Eric Burdon; The Last of the Mohicans

As the rain turned to snow amid temperatures ill – suited for anyone living in California, a native Englishman not from New York – took the stage at The Olympia last night.

He was a man who grew up amid shrapnel on the streets.

His life, the music business, an annoying fan, his ‘Mom’ and the frigid climate in Montreal, Qc – mere sand in his shoes on a long walk down the beach of life.eric

Eric Burdon. The survivor. 

Legend has it, the lack of accolades towards him, accolades given to his peers such as McCartney, Jagger and Townshend are his own doing. A generous heart allowed so many ‘executives’ and fellow musicians to offset what should have been a legendary career musically. That and his own sense of what some would call – stubbornness.

Still singing like a much younger man, the ‘hits’ stopped coming around forty years ago for Burdon. Do the math. The hits stopped when the now 73-year-old was in his mid-thirties. The hits stopped when Sid Vicious took the stage without knowing how to play bass …

That’s a long time between ‘ Don’t Bring Me Down’ (the opening song last night – (#6) in the UK pop singles chart  1966) and ‘Water’ ( the second song played from 2012’s Til the River Runs Dry). Last night, Burdon and his backing non- Animals Animals, made the distance acceptable.

imagesIf Burdon behaves physically like an old man on stage – it’s because he is aged. If Burdon sings like a 20-year-old; it’s because his voice is young.

On display last night, the vocals in songs such as ‘ We Gotta Get Out of This Place’, ‘ I Believe to my Soul’, ‘Spill the Wine’ and sporadically in ‘House of the Rising Sun’ – perfect and powerful. Anytime the voice faded, it was mostly because of either his hand-slapping with audience members or his easing up on the gas pedal ( see Stubborness, Burdon).

The highlights of the night musically  contained defining sounds which pay homage to Burdon’s Bluesy roots. Roots which gave rise to The Animals (The British Invasion) and roots which quite possibly led to the original band’s demise. The songs Bo Diddley Special ( 2012) and War’s ‘Spill the Wine ( 1970) providing a pairing of Rhythm and Blues gems which Bo Diddley would have spilled his wine listening to. A perfect injection of Blues, Funk and  just enough soul to allow an insight into Burdon’s true psyche.

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The mostly- way-passed-your-bedtime-grey-haired audience were there for the hits.

The hits they got …

When I Was Young’, Inside Looking Out’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, ‘Before You Accuse Me’, ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place’songs which transported the majority of the audience to a time when things were different.  Each one – defining a first kiss, the loss of a loved one or just the simple joy of hearing a favorite song for the first time on the radio.

Last evening, Burdon and his tribute Animals’band – provided those memories with solid guitars, keyboards and an impeccably-tight battery section. Burdon oft- rapping and ad-libbing with guitarist Billy Watts who provided simple yet brilliant riffs throughout the night.

As the rain turned to snow amid temperatures ill – suited for Eric Burdon (a current resident of California) and a native Englishman not from New York, the journey continues …

His life, the music business, an annoying fan, his ‘Mom’ and the frigid climate in Montreal, Qc – mere sand in his shoes on a long walk down the beach of life.

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Visit Eric Here!

Tune in at 6:15pm on Wednesday to k103.7fm

 

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