Photos by G.
Van Hunt is back! The psychedelic soul rocker made his return to New York with a sold out show at the Studio at Webster Hall on September 19, 2011. I’ve seen two other guitar players who fit the above description perform live this year and I can honestly say, Van Hunt is the only one out of the 3 who is still taking chances and is growing tremendously as an artist. Van Hunt is so great live. His band is different since the last time I’ve seen him, but they are still tight. Van challenges the audience by playing his hits and best loved album tracks in different arrangements and every time I go to one of his concerts, I find myself singing along to the words not realizing what song it is until the chorus kicks in. Tonight was no different, but one reason I keep coming back to see Van Hunt perform is that the arrangements of the songs are just as great as the studio versions. It’s not just the grooves though – his lyrics are so great. He expresses many things we all think, but never have the guts to say out loud.
Van’s latest album is called “What Were You Hoping For?” and off the new album, he played the title track, “Watching You Go Crazy Is Driving Me Insane,” “North Hollywood,” “Eyes Like Pearls” and “A Time Machine Is My New Girlfriend.” The new songs are much more rock oriented than his previous albums, but for those like myself that have seen Van Hunt live before, this direction is a natural progression in sound for Van. He also played a few tracks from his unreleased 3rd album “Popular” including “The Dimples on Ur Bottom,” “SNM” as well as the final track of the night, “The Lowest 1 of My Desires,” which featured an audience sing-a-long of the chorus which is “I wanna fuck… you baby.” A video of that song will be coming soon, so stay tuned. From his second album “On The Jungle Floor,” he played “Man of the Year (Hot Stage Lights)” (but the version from his online only EP) and “Character.” From his self-titled debut, we were treated to “Dust,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Seconds of Pleasure,” “What Can I Say,” “Her December” and “Down Here in Hell,” all with different arrangements. Lucky us!
I highly recommend you check out Van Hunt in concert if you have not already done so. There are very few artists these days that are willing to take risks, but Van Hunt is one of them. Seeing Van Hunt and talking with him afterwards is the best way I could have possibly spent the final hours before my birthday, so thanks for that Van!
See the set list, after the jump.