RECAP: Anders Osborne DEC 9 + 10 at Brooklyn Bowl New York

Posted on Monday December 12th in

Photo: Marc Millman

Photo: Marc Millman

Anders Osborne returned for the 5th December in a row to rock the roof off of Brooklyn Bowl, NY. Check out our review of DEC 10’s show via Chad Berndtson and beautiful photos from Marc Millman from 12/9 and Blair Hopkins from 12/10 below!

Words By Chad Berndtson:

If Anders Osborne is involved, you know things will get intense. Here’s an artist for whom each show, whether it’s a full-band sonic assault or an austere solo acoustic affair, comes packed with tension, terror, resignation and release, which is not to say Anders’ music is a perennial downer so much as it’s honest and emotional. It can get bittersweet. It can quite contented and triumphant, too, as life tends to.

The conflict in Osborne’s music is that it leaves open the question of whether we’re just agreeing to be cool enough to keep back the rage for one more day, or that we can acknowledge and address our demons — and possibly even break free of them. His massive talent lies in how to communicate and make musical the necessary range of these tormented emotions without melodrama; Anders can go celebratory, even chipper, he can favor quieter, folkier material, he can put aside the roiling slide-guitar sorcery for a few minutes…and lose none of his music’s signature edge or depth.

Not that we mind roiling guitar sorcery; there was plenty of that, balanced out with plenty of pensive moments, at the second night of Osborne’s annual December weekend at the Bowl. This was a full-band show — Osborne arrived with a gang of regulars, including Eric McFadden on guitar, Brady Blade on drums, and Carl Dufresne on bass — and a thrilling reminder that even with so many stripped-down, words-first shows having dotted his calendar this year, Osborne can get loud, real loud and real gnarly, real fast.

A lot of folks can be onstage with Anders, but he’s the one commanding the energy, pulling it into his orbit, wrestling with it. If he’s in a hurry, the show takes on a manic, jittery energy. If it’s in the mood to sprawl out a bit — as was the case Saturday night — the show can be a mix of compact, tuneful statements and long, protracted jam segments. The catalog is deep now — Anders has been a prolific releaser of new music in recent years — and for a show that runs the gamut from the brutal “Black Tar” and “Five Bullets” to the wistful “Life Don’t Last That Long,” this one was a full meal, with dessert and scotch.

Highlights? Sure. The roaring jam on “On the Road to Charlie Parker.” The Osborne/McFadden interplay in “Love Is Taking Its Toll.” The hot soul boogie in “Got Your Heart,” an older favorite. The whole back quarter of the set, in which Anders and Co. hauled up the Dirty Birds’ Jackson Kincheloe (harmonica) and the Trongone Band’s Andrew Trongone (guitar) to tear up “Lafayette,” “Lay Down Sally” and the roiling lava-blues closer “Back to Mississippi.”

He’s been doing these December Bowl shows now for five years, and they’re as reliable as egg nog — a chance to toast the year, rage a bit, reflect a bit, and look ahead to possibility, knowing you’ll be back together again before too long.

Photos courtesy of  Marc Millman :: www.marcmillmanphotos.com :: Instagram: @marcmillmanphotos

Photos courtesy of Blair Hopkins :: www.wayfaringphoto.com

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