The Tedeschi Trucks Band Mesmerizes the Bryce Jordan Center
At the age of 11, it was obvious that Derek Trucks had a talent for the guitar. Before the age of 20, he had performed with longtime idols such as Bob Dylan, John Lee Hoker, and Buddy Guy. At such a young age, Trucks was viewed as a prodigy when he earned a spot in Rolling Stone’s list of top 100 guitarists of all time, the youngest ever to make the list.
In 1994, he founded the Derek Trucks Band. In 1999, he joined the Allman Brothers as a permanent member. Seven years later, he was a featured soloist on Eric Clapton’s world tour.
In 2010, Trucks, alongside his wife Susan Tedeschi, founded the Tedeschi Trucks Band. The group features 11 members that showcase a unique style through the combination of southern rock, blues, and jazz.
Last night, the Bryce Jordan Center became State College’s House of Blues when the Tedeschi Trucks Band came into town.
After Alan Evans’ Playonbrother played an upbeat and energetic warmer, the Tedeschi Trucks Band silently took the stage and let the music take control.
For 10 straight minutes, the roots group opened with a rendition of songs that contained one of its most popular hits, “Made Up Mind.” What seemed like an attempt to put the focus on music, the introduction lasted a duration of 10 seconds before the group was back to creating its unique sound.
After 20 minutes, the group took a break from its upbeat and energetic music and soothed the small crowd of about 1,000 with its most popular song, “Midnight In Harlem.” As Tedeschi captured the crowd with her deep and melodic voice, Trucks sent chills up and down the spine of the crowd with a transcendent guitar solo. For two minutes, Trucks mesmerized the fans with unbelievable guitar rhythm. The song is captivating as is, but Trucks’ guitar solo was truly a work of art.
After the mellow tune, the brass picked up the pace with another hit song, “Learn How To Love.” With a deafening trumpet solo comparable to a sound that you’d hear in a New Orleans jazz club, the crowd was energized like it was when the group took the stage.
It wasn’t only Trucks and the brass that performed enthralling solos. Each member took their turn and entertained the crowd in their own fashion. The two drummers exchanged beats and corroborated in a rhythmical dual solo that was easy on the ears. Tedeschi showcased her finger picking skills on the guitar as she went back and forth with her husband. And in the song, “Idle Wind,” the crowd was treated to an uncommon flute solo.
Throughout the night, Trucks entertained the crowd with his head down, leaving the vocal and speaking roles up to his wife and back-up singers. In fact, he didn’t mutter one word throughout the whole concert. Instead, he let his guitar do the talking.
Trucks continued to perform guitar solos in original and cover songs throughout the concert and occasionally cracked jokes with his bassist and mingled with his wife. In the cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “The Sky Is Crying,” Trucks rocked out to a familiar blues hit and never missed a single chord.
The concert came to a close with the hit song, “The Storm.” After the group walked off stage, the crowd remained unmoved and continued to cheer and plead for an encore.
Trucks’ guitar skills are a key component for the group, but for the final encore of a musically induced euphoria, the band showcased all of its innate musical talents as its vocals, brass, synth, drums, and guitar came together one last time for 10 minutes to perform that unmatched sound. Needless to say, the crowd left more than pleased after the 2-hour performance.
Image: Kate Clarke
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