July 13, 2010
Leon proved once again he is the Master of Space and Time at Yoshi's. While his age is showing, he's still got it! I wasn't sure what to expect this time around but it seems Leon has recovered well from his brain surgery earlier this year. He took the stage, wearing a cowboy hat and an orange hawaiian print shirt, to the sounds of an audience cheering over U2's Where the Streets Have No Name. He was helped on stage and walked with a cane but that was all forgotten as he took a seat at his keyboard and flew into the instantly recognizable opening of Jumpin' Jack Flash! The band sprang to life, the message was clear: Rock and Roll, BABY! They easily segued into Papa was a Rolling Stone and they never slowed down!
Leon's voice was strong! He sounded great as he led his band through a setlist of rock n roll's greatest hits and hit greatest hits. The band was excellent, a group of young guys including a couple fellow oklahomians. Echoing Leon's days as a sideman, he let the band shine without any of his own ego! And shine they did, they were tight and well rehearsed. They took a little soul, a touch of blues, a splash of boogie woogie, a pinch of jazz and wrapped it up nicely in a hot rock n roll package!
The hits kept coming all night with I've Just Seen a Face, Let the Good Times Roll, Hard Rain, Georgia On My Mind, Walking Blues and Stranger in a Strange Land to end the show. The guitar player, Chris Simmons, played a bluesy-stevie ray vaugh-esq version of Walking Blues. After that Leon played his single, solo tune of the night, A Song For You, with the rest of the band off stage. Leon spoke affectionately of Gram Parsons, who wanted him to play Wild Horses...so he does and it's excellent!
Leon introduced the encore by letting us know 'this is when most artists leave the stage and then come back, but I'm an old man so I'm just gonna play some more rock n roll, sing along if your know it'. I know more than a few people who would appreciate his little short cut! The show ended with Great Balls of Fire>Rollover Beethoven. and a lot of applause...this was a crowd that knows what a treasure Leon is, he was not under-appreciated at all! The show clocked in at a brief 1:20, I'm sure most of us wanted more, but I, for one, was absolutely delighted with what I got!
As always, I'll add my Yoshi's complaint...man does their service suck! I showed up early to give the waitress a chance to bring me more than one drink...I still ended up going to the bar out front. It's not entirely the servers fault, they should have at least 2, if not 3, people serving drinks upstairs. But, still service is dreadfully slow. Even at the end of the night, it was slow, I didn't get my check--for one beer--until 5 minutes after the show had ended, when my change came, it was in quarters, $4 in quarters, really??? The couple next to me just left, stiffing the server. I don't think it was intentional, they were just doing what comes naturally, leaving at the end of performance...forgetting about their tab on the way. Gotta think that's happened more than once yet the servers still haven't learned??
Nice review, sounds like a good one.
And I never use the waitresses there, it's slow like that every show.
I don't know why they can't get that place all together, but overall it's a nice room & I have a good time there.
Thanks for the review Emily. I just listened to The Shelter People album last week for the first time in a while. Man, I love that stuff. I'll never forget seeing Leon down in Fayetville, NC way back in 1971. I was just a kid. Went by myself and was blown away by Leon and his band. Incredible. Glad he is still kicking it out!