This review is the second posted from Jeremy Grossbard, a Live Music Blog friend out West.
G. Love and Special Sauce, as a band, have been around for about 10 years now. Their music is a neat mix of blues and hip hop. They have an infectious groove that typically does not disappoint the live audience, and that Thursday night at the Marquee Theater in Tempe was no exception.
It is tough to write an unbiased concert review. So many things can affect the concert experience. How awake you are, how stressful your day was. Are you working the next day? The alcohol and or other things you consume. And most importantly, the band and music. No band can be at their peak every night and we are not all equal fans or authorities on every artist’s music.
That said, I am a G. Love fan. I have seen him a few times before, and this was my favorite performance I have seen of his to date. However, in reference to the above comments, the doors did not open until 8pm and the Marquee Theater has one of the most invasive pre-entry searches I have experienced (at My Morning Jacket in January, I asked the guard at the Marquee who felt me up and make me take off my shoes why the search? He said “Because of what happened to Dimebag Darrel dude”. That is a BS excuse in my mind…use a metal detector wand, don’t search me as if I am getting on an EL Al plane to Israel or getting arrested).
Matt Costa was the opening act. He came on stage just prior to 9:30 pm and played just about an hour. I saw him for the first time a few moths ago at Vegoose and liked his music. I was surprised how many people at this show knew his music and sang along. I think that his association with Jack Johnson has a lot to do with his popularity. He had a good band and a great sound, but being tired myself after a long work day and this being a late show, I was happy when he left the stage. Matt played about an hour. Sadly, my Matt Cost pictures came out way too dark.
G. Love took the stage after a 30 minute break and played an extended single set of music. He began with an instrumental Jam. His band consisted of a stand up bass player and drummer who I have seen with him before. However, he also had a keyboard player which was new to me since my last G. love show a number of years ago. I loved the addition of the keyboard/organ sound. Everybody in the crowd had a great time and danced and moved to the music. He was fairly talkative between songs and there was a good vibe between band and crowd. His song selection was an equal mix of new material and his older music.
If you chance, see G. Love and Special Sauce as he tours the country through February and March. You will not be disappointed and you will also say “G Love is special”.