Reviewed by Rebecca Sheriff
Cyber Café West’s performance space may be small, but many people packed into the funky Binghamton venue last Friday (March 4) to witness a performance by the Grammy-nominated Dave Eggar. A classically trained cellist, Eggar, like many musical geniuses, could not be limited to the confines of tradition. He uses the cello to compose musical ideas most of us would not imagine. Eggar started his performance with a piece reminiscent of a movie score, creating unexpected sounds with the cello that were not just enjoyable music but captions for a story. His extraordinary ability to communicate through the cello was demonstrated through his recent Grammy nomination for Best Musical Arrangement for a piece off his latest CD, “Kingston Morning.” Eggar has loaned his talents to a variety of artists including performing and recording with such legends as The Who, Carly Simon and Bon Jovi.
Eggar plays the cello like a guitar virtuoso of all styles, shifting seamlessly between singer/songwriter pieces, hard rock, reggae, funk and bluegrass. So captivating is his creativity that, at times, one may forget that he is playing the cello. The use of drums Friday assisted the versatility of the instrument and the performance. Whether bowing the instrument, picking the strings, strumming on its side like a guitar or even playing on his back on the floor Eggar displayed a passion and intensity that kept the audience hooked in. Sometimes serious and singing, as with his singer/songwriter-style song “Birdcage,” and sometimes speaking and funny, Eggar would comment on his own playing — “what will he do next?” — making audience members feel as thought they were witnessing performance art rather than a musical concert. Eggar demonstrated that, if you truly love an instrument, you can do anything with it. (To learn more about eggar, visit www.daveeggarmusic.com.)
Many in the area may be aware of Cyber Café but may not know the caliber of acts that owner Jeff Kahn brings in. Eggar has performed there before as well as many musicians from all over the country. Cyber Café is practically the only active music venue bringing in quality acts that the Binghamton area would not otherwise be exposed to. Many shows are offered for little or no cost. Kahn referred to this “failing system” (monetarily) in his introduction of Eggar. However, patrons that night and in general enjoy food and drink and attempt to keep the system of low-cost quality music in the Binghamton area going. View Cyber Café’s upcoming music events at www.cybercafewest.com.