The short version: These guys opened for The Who last night, they killed, and your photos are at the end of this post. Feel free to reuse them, but attribute them “courtesy of http://www.jamesostafford.com.”
The long version: Rock history is littered with famous opening act stories: Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees; The Clash opening for The Who; Prince and The Stones; Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith; Van Halen blowing The Nuge off of the stage.
Vintage Trouble’s recent run opening for The Who is worthy of that legacy.
Vintage Trouble is an L.A. based retro-soul band formed by friends Ty Taylor and Nalle Colt in 2010 with Taylor on vocals and Colt on guitar. They recruited their rhythm section — Rick Barrio Dill on bass and Richard Danielson on drums — and the line-up was set. Within a year they released their debut CD, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, and they were off and running.
Their sound is soul circa Tamla/Motown, and they do it well. They have retro in common with countless contemporary acts, but Vintage Trouble don’t exude the hipster pretentiousness of their peers. Their show is all about the audience, all about fun and entertainment rather than self indulgence.
Full disclosure: I didn’t know any of this prior to last night. In fact, when I realized that The Who were going to have an opening act I bitched a little. “Come on, man, I don’t want to sit through some crappy band. Let’s get to The Who!” And I wasn’t the only one. The rows around me were filled with middle-aged (and older) people sitting on their asses, likely to take the strain off of their artificial joints.
But that changed quickly. Ty Taylor is an exciting front man — the best I’ve seen in a long time. His voice is strong and his dancing is great. In no time he had the old farts up on their feet, pogoing and tossing around panties the size of downed weather balloons. Taylor ran through the crowd, led us in call and response, got the hands clapping and the feet stomping.
This bothers some. Taylor is spinning on the hallowed ground of Jackie, Smokey, and Marvin, and the purists don’t like it. As far as they’re concerned that era of R&B belongs in a perfect little snow globe on a shelf, but here’s the thing: music is meant to be performed. Marvin is gone, but Vintage Trouble is alive and well and coming to a town near you. Fuck the purists, get up and dance.
I heard a few grumbles post-show: What did that band have to do with The Who?
It’s a reasonable question, I suppose. The Who inhabit the same rarified air as The Beatles and The Stones, after all. What the hell do rock legends want with a brand new retro-soul band as an opener? Well, fifty years ago they were the faux R&B outfit pissing off the soul purists. Take a listen:
What a show, really. If Vintage Trouble comes within driving distance of your area, get on it. You won’t be disappointed. Visit www.vintagetrouble.com to learn more.