LaMP Brings Soulful Groove To The Atlantis In DC

By Stu Kelly / December 7, 2023

On a brisk Wednesday night in our Nation’s Capitol, LaMP descended upon one of the city’s newest venues, The Atlantis, and brought the heat with their eclectic blend of instrumental acid jazz fusion. LaMP is a cooperative trio of drummer Russ Lawton, organist Ray Paczkowski, and guitarist Scott Metzger. The trio fuses the tested synergy of ‘Russ and Ray’ from Soule Monde and Trey Anastasio Band with Metzger’s versatility and melodic prowess on his coveted Telecaster. 

Metzger has a remarkable resume, having worked with various musicians who have helped shape his sound over the years. Most notably, Metzger is a full-time member of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead since their inception in 2013. Metzger has a fearless approach to music when he’s on stage. His adept ability to carve out space and make his presence known is just as valuable as sitting back in his pocket, listening to the harmonious groove of the other instruments on stage, and showing patience when crafting the overall sound. 

One of the best aspects of the jam band community, or any music deeply rooted around spontaneous improvisation as the cornerstone, is the beauty that anything can happen at any moment. That notion is only multiplied when a supergroup like LaMP comes together where each member is a true master of their instrument, only expanding the wild opportunities to be sonically explored. 

The audience was fully entrenched in the band’s energetic sound, and it wasn’t uncommon to see people either fully dialed in, bobbing their heads to the tempo, or other people spinning and dancing harder in the back of the room, surrendering themselves to the freedom of self-expression. In 2019, LaMP headed up to Waitsfield, VT, to record their debut self-titled studio album, and the trio churned it out in only two days on May 7 and 8. The album was officially released on July 10, 2020. The band performed stellar versions of “Some Days,” “Out of Curiosity,” and “Shuffle” from their album throughout the evening. All of these were opened up to include many different layers of improvisation and exploration, breathing new life into their original structures. 

Russ Lawton found multiple times to break out extended drum solos throughout the show. As soon as he got started, a wave of energy cascaded down to the audience, who responded with a series of cheers back to the stage. Scott and Ray looked on with admiration as Russ hit the tubs and skins with his trademark power and precision. Scott Metzger even found space to weave in a tease of The Beatles‘ 1965 classic “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” on his guitar, as the notes perfectly echoed John Lennon‘s lyrics. Ray found some beautiful fills on the organ as his gentle touch complimented the new direction of the masterclass tease. 

After nearly two hours of music, the band took a quick encore break but swiftly returned to serve up more of their sultry sound for the eager fans left in the audience. When it was all said and done, it was clear LaMP left an undeniable mark on the Washington, D.C., music scene that night, and this was a show that fans would treasure for years to come. Tonight, LaMP brings the funk to Charlottesville, Virginia, at the Jefferson Theater before heading north for a show at Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar and wrapping up their run at The Drake in Amherst, Massachusettes. The trio will round out the year with a special New Year’s Eve show at The Warehouse in Fairfield, Connecticut. Check out LaMP’s official Bandcamp page to purchase their album in various formats here

Gallery by Stu Kelly Photography

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Stu Kelly