10/29/19 Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, NM — Spafford at Meow Wolf was a jamband lover’s paradise. It seems MW has a few jambands on the calendar for the next couple of months (Tauk, Floozies, Keller Williams, Papadosio), so enjoy having your faces melted.
Spafford’s brand of jamminess leans toward the Phish / Grateful Dead end of the spectrum. Not surprising, since their early set lists were sprinkled with covers from those bands. If I had to compare them to an already-legendary jamband though, I think moe. would be more accurate.
Their instrumental opener carried on for what seemed like at least 30 minutes and meandered through teases of other songs, like an overture. My sense of time may have been temporarily suspended but it seemed vocals from Brian Moss came in at around 45 minutes.
Spafford’s choices of cover songs are often surprising and varied. Tonight’s 1st set cover was “Down Under (originally Men at Work).” I can’t imagine Colin Hay ever
thought the song would have room for such an epic jam in the middle, but it was super tasty.
Second set began with bass player Jordan Fairless on lead vocal and morphed the energy in the room toward anticipation of an even wider orbit. I’ve always liked bands who switch up vocal duties as it paints a broader picture. If their posted set list is accurate (they’re known to deviate in the moment), the “Soil” jam out of “Lovesick Melody” was especially sick. Of course, every jam seemed to top the one before it, because these guys are jamming machines.
The encore was a particularly ripping version of “Galisteo Way,” which went over huge with the NM crowd (Galisteo being a word we encounter often), and a fitting closer to a shredfest the likes of which Meow Wolf hasn’t seen before. Spafford is jammy nerd rock of the highest caliber, and I can’t wait to see them again, repeatedly.