Saturday, May 9, 2009

Arc Angels Take Flight At Irving Plaza

Arc Angels: May 8 @ Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza

I went down to the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza to catch the newly reunited Arc Angels. I don't know if this is something that happens to other people, but sometimes before a show I get roller coaster stomach. What's that you ask? It's that feeling you get when you reach the peak of a roller coaster ... that giddy excited feeling that builds up and then everything drops leaving you with the most exhilarating rush. That's how I felt. I stood there waiting for the show to start thinking, "this is going to be good."

A part of me wants to write "good gosh, have mercy!" and leave it at that. Those words really sum up last nights show. Doyle Bramhall II (lead guitar/lead vocals), Charlie Sexton (lead guitar/lead vocals), Chris Layton (drums) along with Mark Newmark (bass) took the stage and proceeded to take you through a mind blowing blues rock set. To call these men good musicians is an understatement. I knew walking in how good these guys were and was still blown away.

I'll be honest, I got so taken in by the music, I forgot that I was supposed to be thinking about a review! Perhaps that's for the best. After all, if the music is good why should you be thinking about anything else, right? The music was good, it was damn good. While both Bramhall and Sexton handled lead vocals and lead guitars, quiet well I must say, it was Bramhall who shined on guitar going from subtle to guitar god and back again in the blink of an eye. Sexton, who seemed to be in a particularly good mood, on the other hand was spot on vocally. He seemed more relaxed singing than Bramhall.

Drummer Layton held down the back beat like nobody's business. It was a bit odd not seeing Tommy Shannon as the other half of the rhythm section but Newmark showed that he's a stellar talent in his own right. The pair laid a groove so tight that you could bounce a quarter off of it. They kept you moving to the rhythm all night.

There was an interesting thing about the crowd; they didn't seem to care what was being played. Normally when you go to a show, people randomly yell out for the most known songs to be played. I didn't hear any of that. Everyone seemed happy to just enjoy the songs they were given. Sure, fans made a bit more noise when "Sent By Angels" and "Living In A Dream" were played but there wasn't a drastic difference in appreciation for those two songs compared to the others played. Everything seemed to be, for the most part, equally appreciated.

So, good gosh, have mercy, it was a good show! Arc Angels seemed to really enjoy themselves. It's good to see them back together and rockin' better than ever. They're off for a jaunt across the pond to open for Eric Clapton but, they'll be back on this side for a summer tour. I highly recommend catching them if they play in your area.

The photos ...
The Set List