Amos Lee’s newest tour that had a show at Balboa Theater on Saturday February 22 was unlike any other Amos Lee performance seen to date. Any Amos fan knows to expect the bluesy, immediately identifiable voice along with the smooth 1990s R&B moves and witty, story-telling lyrics but the new spin on this show was the five member band that worked to bring new and old hits alike to a multifaceted sound that had not been experienced in the previous tours. The original Amos Lee sound was a singer, songwriter set up with a man and his acoustic guitar; the new Amos rocked out with the band on electric guitar, stood back from the mike and let his band mates shine and had an almost jam band feel at times. The talented band members not only sang but played an ensemble of musical instruments from the banjo, mandolin, piano, to squeeze box, and saxophones. The crowd was feeling the new sound and after a rather loud argument between some unhappy audience members in the middle rows, everyone vibed out to the rocking beats. Amos summed it up perfectly by saying, “it’s like a family party, once the fight is out of the way it’s a great time”. The tour promoting Amos’ new album, “Mountains of Sorrows, Rivers of Song”, show cases an artist who has evolved since his first self-titled release in 2005 and is noticeably spreading his wings and moving into his own style. Three solo songs in the beginning were done in the past acoustic style and the big finale consisted of three encore songs plus Amos and the band returning to treat the audience to some good ol’ fashioned baby making music; a cover of Boys II Men, “End of the Road” was the perfect closer as people stood, swayed, sang along, and left on a high. The concert was an eye opener for old fans to take notice of the growing artist they love and new fans to jump on the soul train with an amazing conductor.
February 23, 2014