Spafford has taken a non-traditional approach to building an audience. They self-produce their albums and release them on their own label, tour frequently, and live-stream their concerts. Much like the Grateful Dead and Phish (bands that clearly influenced Spafford), they expand their audience via word of mouth rather than radio airplay.
It works. Spafford has developed a large international following and sells out shows worldwide. Fans packed the Park West concert hall Friday night to see Spafford perform live.
The band's music did not disappoint. They filled two sets and an encore with funky jazz-influenced rock melodies. The musicians are first-rate and extended each song with impressive improvisational solos. Much of the music was hypnotic, intensified by the laser light show behind them. They played only eleven songs, each lasting 10-20 minutes, so the show continued well past midnight. Puzzlingly, their announced "short break" stretched to over a half hour.
Friday night's set consisted almost entirely of originals. The lone exception was a bluesy rendition of the Eagles' "Those Shoes," which bled into an extended instrumental break.
Each band member is a proficient musician. Jordan Fairless on bass, Cory Schechtman on keyboards, and Nick Tkachyk on drums all impress; but Brian Moss's guitar licks stood out. His fingers burned across the stream on solos and provided great rhythm when others took the spotlight.
If you missed this show, do not despair. There is a good chance they will play at a venue close to your home. And if you miss that, you can catch live streams and recordings of their concerts.