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Concert Review: Taylor Hicks – Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, WA – 04/28/11

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Taylor Hicks wrapped up his two-day stint in Washington with an energetic performance on April 28 at the Snoqualmie Casino. Despite the band’s tight schedule (having flown out of the storms in Alabama to barely make their previous night’s show in Mount Vernon) they put on an excellent show. There is no doubt Hicks is a born showman. With his concerts, fans get Taylor Hicks the entertainer, the musician, and the bandleader.

The set included several covers, like the show opener “Compared to What.” Hicks showcased his versatility on the 1973 Timmy Thomas hit “Why Can’t We Live Together,” as he put down his guitar for a turn on Hammond B-3 organ. He also worked in several tracks from his most recent album, The Distance, including a very moving “Maybe You Should,” “Nineteen,” and crowd favorite “Seven Mile Breakdown.” His version of “I Live on a Battlefield” featured a stunning solo from lead guitarist Sam Gunderson.

Hicks also performed several songs from two of his previous albums, including “The Deal” and “Just to Feel That Way.” A particular highlight of every Taylor Hicks show is his interaction with the band. And on this night he traded licks with keyboardist Brian Less, using his harmonica to create a musical dialogue between them. During the aforementioned “Seven Mile Breakdown,” which closed the set, Hicks threw in a little of Jackson Browne’s “Running On Empty” before a blistering, rave-up finale. Sax and flute player Jeff Lopez was a standout during that number, playing both his alto and sopranino saxes at the same time. A pair of American Idol favorites received a particularly strong audience response: Stevie Wonder’s “Living For the City,” and an encore of The Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It To The Streets.” 

Hicks seems at his happiest while on the road, performing for enthusiastic  audiences. He genuinely enjoys interacting with fans. After every show he comes out to sign autographs and take pictures with everyone who lines up to meet him. And on this night, the crowd was substantial. By the time he’d reached the end of the line, the on-sale supply of CDs and shirts had sold out.

As it was, Hicks had a very limited amount of free time as he was scheduled to catch a flight home to Alabama, where the following day he appeared on a local telethon to raise money for tornado victims in his home state.

Hicks plans to tour for most of the summer while he prepares to record his next album. I had a chance to speak with him before the show about his upcoming plans, and he said the new album will be “roots oriented.” He described the vibe as “Jackson Browne meets Zac Brown.” Hicks went on to say that his goal is to make good, organic music that is true to himself, which is also an apt description of his live shows.

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About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.
  • juliegr

    Another wonderful article — you do the best post-concert reviews I’ve ever seen.

  • indigo81067

    A great review that really tells us what seeing Taylor is like. I’ve seen him live a few times and your article truly gave the essence of his shows. The naysayers should shut up and just catch a show. Taylor truly was meant to entertain. He leaves us wanting more which is why we keep coming back. Wonderful article!

  • Gr8fulheart

    This was one simply put; ‘AMAZING’ concert. The setting could not have been more perfect. Taylor & the band came to please; & they most certainly did!
    The stage set ~ acoustics ~ speaker volume ~ seating arrangements were all perfect. Even though Taylor & the band were on a very tight time-crunch; they still gave everyone what they had come for.
    Bring Them Back: PLEEAAAZE?

  • Tish

    Thanks for the great review. And thanks also for recognizing the skill of Sam Gunderson and Jeff Lopez. Taylor Hicks has put together a stellar group of musicians that can play anything and go in any direction that he leads. I hope they come close to my area this summer. 🙂

  • Judy M

    Thank you for the wonderful review. You captured the highlights! Taylor is the ultimate entertainer/performer. He always gives 110%. Loved the show and did not want it to end. Taylor leaves you actually begging for MORE!

  • Gene

    Heck I voted for him, the article makes me anxious to check out a show

  • Elizabeth

    Gene, you won’t be sorry if you to decide to check out a Taylor Hicks show. He is quite the entertainer. He was born to be on the stage. If you liked him on AI, you will LOVE him in his own element. He gives his all and does not disappoint.

  • Jeffro

    Why was the show so short? C’mon – 55 minutes and he is saying his goodbyes??

  • Gr8fulheart

    Jeffro ~ Taylor & the band were on a very tight schedule that evening. They had to catch a flight at 11:00pm. If you noticed, he stayed after the concert to meet & great his fans. Its one of the most admirable traits about Taylor. He always makes time for them. Also, Taylor was involved with the Red Cross (tornado disaster relief) telethon the next day in the Birmingham area. Instead of canceling the concert (which I understand was suggested), he went forward with it. Taylor’s loyalty to his fans is admirable.? I hope that helps you.

  • Sherry

    I had the show at about an hour and ten minutes total, including the encore. It was pretty much the same as the previous night give or take or few minutes. I don’t think their schedule changed due to the storms. It was a tight schedule with the signing after the show not the concert itself – they didn’t end the show early.

    I was told of their schedule the previous day, and I don’t think cancelling the show was on the table. I certainly had no indication they even considered it.

    That all being said, many concerts I’ve been to have been around the same length. I didn’t find it exceptionally short. Yes, there could always be more!

  • Diana

    Hey Sherry, it was great to run into you at the concert. What a surprise. You did a great job reviewing the show..It was an exciting eve and great show!!! Michelle and I got to have our pix w/him after the signing..So we’re happy.