The Moving Sidewalks at Bayou Music Center, 9/28/2013
And here's a criticism you won't see lobbied at Bayou Music Center very often: if anything, this show could have been louder. What we heard Saturday was all coming from maybe eight to 12 Magnatone amps arrayed on either side of Mitchell's kit. It cut off almost any trace of reverb or high end, and coated every song with a viscous covering of audio grease that -- particularly since the band played almost an hour and a half, saying their goodnights right around 12:20 a.m.-- went down smooth indeed with the well-lubricated crowd. They even played "Wild Thing," because how could they not?
"And you thought we couldn't be corny," Gibbons quipped.
Would it be nice if the Sidewalks booked a local gig that didn't come at such a hefty price tag? Maybe. Tickets for Saturday's gala started at $225 and reached table/VIP level at $1,500-5,000, which enabled access to the "Big Dog Lounge." (Still, those ice sculptures...) But the gala had to have raised a king's ransom for Child Advocates, Camp Quality USA, Devereux, the Epilepsy Foundation and the Deacons' other worthy beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, onstage the four Sidewalks gave every impression they were having a fine old time, just the four of them whether the crowd was paying any attention or not, and that they wouldn't mind at all doing things like this more often. We already know they're available for private engagements.
Personal Bias: Went into this with an open mind, and left with it having pretty much been blown, more for the overall atmosphere than the Sidewalks' actual music. Though Brother Gibbons et al. did have their moments -- my pick was the glowering cover of Muddy Waters' "Catfish Blues."
The Crowd: Sleeveless white jackets, leather and cleavage everywhere.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Thanks for dressing up, man."
Random Notebook Dump: Wonder how much that open bar set the Deacons back.
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