Hot off the heels of attending the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where he paid tribute to Charley Patton, Gary Clark Jr. headed back out on the road with a stop at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on Wednesday, November 3.
On night two of a three-night stand, Clark took the crowd on a musical journey traversing a soundscape from sojourns of simplicity through to explosions of sound. To support this pilgrimage, Gary enlisted King Zapata on guitar, Jon Deas on keyboards, Elijah Ford on bass, and J.J. Johnson on drums. Their prowess provided the infrastructure for Clark to explore the musical expanse.
The show opened with the potent “Bright Lights.” Clark is not afraid to update arrangements as “Fellin’ Like a Million” shifted to a beat-based groove while the falsettos in “I Walk Alone” articulated the emotional distress of the piece.
Throughout the night the tall Texan would step forward and affix himself to a spot on the stage enabling the power and fury of his playing to radiate out to those in attendance. A well calibrated light show helped fine-tune the aura surrounding the stage which added an exponential element to the show.
Opening duties were delegated to hip hop rappers Blackillac. The duo, who had been taken under Clark’s wing years back, shared what they called “their version of the blues.” From the first beats you could sense the Austin musicians influence bestowed upon them. Moving from established tunes to freestyle and back, Blackillac achieved their goal to prepare everyone for the headliner.
To close out the two-hour show, Gary strapped on a Flying V guitar and launched into “Pearl Cadillac.” A lone spotlight illuminated the man and his guitar as the distinctive notes from the song extended to the rafters. Standing tall and proud, Clark thanked everyone and sent them off into the night as he faded into the darkness at the back of the stage.