Thursday, January 30, 2014

Better Dig Two: Lindsay Ell and The Band Perry Concert Review

Remember way back when I said Lindsay Ell was a talent that you needed to take notice of? And then about two weeks later it was announced that she would be opening for The Band Perry on their We Are Pioneers tour? If you didn't listen to me then, hear me now: Lindsay Ell is on her way to becoming a superstar and last night's performance at Oshawa's General Motors Center proves it.
Photo by M.Fasano



I'm going to make a confession: I bought tickets to The Band Perry concert to see Lindsay Ell. It's not the first time I've purchased tickets to a show to see the opening act. In every single one of those cases, the opener has eventually become a bigger headliner than the band they originally opened for. (Case in point: Halestorm)

Don't get me wrong. The Band Perry is a GREAT band. They put on one heck of a show last night and the musicianship displayed on stage was to die for. Kimberly Perry's stage presence alone was enough to light up the General Motors Center for the duration of their set. And while I'm in the confessional, I'll admit that I was pining to hear "Better Dig Two" live, because the first time I heard the song I thought it was brilliant. The added drum sequence towards the end of the song was brilliantly played in a live setting, with all three Perry siblings banging on huge drums while under spotlights. I'm a heavy metal fan: big drums, big choruses, and loud guitars are my thing, so naturally I was delighted when I saw the huge drums in the background of their stage setup. I was also delighted when I saw the large skeletal hand posed in the form of the peace symbol slowly rise up on all three big screens as the introduction to the song sent the audience into a frenzy. Like all great bands, they saved their biggest hit for the encore and it was well worth the wait.

Photo by M.Fasano

Photo by M.Fasano

Prior to The Band Perry playing a blistering set, the crowd was treated to a set by Easton Corbin. I'm not going to elaborate much on his set because I barely saw/listened to 3 songs while in the photographer's section before I headed up to meet the young woman I was there to see: Lindsay Ell.

Lindsay played a short but brilliant set right before Corbin did, and the drive from Toronto was totally worth it. She played a selection of her own songs, including the single "Trippin' On Us" which is currently on country radio stations all over North America, and mixed in some recognizable and iconic riffs that showed off her influences. But don't let her angelic voice fool you into thinking that this is just another girl strumming a guitar while singing some awesome songs. Like I've said before and I'll say it again here, Lindsay can play. She treated the crowd to the introductory riff to Clapton's "Layla" and before treating the audience to The Guess Who's "American Woman". She handedly played the solos with poise and yes, that purple Les Paul Goddess of hers sounds just as good as it looks. Lindsay's tone is relatively distinct in an industry where cookie-cutter guitar playing seems to be rewarded. This is precisely why I advised anyone who reads this blog to check her out.

Photo by M.Fasano

Photo by M.Fasano

At the merchandise table, Lindsay did a meet and greet and spoke to and took photos with all of the fans who waited in line to see her. She was gracious, appreciative, and signed items for everyone. With such a huge tour, she doesn't have to come out and meet anyone, but she chooses to do so. And that's what we're about here at Playing With Chaos. While $250 and up VIP packages are a way to meet your favorite band, I think real rock'n'roll can't be bought, so when artists come out and meet their fans, and don't charge big cash to do it, it reminds all of us that this is how things used to be. You didn't pay to meet Elvis or Bowie. You just waited around and if luck was on your side, you'd see them coming out of the building, tour bus, or airport, and you'd try and get an autograph. Lindsay made it even easier by announcing to the crowd that she'd be at the merch table after Easton Corbin's set and invited anyone who wanted to come say hello to do so. This is what being a rock star is all about, Charlie Brown!

I personally am looking forward to a full Lindsay Ell album/EP. She's got talent and stage presence, and the intangible quality that is a result of sincerity: class. Her set was worth the drive to Oshawa and it was a pleasure to meet her and have her thank me for the feature I did on her this past summer.

If the We Are Pioneers tour hasn't hit your hometown yet, get yourself some tickets. You won't be sorry. If you missed it when it rolled through your town, you can't say I didn't warn you about Lindsay Ell. If I were you I'd get to one of her shows while she can still accommodate meeting all her fans in between sets. Once she sells a couple million albums, you'll have to resort to waiting around in the cold near the backstage entrance to catch a glimpse.

Photo by M.Fasano


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