I had missed Tami last time she played here as it clashed with another concert I was attending on the same night. This time the wife and I got tickets pretty early and was able to secure downstairs seating. The new album,"Sassafrass!" had been in my possession for a couple of months and although it had not got a lot of attention, due to so many other records coming in to my possession, I hadn't really connected with it as much as I did with her previous record. Therefore I was a little apprehensive about this concert, although the Wife was enjoying the new record more than me and it is not often we find an artist we both like to go see live.
I was excited to hear that The Miltones were the support band for this gig as I really liked their first record and had seen them play twice at Blue Smoke over the last year or so and loved them live also. It was interesting to note Tami playing the Theater Royal this time as the first time I saw her was in the tiny Wunderbar, but the last time was in the new cathedral, so the venue was another step up in size and although it was well attended, it was not sold out.
The Miltones hit the stage at the appointed time and played a short set just a tad under 30 minutes. Unfortunately I found them a bit underdone in this venue, as I said, a short set and I thought the sound was not all that well mixed with the guitar and keys far to low in the mix that they didn't really stand out when playing their solos and both players I know are really good and should be heard more than they were. I am not sure if their holding back was from the size of the audience or the main act imposing restrictions on their support so not to be outplayed, although Tami and band should not have to worry about that as they put on a great show after and even if The Miltones had played as well and as energetically as I know they can, they would not have threatened the main act.
After a 30 minute break for patrons to que at the bar etc, Tami's band took the stage and started in on their groove for a minute or so before Tami bounds onto the stage and rips into one of the numbers form the new album. Pretty quick any of my concerns are gone about her new songs as she belts them out with the superb voice she has and the great band she had that kicks the songs arse. Tami never fails to sing her butt off and just has the most powerful voice in the country. She plays a selection of the new and not so new songs, all from her own catalog, except her slightly altered version of James Browns "It's A Mans, Mans World" which gives me goosebumps when the groove hits. She talks a lot between numbers which is enlightening to me as I really don't pay attention to the meaning of songs and lyrics too much but it does inform me a bit more to what some of the new are about, and reveals some more to us how close to her family she is and also how much of a supporter of Women's rights she is. There is a bit of a political bent to some of her songs. The sound for their set was much better than The Miltones set with the awesome Brett Adams(From The Bads) playing some blistering stuff on lead guitar. So yet again I leave A Tami Neilson Gig completely satisfied and in awe of her vocal performance.