Ice Petal Flowers were mentioned here in the spring for Island Girl’s birthday party. That, to date, has been the most shared post on the site. That show was literally in a Long Island living room. They have played a number of shows around NYC since but this was a seminal moment because they were playing at the famous Garcia’s, the anteroom of the Capitol Theater in Port Chester. Complete with a full bar and posters of the eponymous icon on each wall, Garcia’s boasts a smaller stage which serves as a launch pad for equally sized acts and the occasional after parties. When the main stage at the Cap is in use, Garcia’s is open as a bar.
I came to know Ice Petal Flowers through their bassist Jason who is also one of the NYC area’s most impressive guitar techs and amp builders. We have seen countless shows together and share similar stomping grounds. Once we discovered our geeky obsession with gear, our relationship was solidified. Since then, he’s repaired my gear, sold some old stuff, and has guided me past terrible deals.
The band has also solidified. Tonight they played with a sit-in drummer who was a seamless addition to the fold. They covered a rich blend of tunes from all eras of the Dead catalog from Viola Lee Blues and Dark Star through stand-by classics which carried through the original 30-year stretch and beyond.
One exciting element of Ice Petal Flowers is the listening. They play beyond the charts to the heart of the songs. Together they capture the essence of the songs. New musicians wonder why strumming the list of chords laid out on some website sounds nothing like the Dead. They either don’t have the rhythm, the inversions, or rest of the band to fill the gaps. Dead tunes live in the gaps. Each instrument plays around the thematic flow of melody and rhythm like rocks around a sun. They don’t collide and don’t overlap. They’re part of a system that balances when each element stays autonomous. Listening to each other fuels cohesion of dynamics (speed, volume, attack, etc) necessary for a valuable experience and not all bands have this. One reason there are so many Dead cover bands is the endless canvas of possibility from song choices through improvisation prompts. It is a wonderful thing to find a band that can be trusted with the opportunity.
That said, I had the entire lobby to dance my tits off so I would have been happy listening to XLIIs all night.0 likes