Taylor Hicks on Tour: Taylor + McKinney PAC: Perfect Together
Part 2: Taylor Hicks continued his Texas journey performing at the McKinney Performing Arts Center on 9/17/11.
All photos and concert recap by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog.
Perfection comes along rarely but in the cool (for Texas) Texas night, Taylor Hicks and the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra hit just about the most perfect chord during their time at the McKinney, Texas Performing Arts Center.
From beginning to end, the organization by David Taylor and his staff at the McKinney lent an air of sophistication and fine art that made the night for everyone present a night to remember.
Not being able to remember a set list to save my life, this set list stood out. Taylor was talkative, funny, comedic, and heartwarming. Talking of how each song came in to his life and how each song built his itinerary of songwriting, the crowd learned a lot about the American Idol hero they had not known before.
He jammed, he strummed, he sang his heart out. Feeling allright wasn’t in the set list but that is exactly how Taylor seemed to feel at the McKinney.
Taylor made our hearts warm as he continually thanked the staff at McKinney in between stories of how each song came about. He said he loved the theater. I haven’t heard Taylor say that since the Broadway Theater in Pitman in May. Standing on a stage that twice a year turns into a courtroom, Taylor was at once intimidated and happy that the old courthouse was preserved for such a unique show.
When Taylor played the harp, he applied such a light touch to it you could hear a pin drop. Seated right in front of the mic in the first row, I got a good view of a lot of what makes a Taylor Hicks show memorable. Sweat, spit, intense hand motions on the harp, a guitar that needs polishing and a profile that rivals Elvis Presley.
Certain memories etch your brain like an etcho-sketch. Taylor riffing with Jeff Lopez remains one of the most memorable single moments of any show since Taylor began touring in 2007. The two faced off, Taylor on harp and Jeff on sax, in what will go down as one of the most charismatic, funny and artistic performances the two performers have given to their fans. Jeff is stubborn. He won’t let Taylor outdo him on the harp. Taylor is tenacious. He wants to create a sound Jeff can’t duplicate but he always seems to. No stalemate. No tie. It was a win-win for Taylor, Jeff and the McKinney audience.
One of the noteworthy aspects of the preceding photo is that Taylor wore a watch. Sorry, but Randy gave him that watch. It’s gorgeous and he put it to good use timing Jeff on one of his circular breathing, long-winded notes. It was another moment created out of a good sense of humor and a respect of the other artist on stage.
And when it came time for Maybe You Should, Taylor explained with a touch of agitation in his voice, that he wished one of those country stars would get around to recording this song some day. When someone in the audience yelled out ‘you should record it’, Taylor said, ‘I already did.’ Poignant moments like this just made you cry and laugh with Taylor for what could have been.
The end of the night came too soon. The openers who won the McKinney Mash had dazzled the audience. The band was in fine tune. Taylor was playing lead guitar like he had never done anything but play lead guitar. He was magical on the sunburst and the black Taylor guitars. They left the stage and went to backstage until Clay brought out the stool and the black guitar. Taylor appears in a ‘direct marketing’ T-shirt and strums the opening notes to The Fall. Beautifully sung while accompanying himself on the guitar, Taylor ended the show making everyone feel in McKinney, Texas like he was sitting on a stool in their Texas living rooms. The town is idylic; the venue has perfect sound and lighting; the talent there is plentiful. All the makings for a perfect night. Everything went right. Taylor beamed from the first ‘hello’ to the last CD was signed. Maybe perfect could happen again on another night. If it happens, hope that you are there. The fact that it did happen makes all who were there glad they made the trip.