I Saw the Music-Derek Trucks Band Hard Rock Cafe NYC 6.10.08
Posted by jhochstat on June 15, 2008
We have decided to start a NYC based live music review series called I Saw The Music which will cover live shows that have been seen by those of us based here in NYC.
The first show to be reviewed is:
Derek Trucks – Live at the Hard Rock Cafe free show sponsored by Rolling Stone Magazine, June 10th 2008.
Pix & Content by jroxx
On June 4th, I received an e-mail in my inbox from a member of a NYC based music list I am a member of with the following message: “Just ran into (a friend) who claimes that there is a free Derek Trucks show sponsored by Rolling Stone magazine at the Hard Rock Cafe this coming Tuesday night.” In the message was an e-mail address to r.s.v.p. for the show.
I sent an e-mail to that address and got the following autoreply: “Thank you for your RSVP to Rolling Stone LIVE featuring Derek Trucks Band, with special guests Scrapomatic. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, June 10th. Cheers, Rolling Stone.“
There was a bit of skepticism regarding the validity of the show, the amount of people who were going to show up and the length of the performances. Being the optimist that I am, I got to the Hard Rock Cafe at 6:30 PM on June 10th, ran into my friend Dave who was waiting inside the doors of the Hard Rock Cafe (was sweltering hot out that day). Everyone had brought printouts of the autoreply e-mail we received from Rolling Stone magazine because none of us were sure how the system was going to work. We had heard that the doors were to open at 7:30, Scrapomatic was going on at 8:30 and finally Derek and his band at 9:30 PM.
Sure enough at 7:30, the tables were set up and the Rolling Stone staffers asked us for our names and ID’s and thankfully I was on the list. Being one of the first people inside, I set up camp right in front of the stage, directly in front of where I believed that Derek was going to be standing for his set. The venue at the Hard Rock Cafe is a hidden NYC gem that is rarely used for paying concerts (why???). Not only was the show not fully “packed” but there was also a Miller Lite table offering free beer and a Bratwurst cart offering free Brats with the works all night long. This was a free show with great perks and as I was about to find out was only going to get better!
Before I go into more detail I have to admit that I have seen Derek in all of the stages of his brief but ever growing career. I first saw Derek perform at a small bar in Orlando, Florida called The Junkyard in mid to late 1995. I got an advance copy of his first album from his record label in early 1997. In mid 1997 I saw Derek perform his first show at the House of Blues in Orlando in front of maybe 3 or 4 people total (nobody knew who he was yet…). My last time seeing Derek in Orlando was another House of Blues show that he opened for Gov’t Mule which ended in an EPIC Spanish Moon guitar duel with Warren. I still remember speaking to Derek backstage after the show and making the comment to him “You need to play with more intensity.” to which he responded “All of the intensity I need is in my fingertips.” Those words echo true to this day! Since returning to NYC in late 2001 I have seen Derek perform in City Hall Park (2002), Town Hall (2005) and at least 1 show each year in the Allman’s Beacon Run as well as Warren’s Evil Teen 10th Anniversary show in March of 2007. The growth and maturity I have seen in his guitar playing is mind boggling to say the least.
Advance copy of Joyful Noise signed by Derek & the band.
Ok, back to the Hard Rock show.
The evening started out with a brief set by Scrapomatic, Mike Mattison’s side band (Mike is the vocalist in Derek’s band for those of you that don’t know). Scrapomatic has a good sound and talented players but this was not the band that everyone came to see.
The 3 pictures below are from the Scrapomatic set.
A little after 9:30 PM, Derek and his band took the stage and played a blistering 90 minute set including several appearances by Derek’s wife, Susan Tedeschi.
They played 12 songs including some great covers of:
Get Out of My Life Woman (Written by Paul Butterfield)
Down Don’t Bother Me (Written by Albert King)
Soul Serenade (Written by Curtis Ousley aka King Curtis)
I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy (Written by Deadric Malone, Darryl Carter, Charles Hodges & 1st performed by O.V. Wright)
Key to the Highway (Written by Charlie Segar in 1940, Played by Eric Clapton & countless others)
My Favorite Things (Written by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II in 1959 and made famous by John Coltrane)
Anyday (Written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock & Performed by Derek & the Dominoes)
The Weight (Written by Robbie Roberston & 1st Performed by The Band)
My friend Dave, who was front and center with me summed up the show the best saying “From the “front row”, tonight’s version of My Favorite Things has to rank as one of my peak musical experiences of all time. Derek started the song out by perfectly interpreting Coltrane’s phrasing on guitar for the first “verse”, then veering off into things that could only be done on guitar, and then only by him. The interplay that followed with Kofi on flute was unreal, as was what came after that – an incredible fusion of Derek’s stinging/searing guitar sound with a Coltrane-esque venture into true jazz of the first order… Things I think I have only seen previously done on piano or sax were coming out of Derek’s guitar in a way that was truly incredible. The whole band appeared to be smiling at each other for pretty much the whole set – except of course for those points when Derek goes off into that “zone” – you know, where his face goes almost blank as all the feeling comes out of his fingers.”
Derek & Kofi – My Favorite Things
Derek in “The Zone”
Here a few pictures of Derek & Susan in guitar harmony and a copy of Derek’s setlist from the evening.
You can find my full set of pictures from the show here.
All in all a truly magical night!