light display, the band were as tight as ever, really putting the focus on their ability to find intricate grooves and highlight their exquisite skills. With no true leader or front person, the group oscillates between their respective instruments, each one taking their turn to carry the weight of a track, a musical volley of the most impressive kind. Even with their well-balanced set which allowed for all of them to erupt with show stopping solos, Shabaka Hutchins is the true ace up the sleeve of the group and the crowd was easily the most enthusiastic for his monstrous eruptions of maxed out, brassy bliss. "Unity" was an out-of-body experience, the levitating sax and shimmering synths made for a truly transcendent moment, the floating rhythm lifting the spirits of the crowd to a meditative state as soft drums padded the beat for twinkling melodies. A few minutes of true serenity, the elevated experience felt like cresting a hill on a rollercoaster, a slight feeling of weightlessness before the band lived up to their name and came crashing back to Earth. A spiritual approach to jazz is by far nothing new, but their interpretation and approach to the style brings it to the present and continues to push it further into the future. The hallmarks of the past certainly feel present, but it's also like hearing music delivered from another place in time. "Thanks so much, everyone. I guess there's only one thing left to do and that's "ANGEL OF DARKNESS" declared Danalogue, the synth player / producer, as the band came back to the stage for an encore. It was a deeply groovy performance from a trio that is operating in top form and confirmed their status as a group defining a genre and making a space and sound totally their own.