Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Taylor Tuesday Bonus

My family was visiting when Taylor Hicks' "Whomp At The Warfield" was on HDnet a week ago, Sunday. Despite my fantasies of forcing them to watch it...I mean, despite my plan to relax and enjoy the show with my company, we got caught up doing something else.

So I finally got to see WATW this afternoon. I was so impressed with the show that I decided to make notes as I watched to share here. First of all, due to some scheduling discrepancy, my recording started in the middle of the show. Taylor was already sweaty.

Some general notes: The theater looked full (others have said there are shots of empty seats) and the crowd was energized. I loved the shots from the stage, looking out at the audience. People were dancing, clapping, cheering. Panties flew. We got to see what Taylor Hicks sees as he's performing.

The band was hot. They sounded fantastic. During the THIRD encore ("Badge"), each band member played a solo. (BTW, I noticed Boogie's solo seemed to go on forever and was aware that Taylor wasn't on stage. He finally came out wearing a Giants shirt. Very cute. Taylor then knocked Brian Less aside and banged away on the organ, surprisingly on key. We were privy to shots of his hands on the keyboard so apparently he really can play a little.)

I enjoyed the close-ups of the band. It gives you a better idea of how hard they work and how much they seem to enjoy the music. Brian Gallagher, for instance, laughed as he did his own version of Taylor's trademark "Runaround Spin." (OK, I exaggerate a tad. He turned around. And laughed.)

Speaking of "The Runaround," Taylor introduced it as a Cajun tune. I don't remember hearing him describe it that way before, but OK. It's got some of the elements.

Taylor looked and sounded great. Obviously he brought his 'A' game for the cameras. When he's really on, everybody has a good time. I'm not a guitar player, but it sure looked like he knew what he was doing with his as the camera zoomed in. We also got lots of close-ups of Taylor playing harmonica. I'll bet if you needed someone to blow up balloons at a birthday party, he'd be your go-to guy.

Though the music was tight, Taylor was loose and playful with the audience. After his last bow, he jumped on top of a speaker and danced a bit. The only grimace-worthy moment during the whole show was when he made some odd growling noises during "Naked In the Jungle". Twice.

A couple of quick notes:

I was happy to see that the crowd stayed respectfully quiet during his first encore, "The Fall."

He played harmonica on his knees at one point.

What a great show! What makes it special for those of us who have been to a Taylor Hicks show is that you feel as if you're on stage with the band. You can hear every word sung or spoken, you can watch the musicians at work, you simply don't miss a thing.

Let's see how many of you would buy "Whomp At The Warfield" if you could. I'll put up a poll over there on the right. I know, I know, it's a dead issue. This is just for funsies.