The Soul Stew Revival sounded great last night at the Masonic Auditorium. The show was promptly opened by Scrapomatic, Mike the DTB singer's band. They played a nice opening set, a mississippi john hurt tune, a nina simone tune, some original stuff. They were joined for a few numbers by various members of the Soul Stew...lasted about 30 minutes.
The Soul Stew took the stage after a short intermission. Overall, the band sounded great. The ensemble is very comfortable together and the music benefits. Personally, I could have done without the second drummer, yeah he's derek's brother but it was too much.
The set lasted about an hour and a half, followed by a two song encore, bringing the show to two and half hours total. The set included some familiar stuff from the DTB (AnyDay), covers included Don't Do It and The Weight from The Band, there was a Get Out My Life Woman in there, a Paul Pena tune that DTB does Gonna Move. Sugar, Key to the Highway, People, and the biggest surprise of the night, Carlos Santana sitting in on Hercules. First time I've seen Carlos on stage, it was cool but not the musical highlight it could have been, just a little off the cuff fun.
I wish there had been a little more happening between Derek and Susan musically. They played very well together but didn't play off each other at all, there was no back and forth...I would have liked to hear that. And it was nice to be seated and have a full view of everything on stage, but I have to imagine that this show would have been a real rocker had it been at the fillmore.
Another fine Soul Stew Revival show last night.
I highly recommend you catch these folks next year. We consider this a high priority show.
Last year’s show at the Fillmore was hot. This one was different being a Sunday night, but still no bullshit.
Nice and load, long solos, heavy bass, hammond, 3 horns, and 2 drummers and percussions. Horn section was mixed just right for guitar band.
Susan belting the vocals and with tasty git solos.
Mike Mattison: Derek’s regular vocalist worked well with Susan. He sang 25% of lead and provided big back up vocals on about on about 60% of Susan’s stuff.
Carlos Santana played on a 25 minute version of Hercules – sick.
Here is a sample from this year’s tour:
July 5, 2008 – Rothbury Fest in Michigan
Check it out. After the old folks pass, this is the coolest big band thing can I see in the future.
Carlos Santana? That must have been supurb.
Viva Derek Trucks !!!!!!!!!!
Totally agree that this band should be at the Fillmore instead of Nob Hill. I enjoyed the show a lot, but it would have been a lot more fun with a dancing crowd, better parking and maybe a lower ticket price.
The band was quite good. Susan and Derek have some powerful music to put out there. I especially enjoyed "Sweet Inspiration" and "Tell the Truth". I sometimes had trouble understanding Susan's lyrics. Her voice is very powerful, and I swear if she sang right in front of you, her voice could knock you down.
Derek is a great guitarist, but I would like to see a little more interaction, not only with Susan, but also other members of the band. When Carlos came out, I expected some great guitar play between the two of them, but it just didn't materialize. Must say however that Carlos's shoes did look sharp.
Anyway, they are a great band and I would highly recomend them.
Definitely one of the better bands on tour right now, tho I echo the remark here that Derek's younger brother kinda muddies the drums by doubling down without total synchronicity. And sound clarity can suffer when all dozen players dig in at the same time.
To be fair, I detect alot of non-visual communication between the players and Derek, but much of that may be pre-ordained and less spontaneous. Certainly, he's great and a presence "in a silent way," but not destined to be visually exciting.
(Same for ole Jer; we used to set each other howling by imitating the GD frontmen's minimalistic visual tics... sometimes Jer shuffled his feet on a screamin' solo, or Bobby did a head bob in a jam or Phil would make little jumps as he hit his strings.)
But "Soul Stew Revival" is a name that captures the setlist and the sound. And, yeah mon, Susan can belt -- on an Aretha tune in Boulder ("Save Me") and on The Weight, she was scary good.
And this band seems to attract an easy-going, diverse crowd.
The PA was weak. If you looked up they only had old school "horn type" house speakers.Everytime Susan really blew the weak SF Jazz PA could not handle it. It would sound tinty every time and low end was weak and unresponsive. They should bring their own PA, but that cost money. The mix man was on the side behind the band. They would not allow him to setup in the balcony. Crappy venue.
The stage sound was awesome. They had (12) 2x 12" monitors. I was in row eleven, so it sounded great except for the vocals when they tried to push it.
At the Fillmore last year, everyting was much clearer.
The ushers sucked. He stopped a girl from taking cell phone pictures 3 times. No drinks allowed in the seats and they marched to your seat everytime like some kinda prisoner.
Hopefully they never play their again. The band was still good, even with these conditions.
Great show. Actually from where I was the sound was crystaline. What struck me was unlike the Fillmore and the Warfield, the Masonic Auditorium is a real theater. A great listening room. The absence of drunks and the drone of chatters was not missed. The security did keep folks in their seats which was not a problem for me. What I love about DT is his use of volume and dynamics and in a great room it has a powerful effect. When Carlos Santana came out early in the show both he and Derek traded solos like two old jazz cats that let the instruments do the talking. When they got real low you could actually hear their fingers strumming the strings it was that quiet. Carlos also really locked into Yonrico the drummer. Lots of highlights epecially the EC related tunes: Anyday, To Tell the Truth, and Key to The Highway. The setlist said Hey Jude to close but they actually did The Weight in that same Wilson Pickett styled raveup not at all like The Band. Derek showed that he is one of the best players on the scene right now with his original raga infused slide work and Susan was sensational all evening singing and holding her own on guitar. The big band rhythem section included Yonrico Scott and Duane Trucks on drums, the mysterious Col. Bruce Hampton colleage Count Mabuto on percussion, Todd Smalley on bass and the brillant Kofi Burbrige on keys and flute. With an over the top brassy three piece horn section it was just the icing on a sweet musical dessert. I actually roamed a bit in the orchestra where I had a killer 5th row seat up through the balcony and I have to say the sound was consistantly good. The theater kinda wraps around the stage so there might be some dead spots on the sides but I didn't find them. The show began early and ended early which made for clean getaway and an unobtrusive morning wake up. I must say I do like the Masonic Auditorium. It's a place where the music is in the forefront and not a place where drunks, talkers, smokers, and obnoxious dancers will feel welcome.
>> not a place where drunks, talkers, smokers, and obnoxious dancers will feel welcome. <<
I was worried for a minute that this was not the case. Just as the band started the entire row of people behind us started a very enthusiastic conversation...it could have gotten ugly, but luckily the ushers let a few people stand in the very back, the whole row got up and left
The room had great sound, except the mini jazz style PA was mounted high for the balcony. Tha's why you could not hear well in the front of the stage.
Jazz folks play soft and in quite rooms. So this venue is good for that.
But alas this is rock music. So people dancing and partying provide energy to the band. This gig was too laid back but solid. Do real rock band want to play to a quite crowd? NO
I do not want to see these folks in this room again. But I do want to see everytime they are in town.
This was an odd booking for SF Jazz, and they definitely do not go all out with their PA systems, even for their jazz shows at the Masonic.
A different crowd goes to an SF Jazz show, even one like this, and I thought this might be a bit stiff, and it sounds like maybe it was, compared to a Fillmore setting.
The biggest problem with the Masonic is the parking, which is fine as long as you get there early, but if not you might as well take a cab.
It's great to hear that Carlos was sitting in. I haven't seen him do that lately and I was getting worried that he wasn't into that any more. He generally sits in often and it's always great to see him.
The band sounded great. The venue blows, mainly because the vibe is like a cross between church and prison. Real treat to see Carlos. Great setlist. Excellent performance all around. The show was pretty short unfortunately. I was home by 9:45.
The place could be a completely different scene. If they ran it like the Warfield used to be run, it'd be killer, as long as they put in a more powerful PA and didn't use a bunch of plexiglass barriers between all the amps and drummers. That was a little weird, kinda like being in a studio.
07/27/2008 - Nob Hill Masonic Center: San Francisco, CA
Don't Do It
I Wants To Be Loved
Just Won't Burn
Tell The Truth
Get Out Of My Life
Glad You're Gone
Key To The Highway
1w/Carlos Santana - Guitar
Short but sweet sunday night gig