Sunday, May 22, 2011

Concert Review: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave @ Brown's Island, Richmond, VA- 5.20.2011

A few months ago, my friend Molly invited me to come to Richmond to watch her and some of our friends run a triathlon.  I was already excited to watch them race when I found out that Trombone Shorty was playing that very weekend.  I had been looking forward to seeing this band ever since being introduced to them at Virgin Mobile Free Fest in September.  It would be a shame to be in Richmond and not make it to this concert.  Fortunately, Megan agreed to join me, and what a concert it was.

I had been to Richmond three years ago to see a concert, and what I remember most about the city was how beautiful it was.  This particular concert was on Brown's Island for an event called Friday Cheers, which occurs every Friday throughout May and June.  Brown's Island is situated between the James River and Haxall Canal.  The outdoor venue spot is gorgeous.  If I lived nearby, I'd be attending every concert no matter which band was playing.  At $5 a ticket, I don't how you couldn't.  The walkways and river make it a great spot to bring a picnic.  The crowd was also eclectic.  There were families, young adults, seniors, people familiar with the band, and those who didn't know the band and came just for some music.  I have a feeling, that those in attendance that didn't know of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave before, are fans now.

Sometimes I get nervous taking someone to a concert when they don't know the band.  I really don't want them to have a bad time or get bored.  But I also love it, when it turns out that they really enjoy the band.  I think Trombone Shorty has a fan in Meg though.  We had a blast.  The band started with some songs off their debut release Backatown.  The entire band is phenomenally talented.  Trombone Shorty himself would be world famous if it was the Jazz age.  His trombone and trumpet skills are something to behold.  During "Sunny Side of the Street" a song that Louis Armstrong made famous, he held a note for what I can only guess was at least two minutes.  I enjoy the instrumental songs in Trombone Shorty's catalog the most, but the songs with lyrics were much improved since seeing them last.  This was particularly true on "Show Me Something Beautiful".

There were many highlights of the set, but for me it was when the band played "Shout".  If you know anything about me, you know I love "Shout."  It's the song of the Buffalo Bills, and the only song that gets me to dance with any consistency.  To hear a band play it live, will always make me happy.  The band went crazy on this song, and the crowd seemed to have tremendous fun with it.  During the encore, all seven members of the band switched instruments.  Not easy switches either.  The saxophonist didn't switch to trombone, I believe he was on bass.  The bass player was playing trumpet.  Trombone shorty was on drums.  These weren't easy switches.  And you know what?  They were just as good!  It was a tremendous display of talent.  I can't recommend going to see Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave live enough.  You won't regret it.  At the very least you'll have a good time dancing.  Go check them out.  I'm glad I had a second opportunity and I wouldn't turn down going to see them again in the future.

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