It’s incredibly hard to take notes at a Tedeschi Trucks Band concert. There are twelve musicians on stage contributing to the absolute mayhem rock and roll energy. With guitars, keyboards, saxophones, trumpets and two drummers, the pulse of the band is consistent and the band performs tighter. The husband and wife fronted powerhouse jam band – led by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks – ferociously injected their musical vibrations into the walls of the Beacon Theatre on Friday night – night four of a six-night residency.
The band warmed up the night with a Delaney & Bonnie cover Comin Home before delivering an uplifting, electric version of Made Up Mind. The hook on the title track of their 2013 LP is a jam band anthem and an instant attention grabber, launching fans out of their seats and into the aisles of the Beacon. The next song, Don’t Know What It Means, also highlighted the memorable, sing-along anthems that this band creates. Fresh off their January release Let Me Get By, Don’t Know What It Means sounded just as tight as older Tedeschi Trucks Band songs that were played.
After All That I Need, track eight on Made Up Mind, the band performed a beautiful rendition of Something by the The Beatles. This is a great song for Susan Tedeschi’s vocal range because the higher tender notes that John and Paul sang sensitively, Susan is able to deliver with raging, firing vocal pipes. Mike Mattison emerged from the backup vocalists to take lead vocals on a Derek Trucks Band original Don’t Miss Me. To close out the set, Susan dedicated The Storm, another track from Made Up Mind, to people down in Florida preparing to get hit by Hurricane Matthew.
The highlight of the night was Midnight In Harlem, an interestingly mellow yet funky enough groove to keep you swaying with the music even if the relaxing guitar tones are trying to seat you back down. Bound For Glory was a perfect song to follow as it brought the more live rocking energy back into the theatre. After Susan’s beautiful take on Ray Lamontagne’s Shelter and the band cover of More & More by Little Milton, Government Mule lead guitarist and former co-band mate of the Allman Brothers Warren Haynes sat in as a special guest for a 5 song all star set of blues tunes (including Preachin’ Blues by Son House and Soul Serenade by King Curtis). To cap the night the band came out for an encore to play I Cannot Make It by Sly & The Family Stone.
With the combination of Susan’s soulful, strong vocals and Derek’s mastermind skill-set and unique slide style, Tedeschi Trucks Band is without a doubt one of the most exciting live musical acts today.
Words by Scott J. Herman
Image by Marc Lowenstein