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Live Review: Sail at Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce, MI

Material: Playing a strong cross-section of classic rock sprinkled with a smattering of contemporary radio fare and choice originals, this quintet performs multiple sets that include audience favorites like Santana’s version of “Black Magic Woman,” Radiohead’s “Creep” and Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” Rush’s “Limelight” is a well-executed surprise and the perennial “House of the Rising Sun” does not disappoint. Their own “Monday Morning” features an upbeat vibe and tuneful chorus that resonates.

Musicianship: As one should expect, each member brings a unique personality and flair to his role in the band. Frontman Fink utilizes body language as well as an impressive range to sell the songs. Shaffer blends economy and taste in solos that are clean and really cut through the live mix. Holtslag primarily offers strong support, but belts out a soulful lead when the material calls for it. Though he seems to take the typical laidback bassist stance, Redman cultivates a solid foundation that never falters. The same can be said for Lowe. He appropriately locks in with Redman and gives the band a relaxed, yet dominant drive.

Read More: Sail featured in Music Connection's Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists and Bands of 2015

Performance: Overall, the band handled the extensive and somewhat daunting set list with professional poise and aplomb. At times they appeared a tad out of sync, with, for example, slightly shifting rhythms on Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” And, while Fink is a gifted vocalist, there were specific songs where some choice backups would’ve put them over the top. But there were, moreover, many magic moments such as Holtslag’s burning organ work on the aforementioned Animals classic. Also Fink’s delivery of Styx’s “Come Sail Away” was a definite highlight as well.

Summary: Though the members of Sail
 range in age from 16 to 20, they bring forth an extensive knowledge of rock and pop styles. Their collective ability to implement them
is impressive. They also write originals and appear to have a point of view that is cohesive and well crafted. Simply put, Sail have a long way to go but a vast skill set to take them to the next le

The Players: Anthony Fink, vocals; Ray Shaffer, guitars; Jarrett Holtslag, keyboards; Jimmy Redman, bass; Thomas Lowe, drums.

Venue: Cooley Lake Inn
City: Commerce, MI
Contact: sailbandcontact@gmail.com
Web: sailbandofficial.com

Photo by Eric A. Harabadian