Tedeschi Trucks Band Kick Off November Run In Orlando With Pristine Jams & Soaring Melodies (SHOW REVIEW)

The third time was the charm for Tedeschi Trucks Band. After the first two attempts to play at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando were postponed by COVID, the band finally put on the show Wednesday night (11/10) and kicked of run of eight shows in the southeast.. “It took us two years to play here,” Susan Tedeschi joked.

Without an opening act, the band played two sets for a capacity crowd that featured a balanced mix of original material and covers. The show opened with a short jam session leading into “High & Mighty,” a hint of what was to come. Most songs were stretched out to give ample room for the musicians to showcase their gifts. Tedeschi and lead guitarist Derek Trucks traded guitar solos in “I Want More,” the first of several of their guitar duels.   

Tedeschi’s husky voice was soulful and emotional, whether softly crooning or belting. In uptempo rockers like the cover of Blind Joe Reynolds’ “Outside Woman Blues,” her vocals carried a fire and intensity that matched the Cream-esque riffing. In softer songs, like the first set-closing “Idle Wind,” her voice was smooth and vulnerable.

The same range that Tedeschi showed off vocally, Trucks matched on guitar. The guitar virtuoso flexed his muscles, from the twangy slide of “Just As Strange” to the dirty chugging of “Whisky Legs,” from clean, slow-picked licks to blazing histrionics. 

While Tedeschi and Trucks were generally the focus, each band member had moments in the spotlight. Backup singer and guitarist Mike Mattison took over lead vocals on several songs, including “Right On Time” and a cover of his own song, “Life Is Crazy.” His booming voice served as a great counterpoint to Tedeschi’s. Keyboardist Gabe Dixon and the horn section also had extended jams. Drummers Tyler Greenwell and Isaac Eady pounded their way through a slow-building dueling drum solo.

After blazing through eight songs in an hour, Tedeschi Trucks Band took a thirty-minute intermission and then returned for a 90-minute second set. That set leaned even heavier on covers, including two straight Derek and the Dominos songs — “Bell Bottom Blues” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?” The latter featured some of Trucks’ best guitar work, with soaring solos that paid homage to both Eric Clapton and Duane Allman’s licks. 

That was followed by the show’s best moment, a crowd-pleasing rendition of “Just Won’t Burn.” The slow blues ballad from Tedeschi’s previous band showed her voice at its most impassioned as she crooned and bellowed over a sparse arrangement. Her guitar solo in the song contrasted her staccato, twangy style with Trucks’ smooth, slide-heavy approach. 

“It’s so nice to have a live audience,” Tedeschi said, clearly getting more enjoyment out of the concert than on the live streams that were done during lockdown. They closed the second set with an energetic take on “Bound For Glory,” which got much of the crowd out of its seats and dancing in the aisles, much to the ushers’ frustration. For an encore, the band played a lively R&B cover of The Coasters’ “Let’s Go Get Stoned.”

The opening night of the long-delayed tour was a celebration of musicianship and the band’s various influences, both through popular Tedeschi Trucks Band songs, covers of genre standards, and more obscure selections.  te

Tedeschi Trucks Band Setlist Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, Orlando, FL, USA, Tedeschi Trucks: Fireside Live 2021



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