04/10 Hunka Bunka Burns in Love

Tonight, Taylor plays the Starland Ballroom, a concert hall on the site of the old Club Hunka Bunka, where Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora are rumored to have first met (according to wikipedia)

Taylor Hicks w/ Toby Lightman
Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
7:30pm Eastern

Low and Strong and Sneaky
And we’re pleased to have the incomparable Basenji back, riffing the set list for tonight. This is a work-in-progress as we firm and confirm. Tag, you’re it:

Sayreville, NJ, 10 April 2007 set list:
Opening act: Toby Lightman

Gonna Move Mellow opening, slow beat. Taylor is holding the notes a little longer than usual, nice little jazzy vocal section in the second verse, Al pops into a hot bass solo but it’s still on the mellow side, Brian gives us some razzmatazz…screaming, screaming crowd noise.
Give Me Tonight Again, sort of laid back, pulling on the beat, “dancing to New Jersey soul” lyric change up, Josh is hot like a barber’s face cloth, and Brian comes in like an electric razor, hello!
Somehow Smooth and slow, easy does it, version, then it builds to the chorus, Taylor wails with a paradoxical joyful sound, Brian echoes him, more and more vocal work, then a sharp stop back to the easy last verse, some soulful deeper notes, lovely.
Compared to What Cowbell. And then the long opening before Taylor comes in low and strong and sneaky, then he growls and punches and pops. Tagging here? Need confirmation. Will update later. Brian prays to the saxaphone gods and the band stacks the music up and up, a perfect storm of jazz and funk. Taylor is back to work the crowd, tag: I Was Born in Chicago (Paul Butterfield), More tagging here? Need confirmation. Will update later. Lots of repeats and vocal scatting…crowd very, very into it.
Hold on to Your Love Fast fast fast, I’m terrified what tags he’s going to hit us with. Nice Brian flute, dips and twirls, scats and shakes, Taylor back, back and forth with Brian, band so fast it’s leaving a breeze behind, tag: Banana Boat Song (Harry Belafonte) “Jump in the Line” tag: Can’t Trust Your Neighbor (Johnnie Taylor), HOT blues, slowed down, band deep and luscious, Taylor crying out, Josh jamming, crazy ending.
Wherever I Lay My Hat Smooth version, voice clear and fine. Music shuts down for the Marvin/Jackie callouts, tag: Nightshift (The Commodores), nice falsetto on this, tag: Chain Gang (Sam Cooke), Mel and Taylor together for sweet end…
Medicated Goo (Traffic) Happy happy music, this cell cert is medicated goo, baby! Band builds a fun little repeat after two verses and then they riff, first Josh makes a round of killer freak, Taylor is back and gives Loren and Al a chance, T scats the lyrics, lots of back and forth, big band jam on this tonight, goes on and on, Taylor working some lyrics, stepping back, encourages the band on, Brian spits and chortles, fantastic stuff.
Just to Feel That Way T says: “The number one most requested song in LA now” Straight up version, nice and slow, a bit tender instead of brash on the vocals, a touch of sugar to it.
Heaven Knows Band sounds edgy, Taylor does the “when I come home” hold, then tag: Ain’t That Peculiar (Marvin Gaye) new tag: What’d I Say (Ray Charles) call and response. Nice band jam after the tags, direct segue to…
The Maze Ooh, straight up funk until a kind of burbling vocal scat, gah! Shuts the band down to finish the straight chorus, Brian blows, Taylor repeats “You don’t know”, and new tag: How Long Has This Been Going On? (Ace) tag: Rough God Goes Riding (Van Morrison), tag: Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye), tag: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye)
Dream Myself Awake Straight up version tonight.
The Deal Pretty version, Brian comes in tender yet strong, Taylor easy going on this tonight, nice little riff at end. Love how he plays with his own songs.
Naked in the Jungle (Van Morrison) Taylor in high growl, band sandy and dry, Taylor screeching up, band hits the bass and drum line hard, pops for the “Speak out” repeats, pop pop pop, bam bam bam, awesome funk line behind Taylor’s high voice line, harmonica work, kind of strange sound against the funk, big shaky wails, up and down, Josh and Al ripping it, segue: Dance to the Music (Sly & the Family Stone), [lost sound here], tag: (I Want to) Take You Higher (Sly & the Family Stone)
[Long break in the cell cert]
The Right Place [cell cert was down for this]
The Runaround Back in time for some harp work, Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah repeat, more harp, extra band jam, tag: Hey Pocky Way (The Funky Meters), new tag: Willie Brown Blues (Ry Cooder/Joe Seneca) “Call me Willie” [Taylor drops mike and says “Good night everybody!”]

Encore:
Badge (Clapton/Harrison) Big rock band sound, then the Josh intro before the joyous chorus, extra long jam, Taylor back to rock it, band gives us the extended version, Taylor leaping in from time to time, fat sound. Bang your head ending.

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18 Responses to 04/10 Hunka Bunka Burns in Love

  1. taylor made 4 me says:

    All I have to say is Taylor’s presence left me swooning. His eyes make him who he is, and his voice is just as dreamy/melting as his smoldering looks.

  2. graciecat says:

    The recaps are excellent! As was expected, the concert sounded spectacular.

  3. MaryS-NJ says:

    Here’s my recap of Taylor’s performance at the Starland Ballroom. I’m not good at play-by-play kind of recaps, and besides others have done them already, so I’ll just give my impressions and overall thoughts. This is my first Taylor concert (without PopTarts) but won’t be my last!

    For starters:

    Toby Lightman is a great opener and complement to Taylor and his band. We bought her CD. Gotta love a Jersey girl! She seemed to be having fun and was very appreciative of Taylor’s fans as we were of her.

    As luck would have it, my Husband and I stood immediately behind TrueNorth, next to jersey (from MJs’) and her Husband, and our friend Sexygirl was standing right next to True. We were a couple rows back from the stage and from where we were standing, it looked pretty packed. It may not have been a sellout, but it was a nice size crowd, especially for a Tuesday night in the middle of noewhere NJ.

    I’d say it was 70% female but the males who were there seemed really into it. There were all ages, plenty 0f 20-30 somethings and teens, and one boy around 8 years old with his Dad. The kid was wering gray in his hair and standing right up front.

    Taylor looked fine and fit (and HOT) as did most of the guys in the band. He really does have moments where he looks (facially) like Elvis. He has this impish, mischievous gleam in his eye when he does certain things – particularly when he plays off the guitar player that is very, very sexy.

    The band and Taylor are incredibly tight together, musically. My Husband, who has been Taylor-tolerant but not the big fan that I am, was very impressed with the musicianship, the vocals the instrumentation and the song choices. He did complain about the mic in a couple of songs – too much reverb (particularly on JTFTW), but for the most part he thought Taylor was in really good voice. At one point Hubby said “Now, there’s a band that knows how to make a JOYFUL noise!” Indeed.

    I thought Taylor was in excellent voice for the most part – especially when he gets rocking. He’s such a DYNAMO when he performs! He stomped, he banged the cow bell and tambourine, he wailed on the harp (minor problem with mic, but otherwise fantastic), he played the guitar and sat at the organ and played! Brian looked like a trooper

    “Compared to What” and “Medicated Goo” were OFF THE HOOK fantastic (‘orgasmic’ as my friend said)! He sang “Somehow” just beautifully and some of my favorites from “Under the Radar” and you can really feel his joy at performing. His encore – Badge was fabulous and his live versions of some of the songs from the new album were much better than the recorded versions – especially “Give Me Tonight” and “The Runaround”. That being said, I would really like to hear Taylor sing “The Right Place” straight at some point. Don’t get me wrong, I loved is version of it. But there’s something about the simplicity of the recorded arrangement that really highlights Taylor’s voice. Taylor’s use of musical tags in superb!

    Of course, there were shout outs to NJ which got the crowd going. All in all, we had a great time and Taylor puts on an awesome concert. It’s very clear that he is really in his element and happy – whatever the realities of his “commercial” status. I’m happy that he is so happy because his happiness is infectious!

  4. EJ says:

    definite on the “I want to take you higher” He ended on that. And we have proof … 😉

  5. Claireb7tx says:

    Perfect! love reading the recap setlist so many gems, thanks Basenji.

  6. Cheryl Feltman says:

    All of you will have a great time – saw Tay in Birmingham and actually got to meet him. He is one great entertainer and an even greater guy. So gracious and humble and those eyes….oh my goooooooooooood! Cleaning ladies have a great time.
    Can’t wait to see your post after the show

  7. juliegr says:

    Bajenji: Good thing you’re not helping Taylor write his book! It would have to be rated XXXXX or at least put in the Adult Reading Section! 🙂 Good job on the set list, as usual

  8. Marianne Yelle says:

    Man, Basenji, your descriptions are publishable! (if that’s a word!) -love em.

  9. aerinphil says:

    Basenji, crazy-great setlist description. So delicious I can taste it! Cleaning ladies, love you with all my heart and my new 80gig memory card yeah!

  10. Claireb7tx says:

    MaryS-NJ -enjoy …you are going to have so much fun!

  11. Sammi says:

    i’ll be there! 2nd concert in 3 days 😀

  12. phantomofsoul says:

    Another “live one” tonight in boogie cell cert land. Check the cell cert and recap folders for the post. I’ll try to remember to stick it here, too, before we start.

  13. MaryS-NJ says:

    cali, I’ll do that. It may not be ’til tomorrow depending on when we get home.

  14. cali50 says:

    Oh, Mary – be sure to post a recap when you “recover.” It’s always so much fun to read recaos of someone who is seeing him for the first time! Have a great time!

  15. graciecat says:

    This Taylor Hicks concert should be spectacular. I think that after tonight’s performance they will have to rename the ballroom again as “Mr. Taylor Hunka, Hunka, Hubblelicious Hicks” will have performed there. Just sayin’. Enjoy all!

  16. MaryS-NJ says:

    We will be there as well! Can’t wait (my first Taylor concert) – whee!!!

  17. tish says:

    We love the cleaning ladies. Have a great time!

  18. EJ says:

    And WE will be there! Making like cleaning ladies…

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