Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass was the theme of the night in the nations capital as Vince Herman and Leftover Salmon finished up their east coast tour this past Sunday night. Seating was scarce and the dance floor filled up fast in the packed Hamilton Live venue as Leftover took to the stage. One might have thought that they would have put on a laid back show this evening seeing as it was the last leg of their tour out here and that the Hamilton is such an upscale venue. The boys put that notion to bed quickly opening with “Steam Powered Aeroplane” into a very uptempo “Carnival Time”. I used the slow down of  “Valley Of The Full Moon” to take a breather and grab another beer. (I do wish Salmon would have had some of those Breckenridge IBA cases leftover haha) Vince’s use of theatrics and natural charm to involve the crowd as much as possible is brilliant, joking it up before “Unplug That Telephone” noting that it showed how old the song was since everyone has since switched to cellphones.l1
When Drew Emmitt whipped out his electric mandolin he rocked it so hard I swore it would catch fire and get smashed over an amp by the end of the show. (Drew did break a string I found out later) His electrifying performance during “Euphoria” had the crowd in awe with many whipping out cellphones to record what they were witnessing. Not to be topped, Andy Thorn had a little fun of his own with the electric banjo that resonated through his beaming smile. Andy also got to show of his traditional banjo skills on his own song “Aquatic Hitchhiker” where he led the boys with the fury of a runaway train.
During set break we ventured upstairs and outside to check out the DC architecture. Just blocks from the Whitehouse, there’s no other place like it with it’s huge monuments taking up the panoramic skyline. After the short break it was time to get back to the boogie as Leftover came back out with the same vibrancy they have always been known for, leading off the second set with “Look Ma A Boo Boo” and then later “Gulf Of Mexico” putting the feel of island beach life in the air. I had to get a little excited when I recognized “Small Axe” right off the bat. I love to hear reggae played bluegrass style, it changes so much it’s almost like a brand new song.

When “Everything Is Round” began it prompted another beer break (that’s what slow songs are for right, beer runs?) But of course LOS can’t slow it down for long, these guys love to rage so it was time for another pickin’ battle and a little violin with ” Bend In The River”.  After Vince sang a soulful version of “Two Highways” Salmon wrapped up the set with an energetic “Up On The Hill Where We Do The Boogie” By this point the crowd was getting rowdy and you could hear them howlin’ and screamin’ for more as the band walked off the stage. A couple minutes of “encore, encore, encore” from the dance floor brought Vince back out to play a bluesy version of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”  Finally to celebrate the recent liberation of  cannabis in DC we were treated to a doobiously wicked “Rise Up Wake And Bake” with everyone singing along “gonna roll a big fatty, early in the morning!” Once again I walked away from a Leftover Salmon show scheming ways to put myself back in the path of their upcoming tour, Boulders not too far, I’m sure I’ve got some reason to be in Mexico…it is getting cold up here. Well until next time….FESTIVALLLLLLLL!