Von Cello Live Audio

Great musicians are always exciting to see live because they are constantly inventive. Most rock bands play the same songs the same way at every show; the bands that can improvise are the ones that people come back to see again and again. Von Cello is a great improviser as you will hear in these clips from live performances.

You can stream or download each song individually, or stream the whole page at once. Enjoy the adventure!



8/16/02 New York City:

Intro
    This performance was given at Kenny's Castaways in New York City's Greenwich Village. New York was still very much living in the shadow of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, and Von Cello reacted to this by making statements about surviving despite terrorism, and adding middle eastern sounds to jams.

    The band consisted of Von Cello on cello and vocals, Andy Lowe on bass, and Roy Weinberg on drums. Roy, who is the drummer for the Door's tribute band, The Soft Parade, was thrilled to finally get to play with Von Cello after having seen the band and followed their progress for years. You can hear his enthusiasm and it's effect on the band.

    The show began with an abbreviated "Star Spangled Banner" and then continued into "Purple Haze". Almost immediately after, the band jumps into the Von Cello tune, "Hello Mr. Jutter". As soon as the jam ends, the crowd goes wild.
Get Up Get Out Of My Way
    Commenting that this is a song about making it, despite "terrorists and all kinds of other things going on", Von Cello starts the music with a mellow solo in E minor. Then the band launches into an up tempo version of "Get Up Get Out Of My Way". In the middle section they break from the recorded version, going into a great fast blues jam. It builds to a fever pitch, leaving the crowd screaming!
Feelin' Fine
    The band does a fine version of "Feelin' Fine" but things get really fine in the jam at the end of the tune. Andy's high fast bass licks set the stage and Von's crisp licks are the perfect compliment. The leads slow down around 2/3rds of the way in and it sounds like Von is talking with his cello to the crowd. Then the song snaps back into the groove and gently glides to it's conclusion.
Spy Vs. Spy
    Saying that these days, "you never know who is a spy" Von Cello leads the band into "Spy Vs. Spy". The solo on the bridge gets expanded and starts to sound middle eastern. Von Cello starts making comments about being in the desert in a land of strangers. He was alluding to the U.S. soldiers who were in Afghanistan hunting down Al Qaeda. The music follows the vocal descriptions. Sometimes Von Cello created a Doors vibe as well, in deference to Roy. The song comes back to the last verse and then into it's next jam. This jam is started again with active bass licks by Andy. Von then goes into "Within You and Without You" by the Beatles. Then Von gets into some heavy distortion as Roy and Andy keep the groove. A Gershwin quote is heard at the peak of the jam, and then we are back into a eerie distorted middle eastern vibe, and then the song seems to float to an ending leaving the crowd screaming once more.


10/12/01 Nashville:
Nashville - "Go To Hell", "Let's Here It For The Heroes", "Something True"
    This rousing version of "Go To Hell" was performed in Nashville at Springwater. For this show Dan Freeman played bass and Walker T. Pettibone was on drums. These young musicians helped give the tune a special high level of energy. Von himself lets out a great scream at the end of the vocals. The crowd lets out some great screams too, especially Kara, the owner of the club!

    This gig occured one month after the 9/11 attack on New York, almost to the day. Von explains the story of the next tune, "Let's Hear It For The Heroes". He wrote it just days after 9/11 while playing his celtar near the Hudson River within ear shot of people who were cheering on the firemen and others who were going to and from "ground zero" to clean the debris and search for the remains of the "missing". This moving song starts out recalling young America's Revolutionary War with the British. It recalls one of the revolutionary banners that read, "Don't Tread On Me". The second verse speaks of the terrorist attack that had just occured and America's resolve to defend itself. A comparison with between the two attacks is made as once again the banner is raised! After that pro American message, the words become global as Von Cello exhorts all peoples of the world to stand together as one and praise the heroes, all heroes. The last chorus changes one word and that little change makes clear that this praise extends to the heroes who gave their lives on 9/11.

    The words meant a lot to Von Cello, so we proudly post them here:

    They came onto our shores, rifles in their hand. With cannons blazing fire, they came to take a stand. The word spread out around, the land of the free. They raised a banner high, it said, "Don't Tread On Me".

    Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who stand so tall. Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who give their all.

    They came into our skys, with hatred in their heart. They used our planes against us, they thought they were so smart. But one thing they forgot, about our history: they raised a banner high, it said, "Don't Tread On Me".

    Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who stand so tall. Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who give their all.

    We believe in peace. We believe in love. We believe that all men are created equal. We believe in life. We believe in liberty. We believe that everyone has the right to do whatever they want, as long as they don't hurt anyone. We believe in our country, but even more, we believe in our world. And as we reach out to our brothers and sisters beyond our shining seas, we stand together as one and we sing:

    Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who stand so tall. Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who give their all.

    Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who stand so tall. Let's hear it for the heroes, the ones who GAVE...their all.

    The final song in Nashville was "Something True", the funky tune at the end of Von Cello Rules! Dan gets funky with thumb slaps in the solo section and Von plays his leads with authority. At the end of the set, one of the musicians from another band on the bill, says into the tape recorder, "You guys were great".


10/13/01 Harrisburg:
Harrisburg
    On the way home from Nashville, Von Cello and drummer Phil Carnavale, opened up an all day outdoor music festival in Harrisburg, PA, which was a benefit for the victims of 9/11. Von Cello went to Harrisburg to represent New York. All the other bands were from Pennsylvania. His version of the "Star Spangled Banner", with bombs blasting, was the perfect way to begin this day. As the DJ from WEXQ FM said, this was an "extraordinary treat". It was also an honor for Von Cello to be doing his part to help the victims and their families.

    At the end of this recording, we hear the soundman freaking out. He says, "I have never heard any cello ever sound any sorta kinda like that...ever! That is COOL! Man, I moved out of New York five years ago. Where was he then? Maybe I would have stayed!"

    On the Von Cello Live Video page (on this site) we have the second version of the "Star Spangled Banner" that Von and Phil played later in the show, by popular demand. We also hear some of the second version of the anthem here. Unfortunately someone forgot to turn the tape recorder on at the beginning! But we have the full version on the video. Dig the sound of the crowd after Von Cello and Phil play the rousing finale!



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