Gezien: Adrian Younge and Venice Dawn in BIRD, Rotterdam op 5 september 2012.
Rotterdam’s hottest jazz and soul club BIRDopened its new concert season with a highly energetic performance by Los Angeles soul musician Adrian Younge and his band Venice Dawn. Earlier this year Younge impressed us with his second album Something About April. His gig in BIRD was part of afirst short visit to Europe.
Something About April is a soul record filled with influences like the old school Stax sound, blaxploitaition movies, Otis Redding, but also containing touches of Ennio Morricone and early Pink Floyd. Perfectly well produced by Adrian Younge himself who managed to give the vintage sound a fresh sparkle without loosing its authentic feel. During his performance in BIRD the musician and his band approached their sound without its sophisticated beauty and gave it a rough but not unpleasant treatment.
The six band members,dressed in black suits stepped on the small stage after 10pm and started playing a heavy fifteen minute instrumental medley of songs. During this first piece of music Younge showed the crowd he’s multi instrumentalist switching from bass to organ and from sax to flute. Not
necessarily technical but playful, nonetheless. It became obvious this was the musician’s way of warming up when he asked the audience: “Now… shall we get started with the show?”
With the exception of a few of songs, the live set was mostly instrumental. The sound was pretty hard and the music surprisingly raw edged compared to the album. Thunderous drums, heavy plucking bass, snarling fuzzy guitars and ear splitting organ raised some eyebrows. The record’s sophistication was nowhere to be found during the concert. However, the live performance didn’t dissapoint. On the contrary, Younge and his band worked hard with intensity and enjoyment, creating jagged soul that sometimes felt like a jam. David Henderson’s smacking drum grooves were a real treat, while Loren Oden’s soulful vocals reminded us a bit of Otis and Marvin.
With Adrian Younge’s sophisticated album in mind, his 75 minute performance was confusing, but became pretty delightful when the show continued with more raw driven bombastics. It showed the diversity and challenging approach of the artist. It is interesting to know though if Younge is able to transfer his psychedelic soul studio sound to the live stage. Not a necessity but more out of curiosity. A fellow to keep an eye on!
Dit artikel verscheen 8 september 2012 op Jazz010.