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G Love & Special Sauce Served Up Quite the Show Thursday in Saint Louis

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

 

–by Vicki Lee and Randy Thompson

–photos by Laura Tucker

G. Love & Special Sauce with Donavan Frankenreiter rolled into The Pageant in Saint Louis on Thursday night to a full house and a house full of love.

Nat Meyers, who opened the show, came to the stage armed with only a stool, an acoustic guitar, and an orange cap sitting jauntily on his head.  Nat is an amiable performer with a rich, deep voice. He connected right away with his audience and serenaded us with some traditional front porch blues.

Nate Meyers performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

With a good knowledge of the history of the music, Nat demonstrated his love for straight ahead southern blues and his skills as a songwriter in that vein.  A masterful steel guitar player, Nat presented deeply layered licks, interwoven with stories of broken hearts, corn cob pipes, posturing, and Mad Dog wine.  He gave us a steady, slow, and bluesy set that received plenty of love from the crowd. As a solo, riveting storyteller and a blues man, we’re predicting he’ll have plenty to “posture about” soon.

Nate Meyers performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Next up was the headliner, G Love and Special Sauce along with Donovan Frankenreiter.

If you enjoy steamy blues, inspired rap, southern rock, saxophone inspired R&B, and beachy pop music, this concert has all of the ingredients that you are looking for in one dish, and they serve it up hot.

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

They started the set with the freewheeling “SoulBQue” and followed up with “Peace, Love & Happiness”.  The music throughout the night alternated between G. Love and Donavan and the joy they have playing together shines through.  The audience knew the songs no matter who was leading, and they sang, danced, and swayed along with the music.

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

After several songs, special guests were brought to the stage: Devon Allman, the extremely talented son of Gregg Allman, and the talented local group, the River Kittens.  They proceeded to tear up the Frankenreiter song “Move By Yourself” with the song lasting at least 8 minutes and Allman playing an amazing solo at center stage.

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

The Kittens left the stage and Allman stayed on for a couple more songs.  When they start grinding out blues jams, the three guitars will blow the roof off the building. Meanwhile, the steady bass and solid drums are driving the songs forward.  Several times throughout the night, the guitars ended a song by leaning in towards the drums in a high-powered salute.

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Donavan and G. Love sang a heartfelt version of “She’s the Rock”, a song dedicated to their wives.  And before you knew it, G Love was rapping furiously fast, never missing or slipping up, during his rapid-fire delivery on “Cold Beverage” and “My Baby’s Got Sauce”.   At that point the entire audience was singing along while the band (Jeff Clemens on drums, Jim Prescott on bass) held the beat behind him.

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

As the encores started, the River Kittens returned to the stage to sing “Atlantic City” with G. Love on harmonica. The concert closed with Allman, Donavan and G. Love back on stage to sing “Swing on Down” which featured G. Love and Jim Prescott dueling on harmonicas. It was quite the finish.

G Love & Special Sauce performing at The Pageant in Saint Louis. Photo by Laura Tucker/ Laura Tucker Photography.

Both G. Love and Donovan are exceptional lead singers with distinctly different styles that blend perfectly with whatever genre of music that they choose to celebrate at a given moment. This band holds nothing back, they bring up talented friends and are proud to start their tour in St. Louis.  They certainly had the support of their fans as they started their tour.

 

 

 

 

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