for those who check here more often than there....EJ at Antone's 2.17.06 w/ Ant B and Double Trouble
I've been hopping all day doing stuff away from the computer (not to mention the show finished up just slightly before one am!) BUT for those of you too far from Austin to make it to the show last night...
got to the doors at the tail end of EJ's sound check; He, Chris, and the Unknown Drummer were playing through "World of Trouble"... it sounded g-o-o-d even through the walls.
The doors opened at 8-ish (Antone's time). EJ was scheduled to play for an hour, 9:30pm to 10:30 pm, to be followed by Double Trouble with Malford Milligan, Mike Keller, Riley Osbourn, and EJ from 11pm to 1am. I assumed (rightly so) it would be a 45 minute set with the quintet, a short break and then a 45 minute set of the first five guys joined by EJ.
Eric came out with Chris Maresh and drummer Kyle Thompson at the appointed hour, smiled kindly at the crowd and after introducing Chris and Kyle, self effacingly announced, "We're just gonna jam a bit."...
I'd love to give you the full set list for this stuff, but the titles that Eric mentioned were mostly said to the '61 fiesta red strat he was playing -- they were communicating very VERY well, lemme tell you.
Except for the Bluesy "World of Trouble" most of the hour was pure Rock-Fusion; dynamic, expansive fusion jams that were clean, FAST, jaw dropping excursions up into the stratosphere. It was GREAT. I'd gone to see Holdsworth earlier in the week, but this was sooo much... MORE. Melodic, loose, different textures, and incredibly lyrical passages I could listen to over and over.
Chris was digging IN, next to Malford (who to be honest is in a class by himself) that boy was the hardest working sweat factory on stage that night.
The new guy....
O-M-G. Remember that name, Kyle Thompson
. Holy Moley
. His playing is like a melodic avalanche. If he were an engine, he'd be a V8.
oh. I should probably mention -- I got a lift to the show with Paula and Rob (that would be Paula of-the-front-of-the-line fame!) and staked out the front of the stage directly in front of Chris's pedal board. In fact -- if I was any closer, I'd have had to move back to get out the way or bump heads with him as he reached to adjust a knob.
wait -- it gets better...
so there's a break, and then at 11pm-ish, up comes Malford -- raring to git rowdy. I love Malford so much, and I'm standing right in front of him and I'm sure I was glowing if not throwing a beacon like a struck-dumb silly Lighthouse.
the first Double Trouble set list:
1. Medicine Man
2. Burnin Angel (written by Riley Osbourn)
3. Say One Thing (dedicated to Doyle II)
4. Blow Wind Blow
5. Ain't No Fun To Me
6. Change Is Gonna Come
7. Talk to Your Daughter
8. Palace Of The King
9. Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky
10. Shape I'm In (Not EJ's -- this one was *classic* R&B)
I'm telling you -- catching Malford Milligan, Mike Keller, and Riley Osbourn with Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon is worth the price of admission. If Eric Johnson is my "Favorite Artist" -- this line up with Double Trouble is becoming my favorite band.
Mike Keller is just -- superb. He looks like a 15 year old kid, and he plays like a 60 year old blues pro. He just shuts his eyes and the music flows out of his will.
Riley O is a consummate, commanding pro. I'd say that goes for all of them, but Mr. Osbourn comes across as the combat Unit "Sarge" if that makes any sense.
And Malford... what can you say about someone with the ability to raise his voice and channel every soul in the room...
I'll tell you -- everyone's concept of Heaven is highly personal: as to what might merit entry into it: I don't want to open up a theosophical brouhaha; but I'm pretty sure I get points towards passing through the pearly gates because I've been in the same room with M.M. and he made me feel better 'n half way there already -- if I see a few more gigs; I'm positive I will learn the whole route.
And the Double Trouble fellas themselves?...
They don't miss SRV a quarter of what he must miss them, I do believe.
so the band took a break, and I turned my back to the stage and sat on it; Paula's dear mate Rob brought me back a water (thank you Rob) and I sat and chatted with the folks around me... and realized I was sort of hemmed into sitting there. hmmmm....
Guys -- I'm a Big Person. I stand 5'10", and let's just say I DO NOT disappear when I turn sideways. The ladies standing directly in front of me as I sat on the stage were 5'6" tops. I was roughly 5'6" sitting.
so I sat there for the following set, with EJ and Double Trouble et all.
yeaaaah, 18 days in Austin and my considerable behind is sitting on the stage about four feet from
Eric Johnson's Cowboy boots and red 335.
and it was cool.
Not so much as a dirty look from security, crew, or a band member -- and the audience pressing against the stage seemed happy I'd gotten shorter, lol.
Double Trouble with friends and special guest EJ set list:
1. E Shuffle (an instrumental leading into)
2. How Many More Times
3. All Your Love I Miss Loving (EJ penned)
4. Once A Part of Me
5. For You Blue (also EJ penned, but I could be wrong)
7. Spanish Castle Magic
• encore •
this set list was scrawled on the back of the first Double Trouble set list: and the tape used to affix the first list to the floor was facing up -- so that Malford got it stuck to his shoe accidentally (and oblivious) -- and between Tommy Shannon gesturing, and ME grabbing it and smoothing it into place where it wouldn't be picked up by a passing shoe, the set list was around to be referred to by the performers.
hey -- I live to serve. =)
The first time I saw Eric "sit in" with Double Trouble was terrific, make no mistake: but you know -- this was better. Not just from my strategic viewing point: this time Mike "got dragged up" into sharing lead work on nearly every piece with EJ (the first time he'd more or less stuck to a solid rhythm-second guitar filling)
Yes -- this Mike Keller guy -- he's THAT GOOD he can go toe-to-toe trading riffs with E, the two of them grinning at each other for the sheer joy of making music together *At This Level*.
What a Night, What a Show.
Thank you Gentlemen!
from the Big Kid with the (Transcended) Happy Face staring up...