The Tedeschi Trucks Band is one of the best live bands around. With Susan Tedeschi taking frontwoman duties, guitar wizard Derek Trucks holding down lead duties, and a massive, all-star band that takes the power-couple from great to freaking amazing, the band is a must-see for anyone who loves that sweet spot where rock, blues and jam collide.
The outfit’s latest release is a live album and film titled Live From the Fox Oakland. Recorded and filmed on September 9th, 2016, the album and film provide what the band’s website describes as an “in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the touring juggernaut.”
1. Don’t Know What It Means
2. Keep On Growing
3. Bird On The Wire
4. Within You, Without You
5. Just As Strange
6. Crying Over You
7. Color Of The Blues **Film only
8. These Walls (featuring Alam Khan)
10. Right On Time **CD only
11. Leavin’ Trunk
12. Don’t Drift Away
13. I Want More (Soul Sacrifice outro)
14. I Pity The Fool
15. Ali ** CD only
16. Let Me Get By
17. You Ain’t Going Nowhere **film only
I feel so lucky to have been able to see live music at two of my absolute favorite venues around. Just a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti in stunning Big Sur at the Henry Miller Memorial Library. The library is one of my very favorite venues, and may even be my favorite outdoor venue!
Now, almost exactly a week after that, I was fortunate enough to get into the sold out Tame Impala show at perhaps my favorite indoor venue, the Fox Theater in Oakland.
The band opened on an epic note, playing one of my favorite tracks (and a popular crowd-pleaser) “Solitude Is Bliss,” from their 2010 album Innerspeaker. By the end of the song, the crowd was hyped and ready for the psychedelic rock Tame Impala delivers so well. I’ve never seen them live and I was looking forward to some trippy, live versions of songs.
They pretty much stuck to songs on the latest album, Lonerism. There were, I’m happy to report, some songs from Innerspeaker, my favorite album of the two, but not quite as many as I’d hoped to hear. Sure, it makes sense that they’d be playing from the latest album, but the earlier songs have a more raw and psychedelic feel to me than their latest effort. Of these newer songs, they did of course play the big hit “Elephant,” to a frenzied reception.
Aside from my minor complaint about wanting to hear more from Innerspeaker, I must say that the band is comprised of very talented musicians. They played very well and on point, accompanied by tripped-out visuals that, coupled with the psychedelic jams and the hotboxed theater, could propel you off the planet and have you wondering what’s in your bottled water.
There were moments where they took some liberties and extended songs into that space jam territory. The band’s stage presence isn’t the most engaging, and it helps to concentrate on the music and visuals to really get the full effect.
The end of the show was a bit anti-climactic, considering the bang they began with at the beginning. All in all, it was a fun show of great songs that were well-executed and sounded true to the albums. Their brand of psychedelic rock also fit perfectly with the sight of the ornate and bizarrely beautiful interior of the Fox Theater.
So, cheers to Tame Impala and may they have a great remainder of their tour.
photos by Mari Stauffer
by Mari Stauffer
New Order (including its previous incarnation, Joy Division) has and always will hold a very special part of my heart. From the post-punk rawness of Joy Division to the more new wave/pop/dance signature that is New Order, I’ve always loved the music these people make. The thing about New Order is, since they rose like the phoenix from the ashes of Joy Division, they’ve always been able to provide either more of a post-punk/rock sound, or an electro-dance sound more fitting for a night on the dancefloor. From the gritty guitar work and funky bass hooks to driving dance beats and exquisitely-timed samples, these folks know how to get their musical groove on!
During all the years I’ve been loving them, I’ve never had the chance to see New Order live…until a recent Friday night, on October 5, at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. The band hadn’t played live in North America in seven years, and only scheduled seven shows for their tour here. So, as you can imagine, those tickets went FAST…and I feel very fortunate to have gotten the chance to attend. Sure, this time it wasn’t the original line-up (Bernard Sumner/Stephen Morris/Gillian Gilbert/Peter Hook). For especially the most die-hard fans (um, myself included of course), a New Order show without “Hooky” may seem just wrong, but let me tell you, they came through just fine, and delivered! Guitarist Phil Cunningham replaced Gillian Gilbert in 2001 so that she could take time to focus on her children (whose father is Stephen Morris), and also on stage was bassist Tom Chapman (from Bernard Sumner’s recent band, Bad Lieutenant). They are both obviously accomplished musicians but they did not try to upstage any of the three original members, and seem to have a good rapport with them all.
Gillian Gilbert, in her first live performance since 2001, was graced with a subtle spotlight during the whole performance in a nice show of recognition. She held down the keyboards, as she always did in the past, with a stoic grace. Bernard Sumner’s voice still sounded great, and he seemed to be less stage-shy than he’s been known to have been in the past, chatting up the audience a bit and dancing around. Stephen Morris laid down the rhythm and beats in true “human drum machine” form, and clearly hasn’t lost his percussive talent.
Since this was the first show of the tour, and it had been seven years since they played in North America, the audience was truly excited! New Order has such a vast catalog that every song was a sing-a-long and they delivered the songs beautifully, staying true to how they sound on the album, but with just enough of a different live twist. There were, of course, a few classic tracks that got a more ecstatic response: it seems everyone was waiting for “Blue Monday” and when that legendary beat kicked in, they tore the roof down! In the middle of their set, they played “Isolation” and got quite an elated response….I know that I, along with many I’m sure, was waiting to hear some Joy Division tracks as well. The encore was just two Joy Division songs: “Atmosphere” followed by…wait for it….. “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” During these songs, the visuals screen behind the band showed a montage of the famous “Atmosphere” video directed by Anton Corbijn, stills of Ian Curtis, and the words “Forever Joy Division.” All of us in the crowd became a little more subdued. It was a very nice and touching tribute, and a beautiful way to end the show. Thank you, New Order for maintaining not only your musical talent for creating engaging, thoughtful, groovy, fun, dreamy, pop-y, dance-y music, but also for holding on to your musical integrity. I hope it will be far fewer than another seven years until North America is graced with your presence again!
Elegia/Crystal/Ceremony/Close Range/Age of Consent/Isolation/Here to Stay/Your Silent Face/Bizarre Love Triangle/586/True Faith/The Perfect Kiss/Blue Monday/Temptation. ENCORE: Atmosphere/Love Will Tear Us Apart