A rock n’ roll evening

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Shows
Tags: , , , ,

Remember a few weeks back when I wrote a review of the new Jeff Martin CD? I was telling that I couldn’t wait to see how it would sound live. Well, now I’ve seen it and let me tell you I was not deceived.
I was glad to see that the show was at Latulipe. It’s a small venue that I like a lot. However, I was quite surprised to see that the balcony was closed. It was a sign that it was going to be a small intimate show. Actually, I was shocked to see that it was probably the smallest crowd I seen at a Jeff Martin or The Tea Party show. But with the performance I saw that night, I am confident that next time’s going to be bigger. The nice thing about those kind of show is that the peoples that were there were real fans of Martin. Those who kept following him. And we were rewarded for that.
The show started at 8h00 sharp. A guy walked on stage, alone with his acoustic guitar. His name his Gabriel Lee. When he started playing and singing, I felt transported to the 70’s. His music had some kind of a classic rock feel. And what a voice. He has a strong voice, reminiscent of Robert Plant’s. That was a really pleasant opening act. I must admit though that after a few songs, we became a little bored with all the “baby”, “woman” and “love”. I think that those three words were the foundation of all his songs. That being said, it all came together as a pretty interesting whole. You can watch a (very) small part of the peformance here.
Unfortunately, we can’t say the same of the second band that took the stage. They’re called Flowerchild. They started the show with a pretty energetic rock song. However, from there, they seemed to be going in all directions. They had a country song and even a Brett-Michaels-kind of ballad. I have to say however that they were good musicians, especially the drummer. I concede that being an opening act is not easy. You’re performing in conditions that are not necessarely the best for you, in front of peoples that don’t know you and did not came to see you. But they difinitely didn’t impress me. Watch their first song here.
Around 9h45, Jeff Martin and the band entered the stage. They started with the album’s opening track, The Ground Cries Out. That was it, this evening was set to be a great one. I don’t recall seeing Jeff rock like that since he disbanded The Tea Party. His voice was, as always, deep and mesmerizing. And he treated us with tons of great guitar solos and improvisations. As an example, take a look at this video of Overload, which he started with a nice bluesy intro. He also offered us a nice solo during the song, into which he threw a few Hendrix riff, for the great pleasure of his guitarist fans.
Speaking of guitarist fan, I was please to see him play with a Fender Telecaster for The Messenger. I believe that was the first time I saw him play a Fender, which a like a lot.
Besides from playing the songs off their latest record, they also played a few of The Tea Party’s songs like Overload, Requiem, The Messenger, The Bazaar and Coming Home. They also played Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin, with the participation of Gabriel Lee. I have to say that as much as I like the new material, everytime they played a Tea Party song, it made me realized how great they were.
As if it wasn’t enough, we also had the pleasure to see Jeff playing his guitar with a bow, as he used to do in Save Me. Even though he did not invent this, and some others have done it brillantly, it’s always thrilling to see Jeff pull out his bow and play his magic. You can see it here, on The Cobra.
For me, this show had nothing really surprising. After all, it was the 6th or 7th time I saw Jeff live (either alone or with The Tea Party). But I can tell you without a doubt that it was one of those amazing memorable rock show. It had a lot of those little extras that make a show stand out.
Hats off to Jeff and the guys and please, come back soon to rock the hell out of that city.

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