My view of the 'stage'
I came home from Uni for Christmas on Sunday and was even more excited than in previous years for I had managed to obtain tickets to go and see Vintage Trouble with my girlfriend. I couldn't believe I had been so lucky, as it was a rescheduled show that had previously sold-out, not to mention the fact that it was in a tiny venue. It turned out to be one of the best shows I've ever seen and I just wanted to share with you the awesomeness that is a VT show.
The venue capacity is a mere 200 and we found ourselves right at the front which was perfect; the 'stage' is barely a foot off the ground so had we been a just a few rows back we wouldn't have seen much of the band. Moles is a real dirty, dingy basement venue, surely the most-suited environment to watch some dirty, rock 'n rollin' blues and no sooner had Vintage Trouble taken to stage after a much-anticipated wait were the 200-strong crowd dancing the night away. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who expected an explosive opener, but as the band took to the stage to be met by the rapturous applause and whooping of a a very-ready audience, the gentle, bluesy intro of 'Not Alright By Me' eased in, complete with the beautiful, soulful vocals of Ty whose usual manic stage-presence was surpassed by a sultry demeanour that was befitting of the style of the song. It caught everybody completely off-guard and no sooner had we been drawn in, the band kicked into their two-hour set and the walls were literally dripping wet by the end.
The entire show was a real pleasure to be a part of; although these American blues maestros had opened stadiums for Bon Jovi around Europe over the summer and featured on Jools Holland, the UK's primary live-music TV show, you could just tell they meant every heartfelt note and wanted to be there every second of the night. The tiny venue really did suit their style perfectly and the audience participation was fantastic. It felt so informal and that all anybody wanted to do was have a good time, the band included, who appeared humbled by such a small audience and rocked just as hard as they had done at Old Trafford in June to tens of thousands.
As we filed out of the sweaty dungeon two hours later, the band were already at the merch table and I was thankful I'd pulled a poster off of the wall as we went inside which was swiftly signed by all four members of the band. Not only were they eager to meet their audience without hesitation, going directly from the stage after the gig, their sincerity didn't stop there. As they passed posters and CDs along the line they didn't keep their heads down as if they had to be there, you got a sense that they really wanted to be there, with each member making conversation with me and really engaging on a personal level.
Not only was the show incredible, I was equally impressed and grateful for the level of interaction and effort from the band during and after the show to really connect with their audience and this is what made the show such a special and memorable evening, not to mention one of the greatest and most-rocking gigs I've experienced. A friend of mine introduced the band to me, and I then caught them on Jools Holland and have since been lucky enough to see them twice; if you're a fan of the blues, rock 'n roll or just love to see a live band I urge to catch Vintage Trouble whenever you get the opportunity, for if it's a sell-out stadium crowd or 200 people squashed like sardines underground I can assure you that you won't be disappointed. These guys really are the pioneers showcasing a true and raw love for the arts and of what they do so meet them halfway and experience music how it really should be.