It’s all about the vibe: Tim Reynolds delights at Putnam Place (June 12, 2021)
Tim Reynolds rolled into Nippertown last night, much to the delight of a crowd that had spent too long without live music. This was the fourth date of a modest ten date solo tour, which will be immediately followed by the much anticipated (rescheduled) Dave Matthews Band tour. It was an opportunity to see Tim up close and personal, and to appreciate his guitar mastery undistracted by anything else. It did not disappoint.
He took the stage a bit past 8:00, unassuming in jeans and black T-shirt. On stage with him were a matching six-string and twelve-string, a microphone, and nothing else. For the first of many times, he would thank the crowd for coming out. His genuineness was apparent, and made a quick connection with those in the room.
Leading off with “Fluorescence”, a track from his 2001 album Nomadic Wavelength, he quickly showed us the breadth and depth of his career. For those familiar with him only as the lead guitarist for DMB, they were in for a pleasant surprise. This is an artist who has been writing and performing since Dave Matthews was still a bartender, and his solo work is varied and exciting. He was about to demonstrate that.
Early set highlights included the rolling “A Tangled Web We Weave” and the sparkling “Turn It Into Love”, the latter’s punctuating little riffs resonating immediately with the crowd. However, the best moment in the first half came with the funky, staccato “Feeling Doors”. This hit a vibe that brought everyone in the room to a whole new level.
Speaking of “vibe”, Mr. Reynolds made reference early on that “it’s all about the vibe”, and everything he did demonstrated that. As we moved into the second half of the show, he slowed things down with a breathtakingly beautiful version of “Moonlight Sonata”. (Yes – that’s Beethoven, if you’re not classically inclined). As mellow a “vibe” as this set, this song clearly excited him as much or more than any other he played. From there, it was another wonderful left turn as he launched into an improv, looping himself and using effects, for a trippy lead-up to “Upos Potus”. Vibe after vibe – he hit them all.
The remaining set kept the level up, and the crowd accordingly excited. A cover of “Come Together” came with a nod to the Fab Four, thanking them for making him want to play guitar. A looped finger scratch propelled an absolutely mesmerizing “Kundalini Bonfire” – an auditory experience I’ve never heard anything exactly like before. He finally left the stage to another psychedelic, looped improv, which (while interesting) was a somewhat hit-and-miss way to end an otherwise impressive set.
There was one more vibe to set, and he returned to the stage for a rousing encore of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” to send the audience into the night. All seemed pleased, many no doubt will return for his second night (it will be an entirely different set). If you have not had occasion to see this underrated master perform live, you might consider following suit.
- Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Neil Young)
- A Tangled Web We Weave
- Open Up, Let It In
- Feeling Doors
- Turn It Into Love
- Healing Notion
- Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
- Upos Potus
- Going Places (Once Upon a Tune)
- Decline in Reason
- Axiom of Maria
- Come Together (Beatles)
- Kundalini Bonfire
- Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)