Herbie Hancock: 4 October 2013 - Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (Photos)

1973 was the year of Head Hunters, Herbie Hancock's seminal album. Forty years later, crowds are still loving "Chameleon", "Watermelon Man" and Hancock himself.

Herbie Hancock
City: Port Chester, NY
Venue: Capitol Theatre
Date: 2013-10-04

The other week, I had asked Moby if he had visited the revamped Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. He had not, and nor had I. I sought to remedy that ASAP and found Herbie Hancock would be performing there soon, almost two years after I first saw him perform and, as it turns out, nearly forty years since the release of Head Hunters (This is Book shares his thoughts on the album here). So when I arrived at The Cap, I found it to be a lovely venue, with comfortable chairs (that could be removed for more rock and/or youth-oriented shows) and great sound. The only complaint I could make about the venue was that the bar, Garcia's, didn't serve any food. But, for better or worse, if you came for a show, you could wander to the bar and watch a broadcast of the stage not more than 100 yards away in there. A nice escape for those who want to drink surely. However, neither the venue nor the bar were packed for this show. Presumably this is attributable to the age of Hancock and those who were the original target demographic of Head Hunters given that a view toward the stage showed a sea of white hair or balding heads.

No matter the age of the music, Herbie Hancock is still outstanding. But he did throw the younger audience a couple of bones to get them biting. Between songs, when Hancock would discuss some of the history of his music, he referenced Daft Punk several times, proudly noting that bassist James Genus had worked with the French-duo on their latest album. He was just as praise-worthy of the rest of his quartet. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta had worked with Sting, Joni Mitchell and Chick Corea in the past while guitarist Lionel Loueke could multiply his single instrument into a wide variety of sounds and make it appear as if a dozen musicians were on stage. Loueke's song "Seventeens" was worked into an intro for "Watermelon Man", with Hancock admitting that people may not get the seventeen beats, so they'll turn it into sixteen beats.

Hancock performed "Come Running to Me", off a lesser known album Sunlight, which seemed to be the closest sound to what Daft Punk intended on their latest. True to the album's title, this song had an inherent warmth to it due to the Spanish-style guitar from Loueke. Hancock applied vocoder /auto-tune effects to his voice in such a way that made it clear the robots had to have heard this, and if they haven't, they really need to. Hancock may not have realized how instrumental he was in developing the future sound of music with his inclusion of electronics in the '70s and '80s, he was probably just creating something funky, but we should thank him for that. The night worked as sort of a greatest-hits showcase, as the even more futuristic sounding "Rockit" was to be worked into the encore and "Cantaloupe Island" and "Chameleon" also featured strongly. The set included two solos, the first was from Loueke and it ended in a wild-animal/zoo-like frenzy. Then Hancock got his own turn on the grand piano, though he did mix in some synths from a space surrounded by other digital screens and iPads. The gadgets did obstruct the view of him, but when Hancock worked his keytar, the audience could best glimpse the legend immersed in the music. Though it was just inspiring to hear him share stories about his music -- every time he regaled the audience with a bit of back story, you could sense Hancock's love of his craft.





90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.


Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

A Lesson from the Avengers for Our Time of COVID-19

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.


Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.


Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.


First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?


HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.


Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.


How Lasting Is the Legacy of the Live 8 Charity Concert?

A voyage to the bottom of a T-shirt drawer prompts a look back at a major event in the history of celebrity charity concerts, 2005's Live 8, Philadelphia.


Jessie Ware Embraces Her Club Culture Roots on Rapturous 'What's Your Pleasure?'

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.


Paul Weller Dazzles with the Psychedelic and Soulful 'On Sunset'

Paul Weller's On Sunset continues his recent streak of experimental yet tuneful masterworks. More than 40 years into his musical career, Weller sounds as fresh and inspired as ever.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.