The Paul Rodgers' concerts in Atlanta, (Fairburn, Georgia), April 13th and 14th.
submitted to Lucy Piller, by The Fogman. April 19th, 2007.
There's something about a Paul Rodgers' concert. Wait, check that! There are SO MANY things about a Paul Rodgers' concert! The predominent benefit from taking in a set from the most revered vocalist of our time is positivity. Positivity that is a by product of the love and will he exudes, to see peace spread throughout the world. One man can only do so much, but when that man happens to be the frontman from Free, Bad company, The Firm, a recent collaboration with the chaps from Queen, and other internationally known acts, well the magic he casts upon his audiences is obvious. When you attend a Paul Rodgers show, leave negativity at the door! Stop worrying about things like international trade imbalances, distant conflagrations, labour unrest and the usual slew of irritants and aggrivations that keep you from drawing on the harmony that exists in the universe. Just sit back, relax and, feel the love shining through to you from the stage of the most dynamic, exciting and blessed entertainer in the world.
It was evident from the first note of the night, on Friday in Fairburn, Georgia, that Paul is not the worst for wear, following his very busy, recent schedule. In fact I don't know that I've ever heard him sound better! This evening saw the band Paul has put together range through Free standards, Bad co hits, a Firm tune or two and of course a healthy supply of recent material. In every case, The Voice, was in superb form. Anyone familiar with a P.R. concert has come to expect nothing but the best from this heralded performer, but on this night, he was showing inspired form. Whether it be a ballad or a kick-ass rock number, Paul was indeed on the money! And all the while, he exuded a love and respect for his audience that was tangible and moving. Paul's stage presence was bigger than life and as always, confident but humble. It is just impossible top not be captivated by this wonderful combination of talent and inherent connection, with his assembly of appreciative fans. Evoking a mastery of at least two genres of vocalization, primarily blues and soulful rock, Paul delivered an extremely polished and masterful performance. His hard work on both guitar and piano was evident in several songs included in the sets played in Georgia. True to form too, Paul included his fans during several songs. Perusing the crowd on the Friday show, there wasn't a soul that declined to join in the choruses, at Paul's urging, of All Right Now, Feel Like Making Love' and several other vintage numbers. It was the same on Saturday night. In spite of the awesome affection shown him, Paul was intent on sharing the adulation with his band members. And WHAT a talented outfit he has backing him up!
Two guitarists are on this roster of talent assembled by Paul. There is a definitive spread between seasoned veteran and fresh, young blood. Experience is represented in the form of one Howard Leese. This fellow is the complete package. His guitar sound is not unlike that of the Fender strat, his harmony vocals are wonderful and his stage presence is immpecable. His strong soloing was complimented by the layered harmonies of dual guitars reminiscent of Wishbone Ash. Both of Paul's guitarists are acutely aware of synchronised vibrato used to perfection and the textures shared between the axe of Howard and the Les Paul of newcomer Kurtis Dengler are executed splendidly. The tandem guitar solos in effect with this band are another facet of a well thought out, varied approach to rock and roll and it all comes together beautifully when melded with such superior vocalization.
As mentioned, Kurtis Dengler is the new face on the scene. He is confident and comfortable amid the gathered talents of such rehearsed, polished players. Poised beyond his years, Kurtis utilizes all that his humbuckers afford. Any rock show worth attening needs at least one set of Gibson pick ups to underly and sustain emotion and rock drive. This young man is a master of modulation and the Les Paul. Working alongside Howard, this extremely effective duo accomplish to great effect, harmony soloing adding wonderful colour to the nights' enjoyment. Both of these guys are tasteful, economic and deliberate blues rock guitarists and they worked together effectively throughout the night, never once getting in each other's way. Any fan of the electric blues / rock guitar will be impressed by the unselfish team-work exuded by these superb players hailing from diverse ends of the experience spectrum. It was a brilliant display of both virtuosity and synchronisity by these fellows.
On bass guitar, Lynn sorensen was the mortar that held both the rythym section and guitar highlights together this night. Effecting solid, chunky bass that never forgot the bass drum, Lynn's lightning quick and creative bass lines often mirrored the virtuosity that was being expressed by the axemen. This guy rocks steady and he rocks wild. His stage presence was undeniable and animated. For those folk that lament the virtuoso bass chops from the era of Andy Fraser, Jack Bruce, and Marty Turner, Lynn reinforced that approach with a 'today' presentation on the bass. In short, Lynn and the rest of this band work together and they work together so very well!
Now, the reason that this melodic, driving unit behind Paul works so well. Jeff Kathan is a superior rock drummer . He utilises the entire kit effectively, creatively but without ever wavering from the mission. It must be magic playing with this lad. Working in unison with his partner in the rythym section, Jeff was a rock and allowed all of the other lads to attend to their duties while imposing an absolutely perfect meter.. Another unselfish player, he drives the tunage through and keeps the Paul Rodgers Express on track and directly on line to the destination station. A master of dynamics and fluent drumming, the entire band can relax in the knowledge that the meter is a done deal. This is one fine, polished and unselfish group. I know we expect nothing less from a Paul Rodgers tour, but let's give all of these guys the credit they deserve! And let's give Paul the pat on the back he is owed for this tight, diversified and happening show!! well done Friday night boys!! For anyone considering catching any of the remaining shows of this tour... do not hesitate!!! Get yourself down to the remaining venues and be sure to tell your friends and relatives about this latest band of 'Friends' Paul has put together. No Free or Bad Company supporter I know would want to miss this brilliant set.
Well, Friday's show had everything a Paul Rodgers' fan could hope for and then some. However, Saturday was threatening to dampen things somewhat in Georgia. How many of the supporters in attendance Saturday wondered inwardly if Paul's undeniable heartful of soul and positivity would actually drive the clouds away to let his fans enjoy the concert without getting drenched? Well i know there were at least a few, as I actually heard it spoken by some of the fans in attendance!! No worries, you come to expect that type of thinking from the people that follow Paul's career. The storms that hammered away at Dallas, north east Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi had at last arrived in Fairburn, Georgia on Saturday and were providing the people gathered at 'The Fred' amphitheatre with all the precipitation they had been dreading. The venue has a 'Rain or Shine' approach and the show was going to happen regardless. Rain ponchos were very thoughtfully handed out by the thousands and then of course, the rains abated as per the fans' hopes and Paul Rodgers and Friends opened up the second of their two sets in Georgia to a rousing welcome.
Perhaps it was the effect of the retreating rain clouds, perhaps it was just an exponential swelling of vibrations on the second night of two concerts by Paul, but one thing was agreed upon by the many fans that took in both shows, Saturday night's concert actually surpassed Friday's in intensity! The set list varied slightly from Friday's with the addition of Fire and Water' among others, but Paul and the band delivered again for the assembled and a near capacity house was enjoing everything that has come to be expected of a Paul Rodgers event. The tour for this incarnation of Paul's band is not an extended one so it is incumbent upon this reviewer to reiterate that if it is at all possible, get out and see these guys if you have an opportunity. In Georgia, the faithful came in from diverse locales such as Glasgow, Scotland, San diego, Cailfornia, Toronto, and Calgary, Canada, Florida and a variety of other places. Check with the varied Paul Rodger's websites to ensure that you're able to attend a show. You will not be dissappointed! This is a talented, diverse and unselfish group of players and one that any follower of Paul's ought not to miss. The band has come together and are extremely tight, complimentary and dynamic.
On Friday evening, Paul had graciously shared the spotlight and the band had performed a tune by Kurtis. It proved to ba a driving rocker and was not at all out of place in the middle of Friday's set. This particular tune was a strong guitar riffed offering and it was totally enjoyed by all in attendance The future of rock guitar is in good hands people, and the song writing capabilities of Kurtis show great pomise. Saturday night it was the Bassman's turn to show off his songwriting and vocal abilities. He certainly did not dissappoint. Lynn displayed an impressive rock 'n roll scream and strong pipes. The song he had put together was well written, well executed by the band and as with Kurtis' number, this tune definitely added to the varied list of positives in the set.
sadly, the rain returned in the form of a light shower about two thirds of the way through saturday night's show. No one minded however, as Paul was spreading peace and love along with the best vocals and stage presence on the planet. People sang along, danced in the aisles, met new friends, cheered, hollered their approval, and went well into the night enjoying a top calibre set from one of the best bands put together in quite some time! On behalf of all of us there, thank you lads for such a terrific set on both nights, thank you people at 'The Fred', in Fairburn, Georgia for such wonderful hospitality, thank you Lucy Piller for tirelessly organizing such a wonderful get together for the fan club, at both the hotel and the venue. And most of all, thank you Paul Rodgers for your appreciation of people and the positive things in life. Thank you for spreading peace and love and thank you for the way you do it. Your form of entertainment is wonderful! Your platform for spreading such positive vibes is amazing. Your God given talents are incredible, thank you for sharing them with us so personally and so effectively.
- The Fogman, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.