Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Orpheum Theater
Date: Wednesday Nov 15th, 2017
This is the second time I have seen the Tedeschi Trucks Band. This time they played a 2 night gig at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The most interesting thing about the 2 shows is that the band played a different set each night. I am not just talking about a couple of songs, but the entire set each night was different. So, if you were lucky enough to see them both nights you got 2 totally unique shows. It is amazing how good this band is to be able to completely change the setlist like this. Most bands have a constant setlist that they play each night with maybe just a couple of changes. But to do a total change up, this really shows the versatility of this band.
Most bands are made up of 4 or 5 people. Not the Tedeschi Trucks Band, they have an 11-piece ensemble led by the amazing Derek Trucks on guitar and his awesome wife Susan Tedeschi also on guitar and lead vocals. They are backed up by Kofi Burbridge on keyboards and flute with bassist Tim Lefebvre and the dual drummer team of Tyler Greenwell and J.J. Johnson. Mike Mattison, Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour providing harmony backup vocals to Susan’s outstanding lead vocals. Rounding out the ensemble are 3 very talented musicians, Kebbi Williams on sax, Elizabeth Lea on trombone and Ephraim Owens on trumpet. Together they make up the mind-blowing sound of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
From the opening song, “Made Up Mind” to “Laugh About It” to “Just as Strange”, you knew that something magical was happening tonight. Susan and the band seemed to be really in the groove and were having a great time. This translated to the crowd, with the people in the pit dancing and singing along. Numerous times during the night, Derek would erupt into incredible solos showing why he is one of the great guitar players of today. Susan was no slouch on guitar. Her solos were just as good and what can I say about her vocals, but “phenomenal”. Her voice ranged from rock to ballad to soulful. During her performance of “I Pity The Fool”, she reminded me a lot of Janis Joplin with her blues style and delivery. For a couple of songs, “Get What You Deserve” and “Angel From Montgomery”, Mike Mattison came out front to provide lead vocals. They finished the main set with “Let Me Get By”. The encore consisted of 2 songs. Susan, Tim, Tyler and Kofi started “Angel From Montgomery” and then as the song progressed, the other members of the band joined in. The last song, Andrew Trube and Anthony Farrell of the Greyhounds joined them on stage to perform “Chevrolet”. Susan, Derek and Andrew Trube traded off guitar solos during the song.
It was a very enjoyable evening listening to an amazing group of musicians. If you get the chance to see Tedeschi Trucks Band, you will be very pleased. From the awesome guitar solos by both Derek and Susan, to Susan’s incredible voice, and the deep rich sound provided by the backup singers and horn section, this band is a definite must see.
This was also my first time at the Orpheum Theater. It reminded me of a theater back in Boston where I saw “Book Of Mormon”. It is a throwback to the old-style theaters of the turn of the 20th century. A lot of ornate decorations and gold relief. This is not to mean the theater is old looking. On the contrary, it has been updated with new seating, light and sound system. It is truly a beautiful theater which is perfect for stage shows and concerts.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017
Tedeschi Trucks Band Setlist: (Album)
Made Up Mind (Made Up Mind)
Laugh About It (Let Me Get By)
Just as Strange (Let Me Get By)
All The World
Right On Time (Let Me Get By)
Get What You Deserve (The Derek Trucks Band cover)
Idle Wind (Made Up Mind)
Alabama (Neil Young cover)
Comin Home (Delaney & Bonnie cover)
I Wish I Knew (Billy Taylor cover)
I Pity The Fool (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
Let Me Get By (Let Me Get By)
Angel From Montgomery (John Prine cover)
Chevrolet (Lonnie Young, Ed Young & Lonnie Young, Jr. cover)
The night started with the trio, the Greyhounds taking the stage. Their sound is a “Texas Style” of rock similar to that of follow Texans, ZZ Top. The band is made up of Andrew Trube on guitar and Antony on keyboards. They are joined on this tour by Edward Miles on drums.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017
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