The Troubadour | Los Angeles, CA | March 12, 2016 | Photos: Cortney Armitage |
Anderson East’s Southern comfort, charm and soul enchanted us live for the first time last June at the Hotel Cafe and it was a vivid harbinger of things to come. This Devil In Me tour is his first as a headliner and now with a larger stage to work his magic on, East and his more than wickedly capable bandmates gave the occupants of the sold out Troubadour everything it needed to loosen up and live in the joyful moment. Flashes of that joy (coupled with gratitude for a mighty receptive Los Angeles crowd and a physical inability to stay in one place on stage for too long) displayed themselves all over East’s handsome face as he used those gruff honey vocals cords of his to romance, seduce, plead, howl, electrify and testify through his signature songs like “Devil In Me,” “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em” and “Satisfy Me” and no one in the room was immune to the urge to groove, the ethereal awe of a barebones “What A Woman Wants to Hear” or the stripped and gorgeously mournful “Lying In Her Arms.” If only regret could always be so beautiful. It was a pure, warm-blooded and feeling thing with his church roots, respect for the legacy R&B/soul music of his elders and contemporary sense of song showing. “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey and “All These Things That I’ve Done” by the Killers? Yeah, those happened and it was good. As was a particularly feisty – and damned rock and roll – cover of David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” which all but blew the collective room’s heart (and mine, specifically) wide open. Thanks for that, Anderson.
Come back and see us again soon, Mr. East. Love, Los Angeles.