Marc Broussard | 12.18.08

mb20081.jpgAfter standing for several hours in the crowded Duck Room through two openers, you at least want a show that blows you away. Sadly, Broussard didn’t really deliver this time.

 

 

 

w/ Josh Hoge & Gabe Dixon
The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, St. Louis

I first got turned on to Marc Broussard about a year and a half ago when I heard the song "Let the Music Play," which he recorded with Ben Harper on G. Love’s album Lemonade. When Broussard made an appearance here at Blueberry Hill a year or so ago, I jumped at the chance to interview him (a lovely fellow) and catch his show (a terrific and high-energy performance). Naturally when I heard he was coming back to St. Louis, I was excited to see him play again. I was a bit disappointed however, at what was by comparison a lackluster show at best.

Broussard is touring with two opening acts, both singer/songwriters in the same vein, Josh Hoge and Gabe Dixon. Each played about a 30-minute set. Hoge’s was a mellow affair – acoustic tunes mostly from his album he wrote about his ex-girlfriend, who he explained, he "hated enough to write 11 songs about her." While very subdued, Hoge does have a pleasant voice and was humorous and entertaining between songs.

Gabe Dixon and his band were plugged in and a bit more high-energy, his piano and singing style more akin to early Elton John. He was a good fit for Broussard and did a good job of getting the crowd in the mood. However, by the time they finished and Broussard actually took the stage, it was close to 10 p.m.

After standing for several hours in the crowded Duck Room through two openers, you at least want a show that blows you away. Sadly, Broussard didn’t really deliver this time. He did start out strong with two favorites from his debut album, Carencro,"The Wanderer" and "Rocksteady," and also a couple of classics from his tribute album S.O.S. Save Our Soul, Al Green’s "Love & Happiness" and Marvin Gaye’s "Inner City Blues."

This is truly where Broussard shines and his voice sounds most "in its element." The soul vibe was good, but mid-show Broussard played a medley of his more sentimental and slow ballads – his swooning no doubt pleasing some of the ladies in the room, but generally bringing the energy level of the show down. With the exception of a few songs, like the soulful "Hard Knocks," that is where it stayed.

A song written for his baby girl "Evangeline Rose" was sweet, but the lullaby nearly put me to sleep, as did "Going Home," which was exactly what I was ready to do when he was finished. Broussard unquestionably has a great voice, but I much prefer his soulful side to the FM-radio ballads- especially in a live performance. | Amy Burger

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