We saw The Who back in November, doing their fantastic new Quadrophenia tour. So why is it I am writing here about the supporting act, Vintage Trouble?
Vintage Trouble opened for The Who with a high energy
act that absolutely defines high energy. From the opening seconds
until they left the stage with the audience in their pockets, they
absolutely sizzled. So now I have their album, The Bomb Shelter
Sessions, and I get to write about that too.
It is always
interesting to compare a live act with their studio output. With any
good band what you are looking for is the ability to build upon their
studio references and deliver a statement that reflects an honest
performance, and not just a live replica. In other words, you should
never be your own tribute band. So why am I writing all this? Well,
because there were surprising stylistic differences between Vintage
Trouble on stage, and Vintage Trouble on disc.
Here is my
impression of the live act: Imagine The Red Hot Chili Peppers getting
together for the first time, but for some reason Anthony Kiedis gets
cold feet, or changes his mind. Anyway, for some reason he doesn't
show. Then along comes James Brown who says "Man, I feel good! How
'bout I join YOUR band!". This is what we listened to for one
high-octane hour in the Bell Center in Montreal. Kudos to The Who for
putting on an opening act fully capable of upstaging them! In the end,
of course, nobody upstages Pete Townshend.
The studio album,
The Bomb Shelter Sessions, comes across quite differently. More
mainstream R&B, a la "The Commitments". More Stevie Ray Vaughn than
James Brown. More Blues than Soul. But more music than posturing -
these guys can really play, and Ty Taylor can really sing. And they do
so with the poise of a band that's been steadily polishing their act for twenty years, not
the mere two years that they have been in existence. More '70's than
'10's in the sense that back in those days substance counted for more than
style. Substances too, as I recall.
I'm sure you'll enjoy The
Bomb Shelter Sessions. There is a vinyl release too, but no word on
whether it was mastered more carefully than the sonically disappointing CD.