Tedeschi Trucks took us to church, with a little help from a friend (Gregg Allman)

By Elizabeth Thomas

July 26, 2016

The last time I visited the Uptown Amphitheater, Hozier took me to church. The Tedeschi Trucks Band offered a similar, near-religious experience Sunday night.

Just as the sun dipped below the horizon, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks graced the stage, backed by a large ensemble, including a percussion section, two drummers and three backup vocalists.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. Photo by Joy Bruce

Opening the night, the band offered up a nod to the late-David Bowie, by covering “It Ain’t Easy.” The set was littered with covers, with only a handful of originals performed for the crowds.

Big cheers erupted when the opening riffs of The Beatles’ “Something” began to play, and the crowd sang and swayed along.

Derek Trucks, a renowned and highly-respected guitarist, ripped away, song after song, cavalierly in the corner of the stage, while his wife, Susan Tedeschi, belted out tune after tune, jammed on the piano, and nailed a guitar solo or two herself.

derek trucks - clture - joy bruce
Derek Trucks photo by Joy Bruce

The band’s bluesy take on each of the covers, backed by the three vocalists in the chorus, was, at times, almost reminiscent of basking in the glory of a gospel choir. Tedeschi’s vocals were felt deeply, all the way to the back of the venue, while Trucks shined on the guitar.

Tedeschi proved her chops were worthy to stand alone when she performed a cover of George Jones’ “Color of the Blues” accompanied only by two backup vocalists.

Various guests were brought to the stage throughout the night, but one in particular drew large applause and brought much delight to the crowd: the one and only Gregg Allman. Allman sat in and played a cover of the Allman Brothers’ “One Way Out,” while the crowd was nothing but a sea of camera phones capturing the once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Fittingly enough, as a particular pungent aroma wafted throughout the venue much of the night, Tedeschi Trucks closed out their set with another cover: The Coasters’ “Let’s Go Get Stoned.”

As Tedeschi Trucks offers up a show that appealed to music lovers of all ages, concertgoers young and old Sunday night surely left the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater feeling a little lighter (perhaps not only because they lost 10 pounds in sweat) and a little inspired, just as one may feel after listening to a moving sermon.

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