Gary Clark Jr. / Nick Moss Band @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
How fitting is it that I’m sitting in my living room watching a Jimi Hendrix documentary and typing up this review?  Fitting!  Very fitting!  Stellar guitar playing was the main course of this show and St. Louis guitar fans were more than starved to see this show.  The Nick Moss Band had a tough job, warming up these staunch supporters of Gary Clark Jr.  I’m happy to report Nick Moss had what it takes to get the job done!  Nick Moss is a big man but he and his band produce a sound that is even bigger.  Moss's Band has a sound that is part jam band and part Chicago blues band.  No slouch on guitar himself, Moss is a veteran musician that has been endorsed and invited to play at Buddy Guy’s Legends by Mr. Guy himself.  The Band is touring in support of their new album, Time Ain’t Free.  If the Nick Moss Band is playing a club near you, stop on by.  You’ll thank me later!

With a fitting warm up band concluding their time on stage, it was time for the main event.  As the Pageant’s stage switches to black, a single gritty guitar roars to life, signifying the wait for a Gary Clark Jr. show in St. Louis is finally over.  Lights come up slowly as Gary Clark Jr. breathes new life into the Muddy Water’s classic, “Rollin’ Stone (Catfish Blues)".  A roar of approval rises from the venue as Clark concludes his opening number and glides effortlessly in to the funky, “Ain’t Messin ‘Round”.  This song is 50% Jeff Beck, 50% James Brown, and 100% Gary Clark Jr.  Although blues is what Clark Jr. does best, he proves he can rock with the best of them when he performs, “Travis County”.  St. Louis was more than appreciative of the man that has been introduced at the White House as “a generation’s young blues master”.  Gary Clark Jr. first gained recognition at the 2010 installment of the Crossroads Guitar Festival and has not slowed down since.  Clark demonstrates his knowledge of his equipment and tone during, “Numb”, a feedback-controlled, grunge rocker, which is best served live.  If your body wasn’t moving by the time Gary Clark Jr. got to “Bright Lights”, you probably weren’t in attendance.  Clark and company turned this song into nearly nine minutes of pure face melting.  St. Louis would not let this end night here and Clark felt the energy as well, returning with an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and some smooth vocals for a rousing cover of “In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)”.  Paying his respects to past masters, Clark finished the night by dusting off Curtis Mayfield’s, “Move On Up”.  Playing for nearly two hours, Gary Clark Jr. gave St. Louis more than their money’s worth and reminded everyone that he is the blues' new heir apparent! Thanks to the Pageant and Gary Clark Jr. for having us, it was a true honor!  Photos of the show are below:

Nick Moss Band
Gary Clark Jr.
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Gary Clark Jr. / Nick Moss Band @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Gary Clark Jr. / Nick Moss Band @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on July 31, 2014 Rating: 5
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