The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown @ Le Poisson Rouge (2/23/2017)

A rare appearance by one of the pioneers of theatrical rock in the 60’s. Known as “The God of Hellfire”, Arthur Brown had a hit with the song “Fire” in 1968. The show opened up with Electric Citizen, who put on a great set of Sabbath-esqe riff rockers. Front woman Laura Dolan prowled the stage and kept the band visually entertaining while belting out powerful vocals. Ross Dolan (guitar), Randy Proctor (bass), Nate Wagner (drums) kept the engine running with chugging power ‘70s style psychedelic rock, with solid rhythms, and ripping solos. Arthur Brown took the stage and gave the sold-out audience a powerful, and energetic performance. At 74 years old, Brown has more energy and stage presence than people a third his age.

Brown is a consummate showman, which is no surprise considering he is one of the pioneers of theatrical, performance art-rock. Backed by a solid band with a tight groove, wearing psychedelic face paint, Arthur energetically dominated the stage. His presence was powerful and captivating, yet he connected with the audience on a personal and emotional level. Arthur’s vocals are incredibly strong, and his range is impressive. His vocals varied from growls, spoken word, to falsetto, and settling in with a soulful baritone. The set was a blend of recent material, and included the classic songs like “Fire” and a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell on You”.

Always engaged with the audience Brown took us on a grand journey of psychedelic rock and showmanship. Utilizing multiple costume changes to enhance the mood, and create even more visual grandeur.

At the end of the show, Arthur never left the stage, he stayed shaking hands, signing all sorts of memorabilia, and taking photos with his fans. This went on for a good half hour before a security guy made him leave the stage with the excuse that he was going to change into something more comfortable. All I could think was he couldn’t change into anything more comfortable, than where he is right now. Interacting with his appreciative fans, which seemed to energize him and kept a genuine smile on his face. Classiest thing I have ever seen.

Set List:
1. Zim Zam Zim
2. Prelude / Nightmare
3. Want to Love
4. The Unknown
5. Gypsy Escape
6. I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover)
7. Rest Cure
8. Kites (Simon Dupree & The Big Sound cover)
9. Sunrise (Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come cover)
10. The Tell-Tale Heart (The Alan Parsons Project cover)
11. Touched by All
12. Devil’s Grip
13. Muscle of Love
14. Fanfare / Fire Poem
15. Fire
16. Junkyard King
17. Jungle Fever

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