John Hiatt classily harked back to a golden, fertile period of US singer/songwriters by bringing his own creative heft to the craft tonight at Under The Bridge. A craft which he has carefully honed over a long and fruitful career. He wowed his clued-up audience throughout tonight’s live run through of his seminal Glyn John’s produced Slow Turning release and greatest hits set.
It was affirming to witness his appreciative fan base, who turned up to sell out this carefully constructed venue with its first-class sound system, wear their musical heroes with pride on their T-shirts. There aren’t many gigs where Lowell George, Neil Young and Doobie Brothers T-shirted punters rub along with an upmarket, venerable brigade of rock and country attired musical connoisseurs.
Slamming into the songs on Slow Turning, with the outstanding Sonny Landreth pumping out fine guitar riffs, Hiatt satisfied his audience who cherished memorable takes on “Drive South” and “Tennessee Plates”. An atmospheric “Feels Like Rain” found Hiatt lulling the room with soothing sounds of raindrops falling into a puddle as he pitter-pattered quietly into the mic.
Sonny Landreth’s incendiary encore of “Congo Square” revealed dynamite guitar chops. But it was a momentous “Have A Little Faith In Me” that sealed the deal for Hiatt and band. Feet shuffled, heads nodded and smiles widened as the night ended with the nimble footed rhythm of big hitter “A Thing Called Love”, a song covered by Bonnie Raitt that shot up the Billboard Top 20.
A comprehensively constructed evening of powerful, precision playing and stagecraft as Hiatt definitely hit the heights. An appreciative audience championed this master of his craft as they departed this venue beneath Chelsea’s football ground.
Words: Paul Davies Photo: Kat Villacorta
Event Date: 02-July-2018