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Concert Reviews:
Flint Eastwood, Fisher Building star in successful experiment
 

By GARY GRAFF
ggraff@digitalfirstmeida.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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DETROIT -- Flint Eastwood mastermind Jax Anderson told the crowd in the Fisher Theatre lobby on Friday night, April 14, that she was "a chubby, red-headed kid who had a dream of playing to this many people in my home town. And it (expletive) happened!"

Anderson was looking out over what show organizers said was a cool 1,000 in the long corridor, usually home to workers headed to the offices above or patrons of the Fisher Theatre, whose box office flanked one side of the the stage on Friday. The venue was, in fact, as much a star of the night as Flint Eastwood and the three other acts -- Tunde Olaniran, SYBLYNG and Michigander -- that played, a live music experiment that proved successful.

For the most part.

There's no question Friday's large turnout was in part the result of the location -- and much to the delight of the first-floor businesses that chose to stay open. The Fisher lobby certainly had plenty of room for the crowd, most of which still packed as close to the stage as possible. That was the smart course, too; The sound was best there, while further back it was severely compromised by the Fisher's marble and plaster veneer and high ceiling. A paucity of stage lighting, mostly from behind, also rendered the show's visual impact a bit dank -- although rear-screen videos bolstered Flint Eastwood's portion of the night a

Fortunately the music won out. Michigander's ringing rock, SYBLYNG's exuberant parade of guest rappers and Olaniran's theatrical, inspirational set were far better than just warm-ups for the main attraction. But it was Flint Eastwood's night, and the troupe took it with adynamic nine-song, 50-minute set, appropriately showcasing "Broke Royalty," the troupe's third EP, which came out on Friday.

Sporting her trademark modern Amish look -- red hat and frock, also modeled by a line of mannequins on a red carpet at the entrance to the show -- Anderson brought nothing but energy as the troupe launched into a hard-hitting version of "Queen," accompanied by two horn players. The material sounded uniformly more muscular and ferocious than its recorded counterparts, particularly a lusty, extended version of the anthemnic "Small Victories," "Monster" and "Glitches." Traverse City's the Accidentals, who played on the EP, recreated their parts on "Assemble Kids," while Olaniran did the same at the end of "Push."

One small glitch; Anderson announced the latter as Flint Eastwood's "last" song of the night and many believed her, exiting before the encore of "Rewind." Their loss, of course, but they still left having experienced something genuinely unusual -- and special.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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