The WC Handy Allstars show had the potential to be a really great
night. A good sized crowd showed up. The dance floor was busy most of
the night, and you often had to fight for space.
Charlie Musselwhite was the first out. Charlie is an acknowledged harp master. He accompanied himself on guitar and he did it quite well. That was a surprise to me. After three songs, John Hammond came out and did another three solo. Duke Robillard and his band came up next. They did a handful of tunes and brought Hammond back out to do some of the stuff off his recent 'Wicked Grin' album. End of set 1.
Set two started with Robillard, bring up Musselwhite for his handful of songs with Duke's band, and then it was Trudy Lynn's turn. She was the only one of the bunch I hadn't seen before. She has a great voice and a wonderful stage presence. It's a shame we only got three songs out of her including the finale with everyone on stage.
And it wasn't a couple seconds from the last note before the music came up. The crowd didn't even get the chance to urge on an encore. A $25 show, 2-1 hour sets, and with the State's increasing "the show is over, get the hell out" attitude; and we were out the door before midnight.
It shoulda been a great night. Hell, if the end hadn't been handled so badly, I would have shrugged off the shortness of the show. But the way it was handled, left a bad taste in my mouth. A show of this size has it's own sound team, so the blame lies with the organizers. Still it reflects badly on the State Theatre and when you can't even talk and finish your drink after the show... It's potentially the best room in town, but it makes me much more reluctant to go back there for other shows.