Fruition Bares Their Hearts And Souls On A Monday Night In Bloomington [Videos/Full Audio]

first_imgLoad remaining images Fruition showed their fiery Americana spirit for the fans at The Bluebird in Bloomington, IN last Monday night. While any band can be inspired to bring their best to a packed house of screaming fans on a weekend, it takes a special mindset to deliver the same on a Monday along a lengthy tour. Having just finished an epic run of shows opening for Greensky Bluegrass, Fruition was coming off a wild high that saw them wowing audiences of rabid music lovers and making new fans left and right. They brought that energy onto the next phase of their current tour, a decidedly lower key event that saw them bring that exact same level of passion to a decidedly smaller crowd in a frigid college town on a Monday night during midterms.Make no mistake, Fruition has had incredible success over the last few years. Their appearances on festivals coast to coast, on radio airwaves and nonstop touring schedule have built them an ardent fan base outside of their Pacific Northwest home. By the end of their show, a respectable crowd had gathered at the venue to be both amazed and pulled into an irresistible boogie by the sounds they laid down that night. Simply put, the display of energy this immensely talented and completely dedicated band showed a spirit that was more impressive than any sold out show played to crowds ten times the size.Guitarist and front man of the show opener Tom Hamilton and his band, American Babies, knows full well the dichotomy of playing larger and smaller shows in short succession. As a member of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Hamilton regularly plays to massive crowds of rabid fans before hitting the smaller stages with his more personal project. He brought the same stellar fret board fireworks to the Bluebird stage that he did time and again to the main stages of some of the biggest fests and venues in the country and the fans in attendance loved him for it.His playing style has always had recognizable elements of the late Jerry Garcia, yet he manages to craft a sound wholly unique. The rest of his bandmates back him admirably, particularly his fellow guitarist Justin Mazer who matched Hamilton with his bluesy skills. While he stuck to his own compositions for the majority of the set, Hamilton  couldn’t resist putting his own spin on one of the tunes that dominates his other, higher profile gig, with a scorching take on the Grateful Dead classic “Deal.” The slowly building crowd was most receptive to the bubbling take on the tune, and crowded around the artist as he left the stage to offer high fives and thanks for his work priming the night properly.After Hamilton’s opening set, Fruition geared up for their headlining performance. The band has tirelessly toiled over the last decade to not only make a name for themselves as a performing act but to perfect the song writing skills that make their sound so satisfyingly unique. While all the members of Fruition contribute to the writing process in one form or another the three person front of Jay Cobb Anderson, Mimi Naja and Kellen Asebroek are credited with the lions share of the material. The work of these three arms the band with plenty of sonic weapons to be deployed to destroy minds and touch hearts.The venue steadily filled as the band played the first strains of the set opener, “Just One Of Them Nights,” a wry and winsome Anderson tune that makes a lonely and sorrowful mindset still sound like a pleasant moment of contemplation. The sweetness of their voices blended and the melodies from Naja’s mandolin work contrasted with the subject matter, elevating both by design. The band mixes and matches both tone and sentiment, deftly indicating an ability to imbue their music with emotional merit.Songs like “Random Lee” and “Above The Line” continued to prime the pump, but the first true watershed moment of the night was their most well known tune, “Labor Of Love.” Performed with a mad scramble of bodies crashing and thrashing around the stage, the energy coming from Fruition had a visible effect on the crowd as literally everyone in the house, including the noble tenders of the bar, managed to find a way to boogie down. With everyone on the same page the show got kicked up a notch with the heart of the order batting again.Our own Rex Thomson was on hand filming the fun, and has selected a cross section of songs from the evening to showcase the wide variety of sounds and styles that Fruition employs. What is most impressive about the band is the unity of purpose and identity that comes through, no matter who is singing and how heavy or light they are playing. A breathless ballad by Anderson sounds as much like a Fruition song as a rocking ode to illicit snuggling from Naja. That confidence was born of endless nights on the road, and it is well represented in the songs shared below.“I Can’t Stop”“Laydown Blues”“Mountain Annie”“There She Was”Though Fruition played right up to the predetermined cut off without leaving themselves time for a proper encore, the wild cheers and applause drew them back, with suitably humble words of thanks for the reception. Wrapping the night with a spot on take of Led Zeppelin‘s “Hey Hey What Can I Do,” the band hit the accelerator and gleefully burned what fuel they had left in the tank in full glory, leaving themselves literally gasping for air. They did this on a Monday night, just a day removed from playing to a far greater crowd in a much larger city.That level of commitment to purpose, of owning the pure intention of giving their all, night in and night out, is what has made Fruition the national touring act it is today. If they continue turning in performances like they have on this tour, it is what will lead them to one day becoming the “don’t miss” show that, to so many, they already are. Best of all, judging from their friendly time greeting the fans after a few moments to regain their composure, it will be a case of dedicated artists being rewarded for sharing their love.Listen to a wonderful soundboard of the show thanks to the band and their jack of all trades, Terry Lapointe, below:Setlist: Fruition | Bluebird Theater | Bloomington, IN | 2/13/17Set 1: Just One Of Them Nights, Random Lee, Above The Line, Labor Of Love, I Don’t Mind, I Can’t Stop, The Wanter, Blue Light, Laydown Blues, Mountain Annie, There She Was, Santa Fe, Fallin On My Face, I Should Be (On Top of The World), Stickshifts and Safety Belts, Meet Me On The Mountain, Boil Over, Misty Morning/Early Morning Wake Up, BentEncore: The Meaning, Hey Hey What Can I Do (Street Corner Girl)last_img read more