Black Beans and Hippie Liver

Gypsy Den, Sept. 9

A musical Frankenstein stitched together with chunks of Cream, Santana and Frank Zappa, Vegas jam trio Black Beans and Hippie Liver lit up the outdoor stage next to Gypsy Den, proving not all wank-heavy bands have to sound like wet, boring noodles. They comprise a tight ensemble, locking into grooves that, while certainly psychedelic enough for the patchouli-scented hordes, are aggressive enough for rockers like me. I dig their original material—funky “Fisherman,” Latin-infused “Reggz,” and the (Joe) Satriani-shredding prog-fury of “The Max Song.” The band also wields an inspired, metal-edged cover of Primus’ “Tommy the Cat,” with Chris Hermosillo handling the zany spoken-word sections. With the stage’s Neon Reverb banner hanging by a thread, I felt at home amid a hundred others digging this great band. Caught a flying drumstick, too!

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