Knocking Down the Door: Taylor Hicks on Tour
This post is graciously provided by denv, and supplemented by live performance audio clips from hickifino. Photo credits to denv and Niram.
Recently I was lucky enough to catch Taylor Hicks as he made his way across the middle to the western part of the country — three shows , three time zones, from the midwest, through the Rocky Mountains, to the desert. Each show was as unique as the man himself, the ultimate entertainer, and well worth traveling to the humidity of the midwest in August, worth the 3.5 hours drive through the Rockies, and the trip to the desert in the dead of summer.
Taylor has an innate ability to understand who his audience is at each performance and to adapt his show accordingly, which means each audience gets their own special show. No two are ever alike. Different genres and styles are mixed within each show, and even within the same song; the Taylor Hicks band can jam!
Kansas City was first up. On a hot, humid night, with an audience there for the blues, Taylor delivered a hard-driving, all-business, nitty-gritty blues show that heated up an already hot night. The audience returned the effort with wows and cheers in response to an incredible rendition of “Dust My Broom”, along with “Back to Louisiana” and Taylor’s originals of “7 Mile Breakdown”, “Soul Thing”. and “What’s Right Is Right”, tagged with blues and soul that blew the audience away.
Next was Grand Junction, a somewhat isolated ranching/farming community on Colorado’s Western Slope on the “other side” of the Rockies. An infrequent stop for the big touring acts, Grand Junction was extra excited and thrilled to have Taylor there and the audience exploded into enthusiastic cheers and applause at the conclusion of the opening song, “Love The One You’re With”, backed with “Not Fade Away”. The venue was intimate and interaction between Taylor and the band and the audience was warm and familiar. The audience was treated to a performance that was relaxed and fun.
Taylor brought back an old favorite, “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad”, thrilled the crowd with a Rolling Stones classic, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, and at the end of the show, “7 Mile Breakdown” and the “Bulletproof” encore, had the audience even more excited than when the show started, dancing at the stage and leaving the theater buzzing. This is one of my favorite shows of any I’ve seen. Listen to the following audio tracks, captured live at the venue, for a sample of what I heard.
“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” – Taylor Hicks at Grand Junction
“Seven Mile Breakdown” – Taylor Hicks at Grand Junction with extended harmonica solo and “Valley Road” tag
Finally, Laughlin and the Aquarius Casino. Taylor and the band were having fun and the energy was high on stage and in the audience. We got a great surprise when an old friend, Rick Carter, joined Taylor and the band on stage for a duet of “The Weight”, also featuring vocals by Brian Less. The huge, enthusiastic crowd was taken to a frenzy with a rousing “Not Fade Away” and “7 Mile Breakdown” and brought to an absolute hush while enthralled in a heart-wrenching, passionate “Maybe You Should”. One word to describe this show — FUN. Be sure to listen to the emotional delivery that Taylor gives the love song “Maybe You Should” in the following live audio clip.
Taylor ended with an old favorite, “Taking It To The Streets”, then headed straight out to take pictures and sign autographs for a solid hour with a smile for everyone in line.
Three cities, three unique, fabulous shows.