As the lights dimmed and the 11-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band took the stage, fans had no idea that a storm was brewing on more than one front. Derek Trucks got things started by picking away at the opening riff for Everybody’s Talkin’, the title track from their new live album.
It didn’t take long for Susan Tedeschi to show off her beautiful soulful voice. She belted out verse after verse during Until You Remember. Keyboardist Kofi Burbridge added an organ solo while Trucks flew up and down the fretboard of his Gibson SG with his trusty slide on his finger.
The band kept the energy level high until Shelter took it down a few notches, but the breather was much appreciated. The band used the mid-set Mahjoun to stretch out their jamming muscles. Most of the band left stage with the exception of drummers Tyler Greenwell and J.J. Johnson, bassist Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge and Trucks. The band put together a nice jazzy groove with Kofi swapping keys for a flute. His masterful solo saw him scat singing in between flute notes. Oteil followed up his brothers solo with a bass solo of his own.
The band turned back the clock to the ’70s for some good old Jacksonville swamp funk on Love Has Something Else to Say. Tedeschi used her wah-wah pedal to perfection as Oteil locked up with both drummers for a solid groove. As the jam intensified, so did the rain that began to fall. Fans in the pavilion were completely oblivious as a mist made its way thorough the pavilion. They were too busy watching Trucks blow everyone’s mind with some incredible guitar playing. It was the kind of playing that gives you goosebumps. He sprayed his one hand over the strings while he used his other to effortlessly slither the slide along the fretboard like a snake in sand.
The funk gave way to some Chicago style blues with That Did It. After the uplifting and spirited Bound for Glory, the band launched into a brief ambient jam before trucks started the fiery intro to the set closing Nobody’s Free. Tedeschi was equally up to the task as she matched Trucks ferocious playing with her equally powerful voice.
The band returned for a three song encore that would begin with their take on the traditional Wade in the Water and would finish off with a couple of Sly & the Family Stone tunes, Sing a Simple Song > I Want to Take You Higher. When the band made the transition into the latter song, nearly the entire pavilion was dancing.
One of the things that struck me about the show is just how humble of a musician and person Derek Trucks is. He seemed to relish sitting back and watching the rest of the band display their incredible talent. For most of the show he stood slightly hunched over his guitar, doing what he does best and that is quietly being one of the best guitar players on the planet.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Highland Park, IL
Set: Everybody’s Talkin’, Don’t Let me Slide, Until You Remember, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, Shelter, Get What You Deserve, Mahjoun, Midnight in Harlem, Love Has Something Else to Say, That Did It, Bound for Glory, Nobody’s Free
Encore: Wade in the Water, Sing a Simple Song > I Want to Take You Higher