Peter L Spadaro III
BROOKLYN, NY – Friday Night at the Brooklyn Bowl is where most bands on the touring circuit wish they could be, and is always a platform for the best live music in New York City. This is especially true when a seasoned, but fresh band like Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad hits the stage with fistfuls of fury. Walking into The Bowl there was a certain buzz in the air, which immediately opened my eyes and got me excited for what was to come.
The fellas from Rochester, NY hit the stage giving everything they could. Seeing these guys for the first time- my expectations were none, and boy did that change fast. The heavy reggae that hit from the start was nothing short of stellar, and refreshing. It was very clear that they were in town to get it done right. A definite highlight of the show was a tune they called “JBB” noted after “John Browns Body” – If anyone wasn’t dancing before this tune hit, they were now. Super heavy funk sections ran through this song like something out of the book of “Lettuce” I was also very pleased to hear “Pockets” during their set, a nice smooth reggae groove that made me more than happy to have made the trek.
Panda showed their versatility, and musical marksmanship when they switched up instruments and introduced the banjo. The switch from reggae to more of a bluegrass feel, was very smooth and seemed almost natural for these guys. The straight rock and roll show, with technically challenging, yet easy to follow sounds had me hooked.
The show came to a close with a stellar version of the Grateful Dead’s “ New Speedway Boogie” segued into a finale of an up tempo “Seasons Change”.
Look for Panda to be touring again in 2013, as they are planning on releasing not one, but two albums in 2013.
Though no Audio recordings have surfaced, check out the video below, or head over to archive.org and give them a listen
Here’s the absolutely ripping acoustic/electric version of The Grateful Dead’s New Speedway Boogie from the show.