Little Feat (2022) – Concert Review

I never thought I’d see this group, certainly not in 2022, but here we are. Little Feat is a swampy, bluesy, rock band with a long history.

I thank my friend Brian Shields and his wife Anne for offering the chance to tag along with my girlfriend (JN) and enjoy an evening of music and good cheer.

Photo by the author.

This was my first indoor concert in several years, courtesy of the coronavirus. Until now it has been outdoor venues. The Uptown Theatre is a lovely place for a swingin’, footstompin’ evening of 1970s music.

This was the Waiting for Columbus album tour, playing the 1978 live album (almost all) with extended versions included. That was a monster album in its day, one of my favorites. The swampy, R&B groove was good on record, but wouldn’t it have been awesome to be there to hear it live? Imagine packed into a theater or arena with thousands of other fans, hot and sweaty from the heat, groovin’ to the funky beat.

Like the album, the current tour includes a horn section, which elevates the performances to an incredible level. The funky/R&B vibe of the original doings is punctuated by these veteran horn players.

Forty-five years after the live album’s release, the songs sound both fresh and nostalgic. Keyboardist and founding member Bill Payne seems to steer the band onstage. Payne has returned from a member of the Doobie Brothers touring band. In recent years, while the band was on hiatus, Tackett and guitarist Paul Barrere toured as Paul and Fred.

  1. Join the Band
    ([traditional] cover)
  2. Fat Man in the Bathtub
  3. All That You Dream
  4. Oh Atlanta
  5. Old Folks Boogie
  6. Time Loves a Hero
  7. Day or Night
  8. Mercenary Territory
  9. Spanish Moon / Skin It Back
  10. Dixie Chicken
  11. Tripe Face Boogie
  12. Willin’
  13. Don’t Bogart Me
    (The Fraternity of Man cover)
  14. A Apolitical Blues
  15. Sailin’ Shoes
  16. Rocket in My Pocket
  17. Feats Don’t Fail Me Now
    Encore:
  18. Let It Roll
Photo by the author.

Back in the mid 1970s, Little Feat wasn’t a huge chart band but they had a sizable following and were a musical influence. Leader and chief songwriter Lowell George, produced the album. Waiting for Columbus was really the end of the line for the first iteration of the band. George died in 1979, after Little Feat disbanded. There was friction in the band over direction and musical style.

In the late 1980s, Little Feat regrouped with veteran guitar player Fred Tackett and Craig Fuller joining. Let it Roll was released in 1988 to great acclaim. The lead single is still in their live set. Fuller has returned to Pure Prairie League, and drummer Ritchie Hayward and guitarist Barrere have passed away.

This was an enjoyable concert; long, but the music was sharp and the performances on the mark. The opening act was a solo acoustic guitar player from Topeka, Kansas named Andy McKee. The young man was skillful with great technique, reminding me of the late Michael Hedges, who McKee admitted was one of his influences. McKee played Hedges’ “Aerial Boundaries”, one of his best songs. If you enjoy solo, instrumental guitar, McKee is someone to watch.


2 thoughts on “Little Feat (2022) – Concert Review

  1. That surely sounds like a great show. A dear longtime music friend from Germany, who digs Little Feat, got me into the group several years ago. If I recall it correctly, “Waiting For Columbus” was the first album he encouraged me to check out. And I did and loved it. I also blogged about it at the time. Then, as happens quite frequently when you constantly explore music, Little Feat left my radar screen again. Your post is a great reminder to revisit the band’s music and this album in particular!

    Liked by 1 person

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