Dan Auerbach & The Easy Eye Sound Revue @ The Observatory – 02/18/2018
Best known as the front man for the 4x Grammy award winning band The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach brought his solo act to the Observatory In Santa Ana Sunday, February 18th. Playing the second of three SoCal shows last week, Auerbach and his hand picked band—the Easy Eye Sound Revue (named after his own record label) filled the small Orange County venue.Occupying every bit of available space (including aisle ways) and the upstairs mezzanine, the sold out crowd soaked up the nearly 100 minute show. The evening breezed by as Auerbach and his all star band ripped through nearly two dozen tunes. A majority of the opening numbers included songs off Auerbach’s latest solo effort, ‘Waiting On A Song’ along with lead track “Waiting On A Song”, “Malibu Man” and “Livin’ In Sin” helped pave the way for a rockin’ evening.
The solo tour has provided Auerbach an outlet to create music in slightly different genre than his arena-filling main gig with band mate Patrick Carney and the Black Keys. His all star band includes blues legends Bobby Wood (keyboard), Gene ‘Bubba’ Chrisman (drums), Russ Paul (guitar) and David Roe on bass. Chrisman’s resumé includes stints with both Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.
After more than a half dozen songs, Robert Finely joined the party to provide lead vocals on 4 songs, 3 of which were his own original tunes and one cover from Fleetwood Mac. The 64 year old bluesman practically stole the show with his gospel-like vocals. Practically blind, Finley required help on and off stage but blew away the crowd with his energy and enthusiasm. In 2016 he released his debut album ‘Age Don’t Mean A Thing’, this after spending parts of the 1970s in the Army and most recently as a carpenter. After his vision began to decline he fell back on his passion—blues & soul music.
After Finley left the stage, the band launched into a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross”. The instrumental tune was given a sultry, blues treatment. This moment (along with a few other times throughout the show) surely made the performance feel like a jam session. “Shine On Me” provided the loudest sing-a-long of the evening and was a rockin’ main set closer.
During the three song encore, Finley returned to the stage for one final song, “Get It While You Can”. With simple keyboard accompaniment, the tune had a pure gospel feel and was appropriate for the Sunday evening show. With an acoustic guitar and single spotlight, Auerbach concluded the show by himself on “Goin’ Home”.
Those expecting (or hoping for) a Black Keys offering were certainly disappointed. With his solo effort, Auerbach has done his best to distance himself from the raw arena-filling blues/rock feel that he has created with Patrick Carney.
Opening support was provided by Shannon & The Clams, the Oakland-based ‘60s doo-wop garage rock quartet. Teleporting the crowd back in time, lead singer Shannon Shaw have found a certain niche with their vintage sound that make each venue feel like a Buddy Holly-infused high school prom. Shaw shares vocal responsibility with Cody Blanchard, who also plays lead guitar. Auerbach helped produce their latest LP, ‘Onion’ which was just released last week.
Who knows how long the current hiatus will last for the Black Keys, in the meantime it is apparent that Auerbach is extremely content with playing smaller venues and sharing the stage with some Nashville & Memphis legends. The current 19 show tour continues through April 9th.
Dan Auerbach & The Easy Eye Sound Revue Setlist: Waiting On A Song | Malibu Man | Livin’ In Sin | Cherrybomb | Pull Me Under Love | Never In My Wildest Dreams | King Of A One Horse Town | Medicine Woman | Three Jumpers | Holy Wine | Like It This Way | Albatross | Trouble Waits For You | Eau Claire | Stand By My Girl | Trouble Weighs A Ton | Undertow | Shine On Me Encore: All My Hope | Get It While You Can | Goin’ Home
Shannon & The Clams Photo Gallery