Check it. A couple of people had reviews and opinions about Van Hunt. Since he’s in our town and had also done quite a bit of session work, I copped the album and loved it. Of course, me doing a review of Van Hunt would be a duplicitous effort, since there had already been reviews of it that I agreed with on all fronts. However, since some of the live performing reviews were a bit different, I was more than curious to see if the live performances were any different from the CD itself. I expected this to be a very good live performance – I wasn’t expecting vocal prowess or choirs or orchestras – just some good old fashion funk, soul and rock.
That’s exactly what I got.
While walking around the second floor of Smith’s Olde Bar, I saw Van Hunt and introduced myself. Since I don’t really get to meet very many performers, I thought that I would give the album props, let him know that the reason I’m there is for him and only him, and as soon as he was done, we would jet. After chuckles from the entourage, he let me know that he would be the second performer on stage. I mentioned that I had my camera, that I would be taking pictures, shook hands and left.
Ten minutes later, after telling Prime this story (and dubbed “Van Hunt Groupie” for the rest of the night), Van Hunt’s brother stops by and gives me a handshake – and email addresses for sending them photos of the band’s performance to them. I am by no means a photographer, so I was in for a challenge. With J., Wood, and Prime there, we found our place amongst the crowd and settled in.
After the first session with Candy From Strangers, I made my way to the front, managing to take some pretty good photos.
The concert was what I expected it to be – a concert that allowed the people to jam and appreciate the artist and his vision. I would have loved to have heard Out of The Sky, since his guitarist and keyboardists provided very good background vocals- and had a lot of funk to kick out to us- but the cuts performed were more than ample. Showing us he can kick the ballistics with Hello Goodbye, Down Here In Hell, and Seconds of Pleasure, he also graced us with Highlights, Precious, Hold My Hand, Anything and Dust. Mid-set, he spiced up the wayback machine with Got To Get You Into My Life, the Earth Wind and Fire cut sans the horns, and an all-too-short rendition of The Ohio Players Sweet Sticky Thing.
For sure, if you’re expecting people with vocal prowess, choreographed moves, or a backing choir, you’ll be dissapointed. For down-home grooves, savvy band members, and feel-good vibes, check him out. You should already have the CD. Don’t sleep.