Taylor Hicks w/Toby Lightman
Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
7:30pm SOLD OUT both nights
Alexandria II, 16 April 2007 set list:
Opening act: Toby Lightman
Soul Thing Here’s one for Kurt Vonnegut’s Uncle Alex: “If this isn’t nice, what is?” A clear voiced, soulful fellow sings one of his own compositions as his many fans sing along, including one fan sitting in Japan, typing away…life is good. Mellow, restrained, appropriate start for today.
Heaven Knows “when I come home…” repeat 3x, band warming up, Felix gives us a little sugar, straight up version, but it feels good and solid, Boogie plucks the heart strings…nice funk jam segue into…
The Maze Brian G pops in cool and breezy, Taylor’s voice has a clean lemon-line quality today, more Brian G with a classic riff solo, and shut down to new tag: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (song by Bobby Russell), except Taylor sang “The night the lights went out in New York.”
Wherever I Lay My Hat Really easy, laid back version, nice and sweet with a touch of pathos. Or is it the day? T does a small bit in the middle where the band shuts down and he works the lyrics gently and firmly, this is the Taylor Hicks that reels me back in over and over again, tag: Nightshift (The Commodores), tag: Chain Gang (Sam Cooke), this is so sweet and wonderful…
[Taylor straps on a guitar]
Heart and Soul Gentle walking beat line, perfect choice of tone in T’s voice, clear, strong, full of righteousness, Josh lays down a very hot fudge solo with a cherry on top, band shuts down to “livin’ off heart and soul” repeat, band builds to support and jam, definite church organ feel there.
Just to Feel That Way So far, the whole set has a consistent feel, first time I haven’t thought “man, this is like a roller coaster.” But today is a bungalow party with lots of bourbon and good friends. Nice.
[Taylor says to audience: “It’s funny, sometimes we really don’t know where the heck we are.” A Zen koan?]
Hold on to Your Love Calypso, bien sur, but not as frenetic as usual. Gives Brian G time to send his birdlike flute up and away like a white dove…Keyboards, guitar, drums, a glorious mashup…now a meringue vibe! Taylor calls out in English but might as well be Spanish for the tone and timbre. Where’s Tito Puente when you need him? Josh grinds and rubs it out, goes into a fantastic blues repeat with the band climbing and taking off, Tagging here? Need confirmation and update. in the lonely road???, big blues ending, goosebumps.
Run, Baby, Run (Sheryl Crow) Some nights are adrenalin rushes, tonight is shivers and shudders. Taylor is now in full preacher mode, his upper register is agonized, gives us the chorus as powerful salty wave that we can ride or duck under…Brian G gives us the sax version of Taylor’s voice, and back they go for the final chorus, Melanie and Taylor singing and cheersing and taking us higher…
My Friend Loren tickles it, Taylor’s voice dances, and Brian G lays some boogie woogie down, Josh is all bluegrass and rock. Felix bops us down for the ending.
Naked in the Jungle (Van Morrison) Dude, stop making me so freaking happy…jazz-funk, band puts out a nice 60s razzy jam, Taylor doesn’t screech this time, he jams and oozes, lovely. Preacher-like “Speak out” repeats. Loren rips and burns, Taylor back to rally the troops, tight ending. HOT HOT HOT version.
The Deal Joyous and jaunty feel tonight. Very different. Brian G gives us an Amen…
Gonna Move Smooth, easy on the funk line tonight, lots of vocal play, set building from gentle respect to happy celebration of life. Boogie does his bass magic, flunka dumpa dangda da dangda bonk whomp. Melanie in for a bit, Tagging here? Need confirmation and update. rap style tag, couple lines of something, before the big ending. Great version of this song.
The Right Place Gentle, bringing it home version…voice is full and expressive. “be there” 11x repeat, and the perfect, soulful ending joined to Loren’s hint of sweetness…
The Runaround A descending vocal riff “Aced broken hearts” line, the word “Aced” starts high and does a stair-step chord descent, fabulous! Tagging here? Need confirmation and update. ??? Can I Get a Witness (Rolling Stones), harmonica in, train chords, TV sitcom chords, blues chords, Sesame Street or Sanford & Son—ok so it’s Big Boss Man (thanks Amy!). Works crowd up, band gets up and high and free and joyous.
Badge (Clapton/Harrison) Good, strong, straight. The Big Finale. Taylor runs around, plays organ, the band beats us up and takes our wallets. – basenji
04/15 Plain Vanilla Set List as of 10:08 Eastern
Hot and funky tonight. No encore, but Brian L. and Josh stop by to give the boogie a shout out. (And we’re patting ourselves on the back for nailing the long instrumental jam(thanks Hicklett) on “Inner City Blues”, and thanking Josh for confirming it for us)
Opening: Toby Lightman
Give Me Tonight
Compared to What* (Les McCann)
Dream Myself Awake
Wherever I Lay My Hat (Marvin Gaye)
Just to Feel that Way
Hell of a Day > Inner City Blues(Marvin Gaye) long instrumental jam
Heaven Knows > The Maze**
The Right Place
* With “Goin’ Up the Country” (Canned Heat) tease. (and “traveling south”??)
** With “Use Me” (Bill Withers), “Want Ads” (Honey Cone) teases.
# With “Willie Brown Blues” (Ry Cooder) tease.
From the Birchmere FAQ:
1) The Birchmere is America’s Legendary Music Hall. What does that mean?
The Birchmere is a Music Hall, which differs from a regular nightclub in that we are completely seated (except Band Stand, see below). Also known as a Listening Room, The Birchmere is geared towards artists & fans who prefer a seated, attentive audience, ready to listen to The Music!
Does this sound like us? I guess cellcerts count as “attentive.” The whole venue is general admission seating, with no slope, so line up early, I guess.