Live review from The Underground “Back to its Roots” Festival Part 2:
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
2. It’s Over
3. We’re All Just People
4. I still love you
5. Reasons Why
6. Hotel California (cover)
7. Johnny B Goode (cover)
Some bands, believe that less is more. Anders Nelsson and Perry Martin believe it and know how to do it. Armed with just guitars and pre-recorded backing instruments, they eased us into day two of the Back to its Roots festival weekend here at the AIA Carnival.
The legend that is Mr. Nelsson, as I feel inclined to call him, commands the stage with presence, in Cantonese! When you follow a bilingual local rock goddess with a white dude who speaks fluent Cantonese, it is rather surprising and awesome. It definitely peaked the interest of the crowd.
Opening with a rocking Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Anders kicked things off with energy and pizazz. He was able to get little kids, parents and everyone in-between to start dancing on the astro turf.
On their second, It’s Over, Perry Martin slowed things down by channelling an inner Don Henley. You would not be wrong if you thought that they were covering an Eagles track with the grand reverb on their guitars, their exquisite harmonies and smooth vocal and guitar melodies. You forget that they don’t have a full band cause it doesn’t matter.
We’re All Just People, is a bit of Everly Brothers and Dusty Springfield but of, soulfulness. It’s what songwriters these days would love to write, but they just don’t have the right kind of emotion to convey something as heartfelt and genuine.
I Still Love You is very much a distant cousin of The Animal’s House of the Rising Sun and some of Ben E King’s songs. The melody echoes that bluesy laid back tone of the 60s. With a groovy drum backing this song, Perry Martin launches into one of the smoothest of guitar solos that would make BB King proud.
Reasons Why just oozes class. Part Eagles, part Santana with a bit of the Beatles thrown in there, it is a genre reunion, and it works, and to great effect. Always, it’s the guitar work and their harmonies that make their songs brilliant and unique.
Speaking of the Eagles, with the recent death of Eagles founder Glenn Frey, Perry and Anders launched into a very poignant tribute to the music legend. One song, besides Bohemian Rhapsody where everyone thinks they can sing is Hotel California, thankfully these guys are pros and knocked it out of the park, making Frey and all of us in the sound booth happy. And that guitar solo, Nailed It!
The Legend that is Anders Nelsson is definitely worth standing in the cold for. HIs music gets you swaying to the point where you feel warmer. He always talks to the audience in both Cantonese and English, making him the male Chris B.
And because he was that good, the crowd wanted more, so to close out their set, they launched into Johnny B. Goode. No better way to close out a show and get people dancing. If I closed my eyes I could almost hear Doc Brown shouting at me to get into the DeLorean, but alas, I was brought back to the present. Worth It.
– Jon Lee