Tedeschi Trucks Band With Help From Jon Batiste Kick Off Second Beacon Theater Weekend (SHOW REVIEW)

Opening up their second weekend in a row at New York City’s gorgeous Beacon Theater the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who have recently played some high profile guest laden sets, decided to focus on their core players and do what they do best this Friday night; put on a southern rock and soul review.

Playing to a sold out, noticeably older crowd the 12 piece band played a two hour set that touched blues, gospel and funk easily but really let the rock and soul shine. An early cover of Derek and the Dominoes “Keep On Growing” served as the perfect warmup for the players as the horns and keys blended expertly with the six strings and low end. Susan Tedeschi’s vocals were intoxicating all night, restrained when needed such as on the Leonard Cohen cover of “Bird On A Wire” or digging deep and stirring for the Bobby Blue Bland’s “Cry Me A River”.

Trucks acts as musical director to the proceedings which are kept tight. There is time for jamming sure but the band really looks to showcase the songs and that good time vibe. At times this moving along can stifle Trucks own impressive chops and solos but it seems to be for the greater good of the show, if perhaps keeping it from scintillating heights.

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One of the few guests on this night,  Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste, joined the group on “Bound For Glory” which was based around a huge keyboard production from Batiste and Kofi Burbridge that was spellbinding. The two helped out on “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” but Burbridge’s flashy flute runs seemed out of place on the softer number.

The guitar-saxophone spacey intro duel to “Midnight In Harlem” previewed the songs excellence as the horn section locked in raising all the players, certainly a set highlight. Trucks, Burbridge and bassist Tim Lefebvre then messed around with Band of Gypsys “Machine Gun” riffs leading into a rocked out aggressive version of “The Storm” complete with drum solos.

The climatic set closing cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends” via Joe Cocker was perfect for this band. Pumping horns, perfectly placed screeching guitars/vocals all set up around a tight rhythm, the band couldn’t have closed with a more perfectly fitting song. Inviting back out Batiste and welcoming Eric Krasno for the Sly Stone double encore helping of “”Sing a Simple Song” and “I Want To Take You Higher” was gravy or as Tedschi stated “We’re gonna have a party now!”. If the encore was the party, the group’s set was a clinic in how to throw a world class rock & soul review.

Photos by Metropolitan Entertainment 

Tedeschi Trucks Band Setlist Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, USA 2015

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