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Mixing a blend of intricate compositions, catchy songs and a fun stage presence, all with an exploratory attitude towards group improvisation, an evening with Boston-based Mondo Gecko is always an adventure. The group’s funk rock sound infuses elements of electronica, space grass, reggae, and jazz fusion.
The sounds of guitarist Luke Stratton and keyboardist Eric McEwen contrast and combine, fusing together throughout jams and compositions alike. Luke’s funky rhythms, soaring leads, and psychedelic wizardry contrast and combine with Eric’s soulful organ lines, vibrant Rhodes textures, classically infused jazz piano, and cosmic synth leads. Bassist Matt Drummey’s rock, jazz and funk influences emit a “Gordon meets Lesh” sound not to dissimilar from a concerto for thunder clouds, and when combined with drummer Aaron Morey’s loose, exploratory rhythms, tight funk grooves, and bangin’ disco house beats, they push the ensemble into overdrive. Add in three part harmonies from three distinct lead vocalists and you’ve got MONDO GECKO.
The group’s musical educations have helped open pathways for a higher level of communication. “These guys are skilled enough not to get lost in the ethereal when they improvise,” says Janie Franz of Skope Magazine. “Mondo Gecko produces a dynamic, fun live show…There are fans out there waiting for them.”
Mondo Gecko strives to make their events more than just concerts, resulting in each show being a truly unique experience. Lyrics are often altered based on the event location, audience members in attendance, or other bands on the bill. Set lists are always unique, often intertwining songs with each other and starting and ending song on different nights. Concern for ambiance at a Gecko show is apparent as soon as you walk through the doors.
Mondo Gecko has shared bills with:
RAQ, The Breakfast, Kung Fu, U-Melt, The Brew, The Macpodz, Consider The Source, Dopopod, Strange Design, Spiritual Rez, Schleigho
The Big Up, Ghent, NY
Harvest Fest, Harmony, ME
Jerry Jam, Franconia, NH
Breakfest, Goshen, NH
Bellstock, East Jewett, NY
Allston Village Street Fair, Allston, MA
Harpers Ferry, Allston, MA
Middle East, Cambridge, MA
Showcase Live, Foxboro, MA
Stone Church, Newmarket, NH
Big Easy, Portland, ME
Empire, Portland, ME
Nectar's, Burlington, VT
Red Square, Albany, NY
Luke Stratton - Vocals, Guitar
Eric McEwne - Vocals, keys
Matt Drummey - Vocals, Bass
Aaron Morey - Drums
Mondo Gecko (Self Titled EP)
Live at Harpers Ferry 4/24/09
Above the Notch EP
MONDO GECKO AT BEAR’S, OH MY!
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Mondo Gecko performed their 100th show last night at T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge. The boys p...Mondo Gecko performed their 100th show last night at T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge. The boys played with the tightness and precision that, to any new listener, could easily have sounded like their thousandth.
One of Boston’s most promising neo-jam bands, Mondo Gecko possesses a courageous willingness to trespass into uncharted territory, and a relaxed confidence in their ability to return. When improvising, most jam bands give off a meandering vibe, as if searching to find the riff that will melt all of our faces. Mondo Gecko, however, gives off the impression that their sound is continuously where they want it to be— And to any listener, it is definitely an adventure. Luke Stratton wails on his guitar, and I mean wails. His psychedelic licks stem from a great emotional intensity, which pulls the audience in and allows them to join in on the fun. Luke’s sound contrasts well with Eric McEwen’s keys, especially his synth leads. Eric plays with an energy that is reminiscent of a mad scientist, fervently concocting a spirited sound. Luke and Eric are grounded by Matt Drummey’s Phil Lesh-like bass. His lines are creative and explorative, while maintaining a funk that would have your arthritic grandmother out of her walker and onto the dance floor. Once she’s there its going to be hard getting her to stop gyrating to the jazzy house beats coming from Aaron Morey’s drums.
“Wounded Dreamer,” a Mondo Gecko original, had the crowd dancing feverishly. The tune featured the talented Steve Malinowski of Blue Mountain Bustdown, the impressive quartet who played directly before. Malinowski gleefully joined Eric on keys as the band explored a jam that teased Phish’s “Tweezer.” At one point in the night, the band also teased a daring yet carefree version of “Naughty Girl” by Beyonce. The set was closed with a funkified version of “UFO” in which the band gracefully demonstrated their ability to share and harmonize vocals.
Last night was truly a rollicking, freewheeling time. I have shin splints from grooving, and I’m pretty sure I suffered loss of hearing, but at the end of the day it was worth more than the price of admission. If anyone is interested in looking for a good time check out Mondo Gecko, or give me a call. Either way you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Top 10 finalist out of over 230 bands
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Top 10 finalist out of over 230 bands Magic Hat "We Want to Sponsor Your Band" Contest , Fall 2009 ...Top 10 finalist out of over 230 bands
Magic Hat "We Want to Sponsor Your Band" Contest , Fall 2009
Quote from the Top Ten announcement:
"The 3rd Finalist of 10 in Magic Hat's On Tour contest is Mondo Gecko, jamming out of Boston, Massachusetts. These five fancy hat-wearing musicians are a jam band through and through and interact with their audiences throughout each of their shows. Check out this self-described Neo-jam band"
Their name is spreading like wildfire throughout the jam community...you must get out and see these guys live.
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Chosen as Perry’s Pick, Nov. 09: Massachusetts' latest contribution to the jam scene is a five-pi...Chosen as Perry’s Pick, Nov. 09:
Massachusetts' latest contribution to the jam scene is a five-piece funk rock outfit called Mondo Gecko. With a strong emphasis on live improvisation, the group features driving lead guitar similar to Umphrey's McGee contrasted with the funkier clavinet and keyboard lines reminiscent of Phish's Page McConnell. Also similar to Phish is Mondo Gecko's grassroots approach of playing local venues, building upon a dedicated fanbase, and involving friends and family with street team, merchandise, and touring assistance. The group has played all over the northeast and it would not be surprising if they started to tour nationally within a short period of time. Musically, Mondo Gecko is not restricted by a single genre, but rather fuses elements of rock, jazz, funk, and reggae among other musical styles to make for a live experience that covers all cylinders. Each member is well-seasoned, having played in other local groups previous to Mondo Gecko, so they all bring a unique personal style to solos as well as to the band's sound as a whole. Their story-like songwriting nicely compliments the full instrumental groove that backs them. The glue of the group is the interlocking groove of bassist Andrew Walley and drummer Aaron Morey, who together provide a catapult for guitarists Brad Garone and Luke Stratton to contribute explosive solos or share in the groove with funky rhythm licks. Weaving in and out of the guitar is keyboardist Eric McEwen who lends a whole different perspective, taking many different tones and lending a unique attitude to every song. Mondo Gecko are still getting on their feet, but thanks to a constantly loaded gigging schedule, their name is spreading like wildfire throughout the jam community. Their open taping policy has created plenty of opportunity for new listeners to hop aboard, but to get the full experience, you must get out and see these guys live.
Perry Eaton, The Concert Buzz, November 2009
Mondo Gecko featured in Skope
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"My Fave: As many of you know me, you can guess who would be my fave this time around: the jamband. ..."My Fave: As many of you know me, you can guess who would be my fave this time around: the jamband. It’s a great new band from Boston called Mondo Gecko. This band boasts five members from the Berkee College of Music who combine that technical skill with a distinct sense of humor that Phish would have been envious of in their early days. Their website explains the band’s sound as: “Imagine if James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and Johnny Cash all joined Phish, and they were all abducted by Rastafarian space aliens on Halloween night while at a Rave hosted by the Ghostbusters.” Those varied influences are definitely there, especially Phish, but there is also a lot of jazz mixed in and plenty guitar and keys effects. The jams are structured but allow for a lot of freedom. These guys are skilled enough not to get lost in the ethereal when they improvise. Their song “Relics” is an amusing look back at history, while their “Traveling Song” could be a twenty-first century Lord of the Rings anthem, starting out folkish and then moving into rock and jazz realms. Mondo Gecko produces a dynamic, fun live show. These guys need to make a swath through the heartland and hit the summer jam festivals. There are fans out there waiting for them."
Why did I not check these guys out sooner than i did!!!!
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From http://kdbostonconcerts.webs.com/ Why did I not check these guys out sooner than i did!!!! ...From http://kdbostonconcerts.webs.com/
Why did I not check these guys out sooner than i did!!!! I've been askin myself that question every day since I finally got to see this AMAZING band at TT and the bears place.
So the deal with Mondo Gecko is....... oh my god amazing jam band!!! phish, floyd, and the Grateful dead all mixed into one, Nothing in my right mind could be better.
The best parts about their show is how they can transition from song to song and keep the music going. Everything sounds amazing during their concerts. Another band that is full of energy and the lead singer Luke does a great job at tellin stories that go along with the songs and is very crowed oriented. It makes the show that much better. I love to see musicians get ingaged in their shows and speak to audience.
I have also had the pleasure of meeting the entire band. Great group of musicians and people. I really enjoy hanging out with them every time I see them. I couldn't ask for a better night when I go to a Mondo Gecko show. They are all down to earth and love the same music I love. I've had awesome discussions with Brad about guitars, Phish, and everything haha. Luke is really awesome to. And with Walley as their new basist they should be getting a lot of recognition soon, I hope (and i'll make sure that happens guys).
They are really awesome to talk to and I don't know how to thank them for letting me know about their shows and chill with them after. My life is better because of people and bands like the ones in Mondo Gecko.♥ oh yeah guys.... the new song High Gravity is the shit Brad Garone and your amazing rift oh my god..... I can't stop listeing to it!
"These guys are the real deal, talented musicians, original music and great jams...stay tuned"
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"These guys are the real deal, talented musicians, original music and great jams...stay tuned" John..."These guys are the real deal, talented musicians, original music and great jams...stay tuned"
John Ruland, KEUL Girdwood FM 88.9
For a comprehensive database of set lists, visit: http://mondogecko.com/news/category/setlists/
There are no upcoming dates at this time.