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Review: TECHNICAL QUIRKS CREATED MAGICAL NIGHT AT HUNDRED DAYS at The Straz Center For The Performing Arts

Review: TECHNICAL QUIRKS CREATED MAGICAL NIGHT AT HUNDRED DAYS  at The Straz Center For The Performing Arts
Photo by Joan Marcus

On Tuesday night, despite a thirty-minute delay due to technical difficulties beyond the group's control, the enthusiasm of both audience and band members did not dampen. In a tank top and jeans, Abigail Bengson approached the mic - that too was not working - and said "all our sh*t's broken" and magically, the mic boomed her voice over the audience as she, her husband Shaun took their seats on empty stools and were soon joined by the band.

HUNDRED DAYS was performed in an abbreviated concert format with all eight members on stage, including for the first time, two understudies who had expected to be backstage posting the show highlights on Instagram.

I've been listing to their newly released album on Spotify, remembering what it felt like to be part of the concert magic that accidentally happened due to damaged equipment. I'm not sure what the hybrid electro-folk concert, theatre, storytelling event was supposed to be, but this felt like you were being privy to something truly special. I didn't miss the theatre piece because relaxed, natural conversation flowed between husband and wife and their family of musicians and vocalists, telling their story. They spoke of meeting and falling in love, getting married three-weeks later and Abigail's unfounded fear of inevitably losing the love of her life. When you are so deep in love, you have so much more to lose. She told of being haunted by dreams where she'd lose Shaun to an illness that gave him 100 days to live and how they would live an entire lifetime in just 100 days.

Abigail's rawness performing "Three-Legged Dog" and "Lift Me" melting with the vocals of her husband and bandmates was breathtakingly powerful.

She spoke of a family as "not what you are born into, but a garden that you cultivate" and she recognized the men and women on stage that made up her band.

The couple surprised their guitarist/vocalist by asking him to play an original song he wrote and recently released.

Abigail, often reminding me of a channeled Janis Joplin, nonchalantly bared her soul and invited you in, laughing, stomping her feet, clapping and encouraging the audience to dance.

Jaeb Theatre was an exceptional venue for this type of intimate concert. HUNDRED DAYS, in concert format, showcased drums, guitars, cello, accordions and harmonies that inspired goosebumps.

One of the Bengson's song ended with the line "We are the lucky ones...."

No, Bengsons, truly, we are. Thank you for not canceling this show and giving us a gift of yourselves that night. It was a joyful, sorrowful, powerful, toe-tapping, uplifting experience I will not soon forget.



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