Sunday, June 23, 2019

Gary Clark, Jr. @ la Cigale, Paris - June 22nd, 2019

The last time I saw Gary Lark, Jr., he was still being touted as the up and coming hotshot guitarist destined to become the next big thing in the world of blues. He had already appeared in the Rolling Stones 50 and Counting pay-per-view special but he had yet to make good on the promises contained in his fantastic breakthrough album, Blak and Blu.

Fast forward to six years later and the young man is now a bona fide rock star, filling theatres around the world. It's a well deserved recognition for an artist who could have chosen to stick to the niche he excelled in. Instead, Gary Clark, Jr. has released an album which is quite simply one of the best soul music records of the last decade, a militant, futuristic, ambitious piece of music that will stand proudly alongside What's Going On or Songs In The Key Of Life.

Songs from This Land make up the bulk of tonight's set list and the crowd that has filled la Cigale knows them by heart. The venerable old theatre, situated in the red light district of Paris, is sweltering from the heatwave that is about to come down on the country but this doesn't stop the audience from dancing, jumping and grooving to every note, every beat, every guitar lick from Gary and his band.

For two hours, Gary Clark, Jr. brought down the house with his fiery guitar heroics. Channeling Hendrix, Eddie Hazel and Prince, and aided by a spectacular (although unfortunately not very photo-friendly) light show, Gary delivered an intense performance that can only be described as epic. It was obvious years ago that great things were in his future, and it's immensely satisfying to see him reap the benefits of his talents. No longer a legend in the making, Gary Clark, Jr. is now the undisputed King of modern Blues. Last night in Paris was just another jewel in his crown.


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