First of all, if you don’t know who John Fullbright is, go out and introduce yourself to his music. His three piece band may look unalarming but the crew really puts on one hell of a show. The Oklahoma native is just one album young (From the Ground Up) but his twangy rock sound already has me thinking he’s going to be something special.
On a side note, I just wanted to mention the quality of openers that I have seen at G. Love & Special Sauce shows over the years. It’s turned into an annual tradition of mine to see the now three piece Philly crew down at First Avenue. Their openers over the past five years have included Elmwood (jam band), Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (reggae), The Belle Brigade (rock/folk), Scott H. Biram (blues/rock), and of course most recently, John Fullbright. I had not heard a single one of these artists before seeing them as an opener but I found myself continuing listening to them after the show and even going to see a couple of them again. I don’t know who’s in charge of booking the supporting acts for these shows, but if you’re out there reading this, props to you my friend.
G. Love (Garrett Dutton) like to tell the story at First Avenue from time to time how Minneapolis was the first place there was ever a line of people waiting outside of a venue to see him play music. For that reason, I like to think he brings a little something extra special to the stage with him when he plays a Minneapolis show. He opened with “Don’t Drop It” and I was fortunate enough to hear” I-76″ and “Whose Got the Weed,” two show staples as well as two of my favorites. And he broke out a new song (I think it was “Don’t Look Back”) with a very similar bass line to Cris Cab’s “Good Girls.” But it’s all good because the tune still sounded amazing hearing it for the first time. Of course he broke out “Shootin’ Hoops” in light of the NCAA tournament currently happening. “Booty Call” is always a crowd favorite and it gets dirtier every time I hear it. He’s also played “I Ain’t Finished Yet” at a couple shows I’ve been at now and I’m still really hoping that tune makes it onto an album one of these days.
Basically, if you get the chance to go see these guys, don’t let the opportunity slip away. This was my sixth show and third since the release of this last album Fixin’ to Die and he still surprises me every time with either a free style or song I’ve never seen live. And I can’t forget to give a shout out to The House Man. This guy drums with a quirkiness that is often seen from too many drummers. I could pay just to watch him drum all night.
To get a feel for what all goes on at a G. Love show, here’s a video from Summer Camp Musical Festival a few years back. Just pure entertainment in every sense of the word. (Unfortunately they have been keyboard-less the last few times I’ve seen them as they are otherwise depicted in this video)