July 20, 2012
With his hair slicked back and wearing a blue button-down shirt and khaki pants, JD McPherson hit the Visulite Stage looking more like a banker than a rocker on July 20, 2012. It didn't take him long to shake the crowd off of any judge-a-book-by-its-cover notions though.
The band started with "Dimes For Nickels" — a '50s style rocker splattered with piano riffs and a Gene Vincent energy that quickly set the mood for the hour-plus set.
After only two songs, McPherson quickly introduced well-known musician Jimmy Sutton who ran through a quick solo to show off his stand-up-bass plucking skills. Sutton, who has played with Wanda Jackson and Pinetop Perkins among others, later sang two songs showing that he provides more than just the group's low-end backbone.
From there, McPherson rifled through much of his latest album, Signs & Signifiers, as the group slowed it down for "Country Boy" and the title track, and sped it up for "BGMOSRNR" and "North Side Gal," bolstered by soulful saxophone and sprightly keyboards.
After a thunderous, jam-filled ending to "Wolf Teeth" that would have left the crowd satisfied, the band returned for a three-song encore that included a cover of the Ska Kings' "Oil In My Lamp" and the Little Richard-like closer "Scandalous."
The show was a throw-back to the "oldies" style of rock while the quintet filled out the sound bringing a refreshing energy to what could have sounded dated.