LIVE: The Big Takeover @ The Linda, 5/27/17

NeeNee Rushnie
The Big Takeover’s NeeNee Rushnie

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The usual rows of chairs for the audience at The Linda were removed. Instead, chairs were placed along the sides of the auditorium like a high school dance. Except for one big difference – instead of young boys and girls shyly sitting in those chairs, when the Big Takeover started playing, almost the entire audience started dancing. And they never stopped dancing…

The infectious rhythms of ska (a predecessor of reggae with a faster beat) permeated the entire room and made anyone close to the music feel a primeval urge to dance.

This funky rhythm was set down expertly by the rhythm section of Rob Kissner on bass, Kerry Shaw on guitar and Batu Attila on drums. Kissner and Kerry’s rhythms were heavily intertwined with each other, and they were usually locked in visual contact with each other. When they weren’t, Kerry was frequently alone doing his own dance in time with the rhythm. His role was primarily as a timekeeper, though the one time he was given a chance to solo, he wailed as hard as a guitar player in a rock band.

Ska is also well known for having horn sections providing a melodic swaying sound and counterpoint almost swinging sound reminiscent of the motion of palm trees along with boisterous bold solos. Trombonist Andrew Vogt and sax player Chas Montrose provided all that and more.

Vocalist NeeNee Rushnie’s powerful, insistent vocals and infectious, animated stage presence was the visual and aural presence of the band. In a colorful printed blouse and a pleated reddish-orange skirt, she danced and sang from one end of the stage to another, frequently swaying the skirt to accentuate the beat.

The performance was being recorded for an upcoming live album, the fifth CD for the band. It was indeed fun to witness and participate in the recording of this live album.

UPCOMING: If you missed them at The Linda, the Big Takeover will be back in Albany at 12noon on Wednesday, June 28, firing up a free lunchtime concert on the Empire State Plaza as part of the Made in the Shade of The Egg noontime concert series.

Come Before Five
Love Understands
Sizzlin’ Bacon
Stay With Me
Things You Do
Bang Bang
Walk the Plank
Play Another Song
Silly Girl
Grain of Sugar
New Heart

NeeNee Rushnie, Batu Attila and Rob Kissner
NeeNee Rushnie, Batu Attila and Rob Kissner
Andrew Vogt and Chris Montrose
Andrew Vogt and Chris Montrose
Andrew Vogt, Chris Montrose and NeeNee Rushnie
Andrew Vogt, Chris Montrose and NeeNee Rushnie
Rob Kissner and Kerry Shaw
Rob Kissner and Kerry Shaw

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