Just an hour after the house lights at The Mix went up and the moderate Thursday night crowd shuffled out, Egshan’s Twitter feed reads: “thankx fo comin out. much luv … thank u all.” The late-night shout-out, grammatical snafus aside, is representative of the band’s spirit — family and friendship are prized at their shows, where audiences are regularly filled with old buddies, the kind that are only earned through many years of cultivated friendship. Frontman Nick Pacheo and his brother Rick on bass head the band. They’re joined by cousin and lead guitarist Marc Dalmolin and drummer Rob Luna. A chemistry honed over a lifetime of lived experience and five years playing together is palpable in their live set.
After more than a year of twice-a-month gigs at The Mix and six-nights-a-week concerts in May, the band is taking time off to record an album. With the studio hours already in sight, Thursday’s show took on the air of an impromptu songwriting session, much of which was dictated by audience members chucking darts.
“It was Rick’s last-minute idea to get the crowd involved,” said Nick, in reference to a bulletin board covered with balloons. Behind each balloon lurked a different chord progression that, once exposed by a dart thrown by the audience, directed the band’s progress.
The result was remarkably fluid as the band crossed a variety of genres. Psychedelic builds led to almost Sade-esque fusions of modern rock and jazz only to morph into straight-up prog rock. Glimpses of Mazzy Star, Built to Spill, Sunny Day Real Estate, and even the Beatles surfaced throughout. These periods of transition proved the most rewarding for the audience, as music was literally being written on the spot.
Of course the band didn’t rely entirely on their ability to improvise. Audience favorites from Egshan’s first album, Full Time Daydreamer, inspired sing-alongs, as did competent Tom Petty and Johnny Cash covers.
Egshan’s sophomore album is slated for release in August with one lofty goal in mind.
“We just want to be able to relate to everyone,” said Nick.
With their range of styles and solid playing, they just might.