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The Wood Brothers Hit Red Rocks With Sharp, Career-Spanning Set [Review/Photos]

first_imgThere are few bands currently touring that combine elements of jazz, blues, southern rock, and good ol’ Americana as effortlessly and beautifully as The Wood Brothers. With Oliver Wood’s pseudo-southern roots and bassist brother Chris Wood’s extensive free jazz experience in Medeski, Martin, and Wood, the group is undeniably one of the most raw, heartfelt, and genuine bands on the live music circuit today.Following a heavy, folky, punk-laced opening set from Indiana rockers (and Stanley Hotel legends), Murder By Death, the brothers took the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, joined by their other third, multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. The sun began to set on an unseasonably warm Friday night, and with a quiet hello and little fanfare, Oliver broke into the certifiable classic, “Postcards from Hell,” off of their 2008 release, Loaded. The song seems to be one of Oliver’s favorites, and tells the story of a man with a deep passion for the blues and for music. It’s not the first time the band has played this song at Red Rocks, yet it seems to strike a new chord each and every go around. In our current, rather unstable political climate, the song seems to speak to our beliefs and our commitments, serving as the perfect opening tune. The trio followed with “Tried and Tempted” off their debut album Ways Not to Lose. The stripped-down, bass-led groove got the crowd moving, and the band quickly slipped into another rocker, “This Is It,” from their latest release, One Drop of Truth.The group kept chugging along, playing the fan-favorite “Keep Me Around” off of 2013’s The Muse back-to-back with the classic “Mary Anna.” The chorus of “Mary Anna” featured a new, slightly faster, funkier arrangement that seemed to derive itself from many of the groovier, keyboard-led songs on One Drop of Truth. Perfectly transitioning into said new material, “Sparkling Wine” and the title track, “One Drop of Truth” came next, both keeping the crowd on their feet. Determined to keep the energy up, the brothers pulled out “Snake Eyes” from their 2015 album featuring Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Paradise. Oliver’s rhythmic strumming and Jano’s steady beat allowed the song to really open up, and giving Chris a chance to dance around with his bass, both musically and literally. Following “Snake Eyes,” they continued to criss-cross their catalog, playing “Loaded,” “Shoo Fly Pie,” “Happiness Jones,” and “That’s Where My Baby Might Be.”Near the end of the set, Oliver took a moment to point out that he saw “a show at Red Rocks” as a 19-year-old kid from Boulder, Colorado. He noted, “I didn’t really realize how important it was at the time,” or something along those lines. The band then dropped into a blistering, original rendition of the late Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me.” Bearing an eerie resemblance to Petty, Oliver played the part perfectly, both vocally and musically, mentioning afterward, “oh yeah, it was Tom Petty!” Following the tribute to a guy who has to be one of Wood’s southern heroes, the band wrapped up the set with a sing-along take on their hit single, “Luckiest Man” before ending the night with “Honey Jar.”Not to be forgotten, The Wood Brothers were followed by California’s own The Devil Makes Three. Playing their own pioneering blend of bluegrass, folk, gypsy jazz, and Appalachian hick-pop, the band played to an absolutely ecstatic crowd that was eager to see them after too much time away.  Playing a set heavy with tunes off of their eponymous album, “All Hail” and a spacey, feedback-laden “Chained to the Couch” came early in the set.  “Hallelu,” “Graveyard,” and the quintessential “Old No. 7” closed out the evening, leaving the fans with little left to desire.Generally, early season Red Rocks shows can always be hit or miss with the weather and the music, but Friday night proved to be an absolute barnburner. With an incredible summer calendar ahead, it’s looking to be another divine summer at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.Setlist: The Wood Brothers | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 5/25/18Postcards From Hell, Tried and Tempted, This Is It, Keep Me Around, Mary Anna, Sparkling Wine, One Drop of Truth, Snake Eyes, Loaded, Shoo Fly Pie, Happiness Jones, That’s Where My Baby Might Be, You Wreck Me*, Luckiest Man, Honey Jar* – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers cover Photo: Chris Klein The Wood Brothers, The Devil Makes Three | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO| 5/28/18 | Photos: Chris Kleincenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more