Here is the crime. I don’t think they allow taping at Ruth Eckerd (I’ve never seen any tapers). Maybe somebody snuck a deck in. We can only hope. This show was absolutely stunning from first note to last.
Scrapomatic had a great set with Mattison in great form, with a set including “Midnight Special” and the result of musing at “the Scrapomatic Club House, where we wondered what would happen if James Brown did the MC5?” The result? An awesome “Kick Out the Jams!”
This has been an awesome year for music. Linda and I have seen 130 performances, 20 of them mind-blowing. Make that 21. This was, for me, the greatest band performance of the year. This amazing ten-piece band (Sermons on trombone not present) soared from the word go. A lot of the tunes were new, with music stands on the stage, although you would never have know they were new to the band.
Susan sounded great on guitar and vocals, and Derek was… Derek. There simply isn’t anyone else like him. He made songs not my favorite, such as “Anyday,” absolutely explode. Susan blistered the first wah-wah solo on “Presence of the Lord.” The Delaney & Bonnie cover “Comin’ Home” was superb.
Kofi and Oteil continue to sparkle and shine. The drum duo of Greenwell and Johnson were relentless in their pursuit of the groove. Mark Williams was a delightful addition to Mattison on backing vocals, with Mike also taking lead on occasion. Kebbi Williams offered up some nice sax solos.
The show-stealer of the night, however, may have been trumpeter Maurice Brown, who time and again demonstrated awesome chops and great ideas on his horn. Spectacular!
That brings us to the encore, after an hour-and-44-minute set. It was time to go to church, as Susan and the band paid magnificent tribute to Aretha with “Spirit in the Dark” (from her 1970 album of the same name, featuring Duane Allman on guitar, and also on the 1970 album “Live at Fillmore West”). An incredible climax to an incredible show.
Fasten your seatbelts, Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, New Year’s Eve. That’s the way to ride into the New Year! There had better be a bunch of taper mic stands!