In the music world, as in the real world, there are high points and low points. I truly feel that currently there is a resurgence in the long lost art of soul and feeling being injected into the music. Tonight at Off Broadway in St. Louis, two of the artists leading this resurgence gave soulful, heartfelt performances, even if there weren’t many ears in attendance. I went to this show anticipating one thing but got much more in return. Fueling my anticipation was the chance to see Anderson East for a second time this year. I was lucky enough to catch Anderson as he opened for Sturgill Simpson, performing a brief acoustic set earlier in 2015. My expectation of Anderson’s performance was more of the same but I was pleasantly surprised as he had a full band in tow for his return to STL. With the band, Anderson’s set was much more varied and upbeat. The Alabama songwriter took notice that St. Louis audiences, no matter how big, are timid when it comes to approaching a stage. East said, “this feels like a middle school dance”. 2015 will see the release of East’s first formal album, Delilah. After hearing both sides of this artist, it’s hard to choose which one I like the best but East covers all the bases in one fell swoop.
For a brief second I was going to take off after Anderson’s set due to the fact I was only there to cover him and I was fairly unfamiliar with the next artist’s music. But after looking at some YouTube videos earlier in the afternoon, I was convinced I should stay! After a brief break, the same band that accompanied Mr. East returned with Kristin Diable taking center stage. Miss Diable started off her engagement by telling the gathering, “Y’all better come closer or I’m gonna come get ya!” Finally most everyone came forward. This songstress comes from same soulful background as Anderson East but puts a woman’s touch on it all. Gritty, but yet smooth as the back of a razor blade, Diable puts on a fine, fine show. Doing things a bit different, she chooses to play some of her more powerful stuff in the middle of her set. This powerful stuff came in the form of a song entitled, “True and Natural Man”. Diable makes this song rise and set like the sun but blazes like a hot August day in the middle. A real attention getter! Also following the tradition of her opening act, Diable can take off the rough edges with the finesse of a tightrope walker and demonstrates this during her performance of the ballad, “Bird on a Wire”. 2015 has already been a good year for Diable as she has released the album, Create Your Own Mythology, an album that has brought praise from Nashville to NPR. Both artist are well on their way, with bright futures ahead of them and make for a great night of music when in your town! Thanks to both artists and their management for having MTC in the house. Photos of the show are below:
Kristin Diable / Anderson East @ Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 3:00:00 PM Rating: