Who: Tedeschi Trucks Band
Where: The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
When: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Why: Derek Trucks recent disbandment of the ABB lead him more time and energy to play with his wife's group.
The weather was great and people flocked to downtown for two big concerts happening at the same time at the Oncenter Complex. Next door at the War Memorial, heavy metal bands headlined by Five Finger Death Punch thrashed away to a completely different crowd than the ones that showed up to TTB at the smaller Crouse Hinds Theater. Needless to stay, people flooded the streets outside the two venues from all different directions bringing together older hippies and metal heads alike.
Those enjoying a more calmer side of things were treated to one of the best performances of the year in Syracuse. Despite being recently disbanded from playing with the Allman Brothers Band for fifteen years, this didn't stop Derek Trucks from wailing away on his guitar throughout the night. Joining him, his wife Susan Tedeschi sung her heart out to the high respected and eager crowd before them.
The crowd consisted of mostly older men and women past their forties, but there were a few people in their 30s and one or two younger fans in the crowd as well. Despite not getting up and dancing for several songs, the crowd wasn't completely calm. They clapped, cheered and shouted as it was clear that they respected the musicians on the stage greatly, perhaps showing more respect than many other concerts in Syracuse that came to the city this summer.
Having seen one of Allman Brothers Band last performances at Mountain Jam, Derek Trucks was actually better tonight then he was with the legendary group several months ago. With Tedeschi Trucks Band, its as if he's more free to play the music he really wants to play and do whatever it is he'd like.
It did in fact seem that Derek Trucks was making it up as he went along with a completely tireless effort. As the band's set closed on the two hour mark, it was obvious that he and the other musicians could have easily played for another two hours without barely breaking a sweat. In other words, these guys know exactly what their doing and watching them you could tell they love doing it.
And that's what matters.
But Derek Trucks wasn't the only highlight of the night. Front woman Susan Tedeschi, and also Truck's wife of course, carried the handful of musicians on stage extremely well. Her voice is perfect for the bluesy soulful jam music they play, and she sounded better than ever. It was hard to tell who the better half was last night as her voice flooded over the Crouse Hinds theater.
Susan even got a little personal when she claimed she visited the SU campus earlier today, and even admitted she visited the school and was thinking about going to college here.
Susan also performed a solo acoustic song which turned emotional halfway through the set because it was for a long time friend of theirs who died a few weeks ago.
The other members of the large piece band were fantastic as well, especially the pianist/flute player and one of the back up vocalists. One of the back up vocalists voice was so powerful when he sang his own tunes that he ended up having a stand up ovation both times, and it's clear that he could lead his own group someday.
One of the only downfalls of last night was that when seeing a jam band like this, when they really get into playing some of their long out tunes it can get pretty excessive quickly, especially when it happens numerous times as it did last night with TTB. However, the excessiveness wasn't as bad as the Allman Brothers Band and you were never bored watching these extremely talented musicians play.
Derek Trucks has literally found his muse with the TTB, and hey, perhaps quitting the ABB was the right thing to do. Either case, the Tedeschi Trucks Band is worth going to see for any ABB band and fans of blues/jam rock.
On a final note, the sound last night sounded completely awesome. You could hear everyone of the musicians extremely well which what made the concert so good. It was as if a wall of sound flooded the Crouse Hinds Theater and for good cause because it was coming from Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and the other members of their band.
Photos by Leo Pareti: