Thursday, August 7, 2008

Amos Lee brings relief to Hot-lanta

It was 90 degrees outside on the Atlanta streets, without much relief inside the Variety Playhouse. The sold out Amos Lee show that consisted of a crowd of all ages created a sort of still, hot air that at times made it difficult to breathe. However, when the headliner took to the stage and opened his show with Keep it Lose, Keep it Tight from his self-titled debut album, it was as if you were transported to a quaint coffee house sipping on a cafe au lait. It was like this all night, with Amos Lee taking you from coffee house, to smokey jazz bar, or the underbelly of a basement blues club. The singer/songwriter's three albums have been released to lukewarm reviews, while finding success on satellite and internet radio. But, for the live performance on a steamy Tuesday night, he created a refreshing cocktail made of 1 part jazz, 1 part blues, a splash of folk, topped off with a garnish of sensual soul.

Lee continued his show with songs from his sophmore album Supply and Demand with the upbeat song of the same name, to which you couldn't help but smile, then followed up with the entrancing Truth and Careless. This is one of the few performances where the artist doesn't need to make small talk with the audience to keep their attention. Amos Lee had the crowd in the palm of his hand since the beginning, and continued to enthrall them with an energizing Freedom, and even had them clapping along during Bottom of the Barrel. There is something in the John Mayer-esque way that Lee bobs his head in and out that keeps his fans asking for more.

Lee has a quiet charm about him, only pausing to have a few sips of water, change from acoustic to electric guitars, or update the crowd about new songs he's about to play. His third studio album, Live at the Lodge, keeps the same mellow sound as his previous ones. However, he did re-record Truth from his first album to create a newer plugged-in version of the tune. Songs like Kid, What's Been Going On, and Baby I Want You are almost filler songs in between his well known hits. But when Won't Let Me Go was being played, the song is so sexy that you half expect Barry White to come strolling on stage for a duet. The lines 'Stood around while you dated that old fool Marcus/Whole time I knew he wasn't no damn good for you/Guess it's true sometimes I know we can all be a little bit heartless/But tonight all I wanna do is make sweet love to you.' might make you want to grab the nearest guy or girl and find a dark corner, or even leave the show early for a late night at home if the music wasn't so addicting.

As the first few chords of Southern Girl were being strummed, every woman in the theater went up in screams. Every girl there imagined herself the subject of the musicians romantic fantasy. This was the start to a string of well known songs to wrap up the show. Fun diddies like Sweet Pea and Shout Out Loud made you dance in your seat, and the heart wrenching lyrics of Black River was felt deep in the soul of each individual. Black River, reminiscent of old southern hymnals, was the most intensely played song of the evening. The crowd's reaction to Lee left no doubt to an encore. After two songs from his new album, he catered to fans with Colors, and after a bit of yelling by concertgoers, the deeply emotional Nighttrain. Perhaps the most pleasantly surprising moment of the entire show came in the form of the Queen classic Fat Bottom Girls. This cover was the most insanely appropriate song to convert into a blues sound, and Amos Lee made it work amazingly.

Amos Lee has yet to find his footing in the spotlight, even though his songs can be found on various movie and TV soundtracks, and even in a cell phone commercial. He has also recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios for the IFC's Live at Abbey Road music series. He does not need fancy lighting, a 9 piece band, or mindless chatter inbetween sets. Lee's music says it all in the lyrics and his clearly apparent love for playing live. If you are less than impressed with his studio albums and think all the songs start sounding the same, then attending a show is the best remedy. Afterwards, each song will sound differently from the first time you heard it, and you will rediscover an incredible artist with unparalleled talent.

But that's just This Girl talking...

1 comment:

jessip328 said...

OMg you have a BLOG too?!?! I am totally reading through these when I have some down time. Thanks for all your support. I always knew you were talented, but THIS STUFF I AM READING IS AMAZING!! So proud of you for doing this. You are amazing, and following your music dream- I love it.
Thinking of you from Nepal,