Micah Nelson & the Reflectacles at Charleys, with suprise guest Willie Nelson


Suzanne Kayian

That’s one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me,” said a member of The Reflectacles as he watched Willie Nelson walk off the stage.

Nelson made a surprise guest appearance with the band during their May 24 concert at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon in Paia. The mini concert-within-a-concert left huge smiles on the the faces of the band members, including drummer Micah Nelson, Willie’s youngest son. The ecstatic looks were priceless — worthy of using a tag-line from a credit card commercial, even if it makes my editors and journalism profs cringe.

Micah Nelson told Rhythm & Views about The Reflectacles last summer but the focus of the conversation was on his art; Micah also is a talented visual artist. So when it came to my knowledge about the band, I have to admit, I judged a book by its cover — or its Facebook posts.

Between the band name, the rainbow prism eye-glasses they pass out at their shows and Micah’s trippy artwork, I was expecting a psychedelic, experimental, noise, performance-art type of thing.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

The Reflectacles are solid. Their music pulls from many genres and eras, giving it wide appeal. The mix of influences — and the flow of sound — evokes the spirit of a jam band. However, the Los Angeles-based band doesn’t just wander through its songs without direction. The band members’ technical prowess provides The Reflectacles with the tools to deliver a tight, bright-minded set that is seasoned and fresh at the same time.

To top it off, the members of the band members genuinely seem to enjoy what they are doing — with or without a special guest appearance by Willie Nelson. Having the musical icon join in for an extended set was a bonus for the audience — reverting to the cliché — it was “icing on the cake.” For the members of The Reflectacles, it seemed like a full-on Las Vegas-style buffet.

– Suzanne Kayian

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