Last night I went to High Point, NC to catch Amos Lee in concert. I've been a fan of Amos' music for the past few years and have been looking forward to seeing him live. I wasn't disappointed. The show was held at the High Point Theater, an upscale venue that was clean, smoke free and decently intimate. I sat about 9 rows back.
I was curious to see what kind of crowd would show for Lee's mix of blues, soul and folk. There was a pretty wide range of ages, including a grey haired couple dead center in the front row and a 6 year old a couple of rows ahead of me who was taking in her first concert ever. There were plenty of couples on dates, and LOTS of single females. Apparently Amos' soulful crooning has quite a romantic effect on ladies of all ages. Note: If you are a single guy between 20-30 and want to meet some women who are in a good mood, get yourself to an Amos Lee show.
There was no opening act and the crowd was fairly quiet beforehand, but once Amos and his band took the stage the room came to life. People shouted, sang along, clapped when asked and spontaneously hooted and hollered. One lady next to me affirmed the start of her favorite songs with phrases like: "that's right", "hmmmmmm", and "go on Amos". And she wasn't the only one. I felt like I was at church.
Amos seemed to feel the vibe as well and got a little chatty with the audience. After a song about fighting, he offered, "You know what they say, if you can't do it- write about it." After another number about jealousy, Amos promised, "This is the last song I'm going to write about that particular situation." After doing a song off of the new album, Lee said, "I hope you already have it. If not, we're selling it tonight. Or you can find it somewhere on the Interweb. You can forage it." Amos had a nice dry wit and I left feeling like he appreciated our presence and was happy to engage us on at least a surface level.
Lee played both acoustic and electric guitar- and while he didn't seem to be a virtuoso on either, he held his own and played what was needed to get the songs across. He was backed by a 3 piece band of Keys/Hammond Organ, Drums and Bass. The guys played 23 songs in about two hours. Their set covered a good portion of each of Lee's 3 albums and included a couple of covers as well:
Keep It LooseLee and the players sounded good and didn't just play "what was on the record". True to their bluesy roots, they improvised on many songs. Lee even altered his delivery at times to more of a rap/melodic talk- which worked nicely. Unlike many artists who can only sing one way, Amos drifts effortlessly between an r/b falsetto, a gritty folk delivery and a bluesy growl.
Supply And Demand
Bottom Of The Barrel
Jails & Bombs
What's Been Going On
Street Corner Preacher
Lungs (orig by Townes Van Zandt)
Won't Let Me Go
Seen It All Before
Arms Of A Woman
Shout Out Loud
Fat Bottomed Girls (orig by Queen)
Overall, I had a blast with just two minor disappointments. 1. Jen didn't get to come with me. I would have loved to share the night with her. She's DEFINITELY going next time. 2. I'm going to have to wait until Amos comes back through NC to see him again.
Check HERE to see if he's coming to your town anytime soon. And then go!