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Sam Evian - Atlanta 9/8/2023

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Sam Evian is one of my favorite current artists.  I think his output so far is as good as anyone else currently in the business.  Somehow, nobody I know has heard of him, which is a good thing in a way, selfishly.  The more important it is to me to see a band, the less I want my friends around talking in my ear during the show.


He played a good mix of songs from his newly completed, but not yet released album, and songs from his three previous records.  Plus a note perfect cover of Still Crazy After All These Years.  I felt generally that they brought some extra heat to their performances compared to the album versions, which was interesting to hear.


His backing band will appeal to Wilco/Tweedy fans.  Spencer Tweedy on drums, long-time Tweedy Family associate Liam Kazar on guitar/vocals/keyboard, Hannah Cohen on vocals, and Brian Betencourt on bass (this is how I discovered Sam...I was trying to find out what happened to the members of the defunct band Hospitality which I was a big fan of, and Brian was the bass player in that group.)   


This may be sacrilege around here, but I was a little bummed when I heard Sam would have Spencer and Liam with him on this tour, as I was really hoping to see his regular backing group which includes Adam Brisbin (guitar) and Austin Vaughn (drums).  But, Spencer and Liam were both fantastic.  Not that I had any doubt, I was just hoping to see the other guys since they played on some of my favorite stuff from Evian's discography.  


This was one of the most enjoyable shows I've been to in a long time, and it's artists like Sam these days who are giving me the type of satisfaction I used to (and maybe/hopefully will again someday soon) derive from Wilco.


The opener was the singer from Seafoam Walls.  I don't know his name, and I don't generally enjoy solo acts, but there was something weird and wonderful in his songs, so I bought the album.  Haven't had a chance to listen yet, but it seemed really promising based on how he put the songs across as a solo performer.


Highly recommended.


(If Spencer had been milling around after the show, I was going to tell him that I met him in 1997 at Lounge Axe and he played my drums as a toddler, but he must have spent all his off-stage time backstage.)



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