Monday, July 24, 2017

The Brian Kinler Band at Vitello’s, 7-23-17 Concert Review

Brian performing "I Know, Madame"
Last night The Brian Kinler Band returned to Vitello’s to celebrate the release of Euphoric. It was the first time the band had played at that venue in several years, and in the meantime the whole look of the room had changed, with even the stage placed in a different spot. The band’s original drummer, Jon Weiner, returned for this gig, and though a lot of new material was played, the show had something of a classic feel to it because of Weiner’s presence. It was also an emotional night, as Brian’s father had passed only the day before. Brian mentioned that at the start of the show, and opened with a solo piano rendition of “Angela,” the song Bob James wrote as the theme to Taxi, dedicating it to his father who was a Bob James fan.

The audience was – as always – supportive, and after that song, both Brian and the crowd immersed themselves in the music. The band – Jon Weiner, Matt Whitney and Andrea Whitney – joined Brian on stage, and they played a couple of tunes from the new album, beginning with the CD’s opening track, “I Know, Madame,” and following it with one of my favorites, “Norway.” It was a beautiful rendition of “Norway,” particularly Andrea’s work on violin. Andrea then left the stage for an old favorite, the fun “Wookiee Boogie,” a song included on Stories From The Quarter. Andrea returned for another fan favorite, “Rosedown,” also from Stories From The Quarter. That was followed by a cover of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” And then they did another song from Euphoric, “I Can’t Remember Your Face,” followed by the wonderful “The Fall,” a song from Not Your Everyday Amateur.

For many years, Brian has been joined by different vocalists for a portion of his concerts. But it wasn’t until 2015, with the release of The Race Against Time, that one of his albums featured vocals. That singer, the talented Francesca Capasso, joined him last night for several songs. Three audience members were celebrating birthdays, so she did an a cappella rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” before going into “Bombshell,” the fun dance song that kicks off The Race Against Time. They followed that with an excellent rendition of “I’d Give Up Everything But You,” which ended up being one of the highlights of the show for me. This version was slower than that on the album, and, as Brian mentioned before the song, this was the way he originally envisioned it. I hope he’ll include this slower version on a future release.

“Once Is Not Enough” is one of my favorites from the new album, a tune written as a sort of James Bond theme. It’s a gorgeous piece, and last night Brian and Andrea performed it as a duet, another of the show’s highlights. That was followed by “Orange Blossom Special,” and then by “Slobbertongue,” another fan favorite, with the audience providing finger snaps. Francesca then returned for a couple of energetic covers to end the set – “Chain Of Fools” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” I love listening to her belt out those tunes. Delicious. The show ended at 9:31 p.m.

Set List
  1. Angela (Taxi Theme)
  2. I Know, Madame
  3. Norway
  4. Wookiee Boogie
  5. Rosedown
  6. The Devil Went Down To Georgia
  7. I Can’t Remember Your Face
  8. The Fall
  9. Happy Birthday To You
  10. Bombshell
  11. I’d Give Up Everything But You
  12. Once Is Not Enough
  13. Orange Blossom Special
  14. Slobbertongue
  15. Chain Of Fools
  16. Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Here are a few photos from the show:

"I Know, Madame"
"Wookiee Boogie"
"The Fall"
"I'd Give Up Everything But You"
"Chain Of Fools"
 Vitello’s is located at 4349 Tujunga Ave. in Studio City, California.

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