Lightning struck twice at The Capitol Theatre Tuesday night with Leon Russell and Little Feat with dazzling displays of iconic songwriting and superior musicianship. Mr. Russell is pushing 5 decades of cultivated talent gifted with a voice so undiminished and sonorous. He has lost none of the verve and vitality that his singing brands his lyrics with.
Mr. Russell's catalogue is rich and he generously shares. Emotion rings with the gravel intoned Singing This Song For You, and energy suffused Jumping Jack Flash and I've Just Seen a Face. However, his creative force is most evident in the interpretation of his own tunes, such as Tightrope and Delta Lady. Whether embracing or criticizing America with timeless imagery, he reminds us why he is recognized being as great as he is.
It was Little Feat's turn to stomp to the fore, clear and crisp as ever. Bill Payne who has graced countless other artists' music along with Paul Barerre lead a tight ensemble, whose breadth of funky rock illustrates that time is meaningless when it comes to their own inimitable groove.
Launching with Time Loves a Hero transports you into a mosaic of complex time changes with the main theme weaving in and out, playing tag with the meter. Funky keyboards interlaced with running guitar riffs had the Feat in fine form. What's an evening without a scorching Dixie Chicken, a stellar exercise in improv and slide gymnastics. Don't Bogart That Joint remains a vestige of earlier times, but its sarcasm and broad sense of humor are refreshing, even if a bit hazy and cloudy....
For a band with a lot of mileage, Little Feat still astounds with a powerful sense of purpose, vocals in perfect unity, and a sound that penetrates, lifts, and satisfies.
The Capitol Theatre is at full speed with Dwight Yokam, Trey Anastasio, and Pat Benatar all playing shows this coming week. Be a part of history now!