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Lucky Peterson,Suwalki Poland July 14, 2019

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snobb View Drop Down
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Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Location: Vilnius
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    Posted: 16 Jul 2019 at 9:30am

What can destroy an open air concert of great artist? True, bad weather. And even more - bad sound of music you listen. That night I got them both.

Saturday night after quite mild daytime weather started with first drops of rain over the thousands of fans heads waiting in a front of scene. Lucky Peterson was for a long one of more respectable bluesman of mid-generation on my list who combines inventively traditional Chicago blues with funk,r'n'b and even jazz. I never saw him playing live before so traveling 200 km in a car from Vilnius to Polish town of Suwalki didn't look like a big price.

Peterson's supporting quartet who tuned the sound before the gig all were brilliant. White guitarist Shawn Kellerman (who toured with Wishbone Ash in 2011 and plays with Lucky from 2012) is a true wizard. Looking a bit like ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons (who played here in Suwalki right one year before), his playing is all the head higher and on scene he is a true Artist. Lucky was a bit to late for the gig (what is quite understandable since he came to Suwalki right from flight to Warsaw airport what means he did around 350 km on the Polish roads known as most terrible in all Europe). Waiting for him , the quartet played few longer high-octane blues rock instrumentals with virtuoso solo guitars soloing, and when Lucky himself were on scene it looked like we're at the beginning of some special event. 

Unfortunately, this didn't happen and it is far not Lucky's fault. First of all, the rain is started falling on our heads, growing from small unpleasant moisture in the air to quite annoying summer rain washing the tree leaves and the streets and our heads and shoulders. But - true fans can stay it for sure. The real problem came with very first sound of Lucky's first song - by some mystical way his voice has been mixed far backstage absolutely blocked but massive lows coming from band's drums and bass. I had an excellent position right in the second row before the scene and we could see him singing but it looked he simply lost his voice. Same thing happened with Lucky's Hammond organ - main instrument he played all the night. We could see him playing but characteristic Hammond sound could be heard only during rare moments when all the band stayed in silence.

And like if it would be not enough - when Lucky switched from Hammond to Roland, placed beside, that didn't release a sound, same as mic, placed over it. Technician tried to recheck all connections on scene, and this didn't help. Staying quite close to the scene I was able to see how unhappy Peterson was. The only moment of revelation came when Lucky started sing " Georgia" - just voice and Hammond sound i a silence, then we were able to hear him better at last.

Second part of the gig was dedicated more to Lucky's wife Tamara Peterson, Lucky's wife who is a soul and r'n'b singer as well. She sang few songs (partially as duo with Lucky) what demonstrates that her mic is mixed same way - we heard Tamara's voice somewhere at the back stage with band attacking listeners with low frequencies wall of sound. Then Lucky took he guitar and demonstrated excellent solo or few (and it's a pity he didn't play the guitar much more during the gig), then just left the scene.

His supporting quartet filled the long gap with excellent if too long jam, during that we staying closer to the scene could evidence some tension and talks between concert organizers, tech team and musicians. It looked Lucky is not going to play anymore, but after some more talks he returned back.

A miracle happened - his voice sounded perfectly over the crystal clear sound of the band, Hammond passages filled the square and Tamara returned to sing one more song together with Lucky sounded excellent as well. These two closer songs  shoved how much we all here this side of scene missed this night listening to great artists trying to save the gig totally destroyed because of terrible sound.

Edited by snobb - 17 Jul 2019 at 10:29am
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