Rock guitarist and singer Anders Osborne was back at Brooklyn Bowl for the second consecutive night at the New York City venue on Saturday. The veteran rocker originally from Sweden recruited London Souls guitarist Tash Neal to help him and his backing trio close out their two-night stay at the north Brooklyn venue. The performance on Saturday was Osborne’s final stop on a 19-date fall run that initially began back in late August, and 52-year-old showed no signs of tour fatigue, even if his voice may have been just a tad hoarse by the show’s halfway point.
The night began with a fun and groovy opening set from Tash Neal, who seems to be making an initiative at going solo following years as the singing/guitar half of the London Souls with drummer Chris St. Hilaire. Neal’s performance maintained an exciting balance of the tight, bluesy-based rock, which has become his trademark style, in addition to a few looser, relaxed tunes. Just a few years removed from a nearly life-threatening car accident which left him in a 10-day coma, Neal presented himself to be much more relaxed and even open to smiling more than he’s ever been on stage. The new tunes and equally talented backing band seem to represent a fresh start for the talented local musician, who was even seen chatting away with fellow local musician Eric Krasno prior to the show.
Osborne’s headlining set picked up right where Neal left off. Unlike the younger opener, Osborne went with more of a casual look with his Army-green button down and unkempt hair, compared to Neal’s stylishly neat shirt and vest. The looser presentation mirrored much of the music heard throughout Osborne’s set, which began with a heavy, bluesy rendition of “Had My Reasons” from his 2005 Living Room album. Osborne, of course, is anything but a one-trick pony, and made that clear with his lighter, feel-good performance of “Smoke & Mirrors”. The show quickly returned to a heavier contrast as Osborne tore into a new, unreleased song titled, “Real Good Dirt”. That hoarse voice of his was really put to the test during his mid-set performance of “Big Talk”, which included some wonderful back and forth jamming between Osborne and his keyboardist.
Osborne continued utilizing nearly every kind of sound and playing style with his guitars as he turned to his slide to get through the Americana-themed flow of “Jetstream”. He was quick to make a point of his continued sobriety before going into “Mind Of A Junkie”, which included a pre-song shoutout to his sponsor at the side of the stage, who happened to be celebrating thirty years sober on this night.
The show began to come to a close with Osborne welcoming Neal back to the stage. Over the final 15 minutes or so, the two traded vocal and guitar leads over three songs with “Flowerbox”, a soulfully explosive rendition of “On The Road To Charlie Parker”, and wrapping with an inspiring performance of “We Move On”.
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Osborne’s fall tour may now be over, but fans can still catch the wildly entertaining rocker at his final shows of 2018 when he heads down to New Orleans for his 7th Annual Holiday Spectacular at Tipitina’s on December 14th-15th. He’s also scheduled to headline the “Won’t Bow Down” benefit concert at the Maple Leaf Bar the following evening on December 16th alongside Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Doug Belote, Brad Walker, and more. Tickets to his upcoming performances can be found on the tour page of his website.
Setlist: Anders Osborne | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | 12.8.18
Set: Had My Reasons, Black Tar, Smoke & Mirrors, Real Good Dirt, Big Talk, Jetstream, Mind Of A Junkie, Flowerbox*, On The Road To Charlie Parker*, We Move On*
* With Tash Neal