A Little Bit Of New Orleans Rocked Lowell
My friends know that Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue is one of my favorite musicians; I traveled to New York three times just to see him perform! Finally, the Lowell Summer Music Series booked him! I was going to be able to see him at one of my favorite venues – life is good!
The stars were completely aligned for this show. The weather was perfect, the crowd was large (but not insane), our seats were close to the stage, and the music was amazing!
If there had been a roof, Shorty would have blown it off! From the moment he took the stage, the audience was entranced. He came out of the wings at full throttle and did not let up for the rest of the show, which is typical of all of his shows that I have attended.
He started the set with ‘Liar Liar’, a song I had not heard. Could it be there’s a new Trombone Shorty album in the works?
From there, the set weighed heavily on his second album, ‘For True’. Numbers such as ‘Buckjump’, ‘Mrs. Orleans’, and the title song eventually got the crowd standing and dancing. Also included on the set list were a few covers, including Lenny Kravitz’ ‘SistaMamaLover’ and a fabulous version of ‘St. James Infirmary’. I have heard many bands perform the latter song and I never tire of it; each version is unique.
I found it interesting that the set list did not include any songs from his most recent release, ‘Say This To Say That’. Of his three albums, that is my least favorite, although that’s like saying crème brûlée is my least favorite dessert when choosing from that, bread pudding and Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch ice cream. They’re all great albums!
Shorty’s band is fantastic and very tight. The members are Michael ‘Bass’ Ballard on (you guessed it) bass, Pete Murano on guitar, Joey Peebles on drums, Tim McFatter on tenor sax, and Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax.
Despite his moniker, Shorty plays trumpet as well as he plays trombone, and in this show it seemed that he played trumpet more often. He also left both instruments in their stands during a few songs and picked up the tambourine to accompany his vocals.
Shorty knows how to get the crowd jumping. A couple of songs into the set, he asked us to get on our feet and we happily obliged. I was very close to the stage (maybe twenty feet from Shorty) and was glad that people in front of me stood so I had to stand. Somebody had to do it, so it might as well have been me and my friends!
Opening the show was a band from Lowell called The Party Band, and they were the ideal opener for this show.
They are a group of musicians from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell and vary in number. When I saw them perform in 2013, there were 12 people on stage; at this show, there were at least 34! What fun they provided, in addition to being talented musicians! I could not fit the entire band in one shot!
The lawn was set with a path from the stage to the sidewalk (I had never seen that at a Lowell show). During their set, various members – or an entire trumpet (for example) section – danced out to the sidewalk while playing. They reminded me of a true second line New Orleans band. The audience loved them!
I will never tire of seeing Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue perform. He has all the elements that a consummate performer needs – musical talent, great band-leading, energy, and the ability to connect with his audiences.
If you like high-energy shows, Trombone Shorty is worth your while to see live. His albums are great, but they cannot capture the thrill of his live shows.
Posted on July 14, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Boarding House Park, boston, concert review, Lowell Summer Music Series, music, New Orleans funk, New Orleans music, Orleans Avenue, The Party Band, Trombone Shorty, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.