Guitar virtuoso and touted as one of the world’s most acclaimed bluesmen of his generation Gary Clark Jr hit Adelaide’s iconic Thebarton Theatre with one blistering and electrifying live show to remember for quite some time to come. As an integral part of the Bluesfest line up Adelaide has again been spoiled with the calibre of sideshows this time around and this one is right up there.
Melbourne’s own roots/rock aficionado and opening act Hamish Anderson set the pace early proving to the crowd that was building that he could hold his own and is no doubt emerging as a talent to watch as he will continue to forge ahead with his one career. Anderson has some absolute rippers in the armoury and from what we heard from his forthcoming album Out Of My Head due in May there’s plenty to get excited about. How good is Breaking Down? Wowsers! We can only hope a return visit is on the cards at some point this year.
Gary Clark Jr is the man! Electrifying, blistering, soulful and hypnotic are a just a few of the words that come to mind in describing his performance. It definitely felt like a guitar masterclass watching Gary Clark Jr doing his thing with what looked like relative ease and it’s hard not to be in ore of this awesome talent. It wasn’t a huge crowd but those diehards made more than enough noise of a full Thebarton Theatre. There was little fanfare leading up to the band taking the stage but straight out of the blocks Gary Clark Jr and band turned it on and up with Bright Lights.
The flavour early was new album This Land with new tracks What About Us, I Walk Alone and When I’m Gone following in quick succession. The mood of the show ebbed and flowed over the two hours taking fans on a journey. At some points it was continually frustrating with the amount of chit chat from the audience disrespecting the band by not being able to pay attention. Why? Why? Why?
There were some really soulful moments with Our Love and Feed The Babies to the strong reggae vibes of Feelin’ Like A Million. Gary Clark Jr is a man of few words who really did let the performance do all the talking. Favourites for the highlights reel for me include Got To Get Up and When My Train Pulls In. Hot damn! That guitar solo was really something. There were a few changes compared to the original set list and some subtle differences compared to other shows on this tour. An Albert Collins cover If Trouble Was Money got a look in and the big single from the new album This Land was left out with the main set finishing on Pearl Cadillac.
Returning for a monster encore starting with the epic The Guitar Man with Hamish Anderson returning to the stage to join forces with Gary Clark Jr on the B.B. King cover My Baby’s Gone and then Don’t Owe You A Thang. It was really cool to close on The Beatles cover which Gary Clark Jr has made his own Come Together which capped off a great night.
Live Review By Rob Lyon