Following his solo appearance at last year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival, Anderson East makes a welcome return to the Sage Gateshead.
The mood for tonight’s show is a very much an intimate affair. The audience sat around tables spread out across the room; it almost feels almost as if Anderson East has brought his incredibly tight seven-piece band to play in our front living room. He reminisces that this is, in fact, his third time at the Sage Gateshead having made his first appearance in this same room playing the guitar for Holly Williams back in 2014.
Last year, East released his third studio album, Delilah, and tonight’s show is mostly centered around his latest offering, with only one song from the album not featured in the set. He opens the show with the incredibly soulful “Quit You” and “Only You”.
Throughout the course of the evening, Anderson breaks up his set with a number of covers, each which he makes his own. These include among others Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”, Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood”, and a sublime rendition of Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey”.
Slowing down the proceedings, East changes the direction of his rather soulful set up to this point, as he showcases his country music songwriting. As the rest of the band leave the stage, East is left on his lonesome to “stand up and be vulnerable” as he puts it. He delivers beautiful renditions of “What A Woman Wants To Hear”, which he dedicates to the ladies in the audience, and “Lying In Her Arms”.
Anderson strikes up a rapport with his fans; he exchanges witty banter with several people as they direct their compliments towards East and the band. However, there is some degree of breakdown in communication, with the local’s thick Geordie accent proving challenging to understand to both his and our amusement.
As the band head into the final quarter of the show, they break into “Learning”, which is one of the standout numbers in the set. East sinks his heart and soul into the song, he sings it with so much passion, it’s as if he is channeling the late great Otis Redding. “Learning” could well be his “Try A Little Tenderness”.
By the end of the set, everyone is up on their feet, the room has changed from your front living room to a dance party, as the night is brought to a close with “Satisfy Me” and encore “All I Ever Need”. Anderson East most certainly won over the Tyneside audience and left them wanting more.