Boston-based improvisational groove outfit Club d’Elf brought their 25th Anniversary Tour to Vermont on Friday for a concert at Waterbury Park’s Zenbarn. The band welcomed Vermont resident Mike Gordon of Phish to sit-in on a song towards the middle of the evening.
Club d’Elf’s lineup on Friday saw founder Mike “Micro” Rivard on bass joined by longtime collaborator Dean Johnston on drums, keyboardist Paul Schultheis and guitarist Randy Roos. Gordon emerged after the third song to lend a hand on the d’Elf original live staple “Power Plant.”
Micro played sintir, a bass lute from Morocco, while Cactus infused “Power Plant” with groovy bass lines. The pair previously met a few weeks back, when Gordon gave Rivard and Ryan Montbleau a tour of his studio. Watch a clip of the collaborative “Power Plant” performance below:
Club d’Elf bookended the show with material from their latest album, 2022’s You Never Know. The ensemble plucked a combo of “Zeed al Maal” and “Lalla Aisha in Jhaptal” off the LP to kick off their set and later delivered a “Masada” encore. Mike Gordon emerged after So Below cut “End Of Firpo” to add to “Power Plant.”
Gordon’s guest spot was followed by oldies “Nematodes” and “Fire In The Brain.” Club d’Elf closed out their lone set at Zenbarn with the Rivard-penned “Big Light In The Sky.” Next up for the group is their return to Soundcheck Studios in Pembroke, Massachusetts this Friday, April 7 featuring Johnston’s Neighbor bandmate Lyle Brewer on guitar.
Setlist (via Phish.net)
Set: Zeed al Maal, Lalla Aisha in Jhaptal, End of Firpo, Power Plant , Nematodes, Fire in the Brain, Big Light in the Sky
Encore: Masada Mike Gordon on bass.