LIVE: Anderson East @ The Egg, 11/6/18

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Review by Mark Alexander Hudson

Anderson East delivered a scorching performance at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre earlier this month.

The Alabama native, now based in Nashville, tore it up with his hybrid mixture of retro soul and emotional, bluesy rock. Somewhat resembling a young Tom Waits, East hunched over his guitar while squeezing out his impassioned vocals, and at times spun around and fell to his knees, as if transported by the power of the music his excellent six-piece band conjured behind him.

Dave Cobb, the producer of East’s latest album Encore, has said that their touchstones during the recording process were Joe Cocker and Van Morrison. Those influences can certainly be heard in concert, too, along with the Southern soul legends Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. At The Egg, East even included a slamming cover version of the old Sam & Dave groover “Hold On, I’m Coming”.

But this was no simple retro showcase…

East’s wide ranging repertoire traveled from a Willie Nelson song, “Pick Up My Pieces”, (which he wryly introduced by first claiming he was no country singer), to “All on My Mind”, a co-write with Ed Sheeran. Indeed, his recent single “Girlfriend” would not sound out of place on contemporary pop radio.

All was tied together by East’s charged and passionate vocals. He ended the concert with “This Too Shall Last”, featuring an epic guitar solo by Scotty Murray, which East then joined in on, their two guitars reaching a burning spiraling crescendo that quoted the anthemic closing riff of “Purple Rain.”

Fitting, as this performance will definitely last in the memory of all those in attendance.

Opening proceedings were the young New Respects, who played a buoyant set of poppy funk-rock that went over really well with the audience.

The family band from Nashville consists of twin sisters Alexis & Alexandria Fitzgerald on bass and guitar respectively, brother Darius Fitzgerald on drums and cousin Jasmine Mullen on lead vocals. All four members sing, and their youthful positive energy was undeniable. They covered The Beatles’ “Come Together,” and their originals were impressive, echoing a carefree and compelling mixture of Hendrix, Rufus & Sly Stone among others.

For those who braved the cold night, both acts certainly warmed the soul.

ANDERSON EAST SET LIST
What a Woman Wants to Hear
Lying in Her Arms
Sorry You’re Sick
Without You
Keep the Fire Burning
Hold On, I’m Coming (Sam & Dave)
Girlfriend
Pick Up My Pieces (Willie Nelson)
Satisfy Me
All on My Mind
Sideways
This Too Shall Last

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