If you like your blues served heavy with driving guitars, then Jonny Lang’s performance at the Orpheum in Vancouver last night was right up your alley.
It barely seems 5 minutes since he was last here at the Commodore back in November. This time around the setting was a little bigger and a little more refined, but the set was just as hard hitting, and an interesting compliment to Mavis Staples who opened the evening.
Lang, delivered a powerhouse set, with every song providing an opportunity to showcase his immense talent. Unlike his studio work, where Lang often carefully blends his guitar into the fabric of the song, when performing live he is blues guitar powerhouse, and one of the best guitarist touring today..I would love to see Joe Satriani, and Jonny Lang tearing up the stage…sweet, not only would the guitar playing be awesome, the two of them have some of the best guitar faces in the business. 😊
Throughout the set Lang gave plenty of opportunity for his band to take centre stage, Rack Em up in particular saw solos from guitarist Court Clement, Tyrus Sass on keys, and Jimmy Anton on bass. In fact, the to and fro made me feel like I was in a jazz and blues dive, rather than a theatre, as the band played so well off each other.
In addition to some his older works, such a Rack Em up and Still Rainin’, Lang also played songs his latest album, the wonderful Signs, which provides a much more southern blues sound than his earlier outings.
One of the highlights of the night was an extended version of the thoughtful Red Light, which morphed from relentless melancholy, before being turned on its head transitioning into Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, and then finishing off with another blazing solo.
Court Clement took the spotlight for a while for a solo, with Lang and the rest of the band returning to the stage for Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City. Ironically for Vancouver the main set closed out with Still Rainin, on perhaps the one day that it actually wasn’t, but this time the weather was the last thing on anyone’s mind.
I doubt we will see Jonny Lang back quite so soon next time around, but we can hope. Whenever it is, it won’t be soon enough.
Jonny’s tour continues through Western Canada with Mavis Staples on the following dates:
Sep 26 – Nanaimo
Sep 28 – Kelowna
Sep 30 – Calgary
Oct 1 – Edmonton
Oct 3 – Winnipeg
After this he heads back down to the US – full tour details can be found at https://jonnylang.com/tour/
Check out our images from the show below.
Photos: Stewart Johnstone