Saturday Night With The Subdudes (Oct. 11, 2014)
I went to Magfest this past weekend (review will be posted later), and then the weekend before that I went to go see The Subdudes. The Subdudes show was absolutely out of this world. They performed to a packed house at The Plaza Live in Orlando, and the entire crowd was all Subdudes fans, minus one or two people. I must say, though, it felt like a farewell show more than anything else. The Subdudes are a band out of New Orleans that grew a strong fan base in the 1980s. These guys put out five albums before calling it quits, but this 2014 tour was the first time in 17 years that the original four members would be playing shows again. Unfortunately, their old bass player, Johnny Ray Allen, passed on after only doing a few dates on the tour, so the band had Tim Cook playing bass. Cook was very polite to the audience. He explained to all of the fans that he was there to play bass, but could, in no way, replace Allen. Before Cook came out and joned the band, Tommy Malone, John Magnie, and Steve Amedee did a tribute to Allen, performing a song he wrote. Malone said, “Johnny wrote this song after someone he loved very muched passed on, and now we’re performing it in his honor.”
The whole show ended up being in honor of Allen — they pulled out all the old material, such as “Sugar Pie” (which is off the albums Annuciation and Live at Last), and “Light in Your Eyes.” They did almost the entire live album from front to back, and man was it worth it. They even did my favorite, “He’s Got You on His Mind.”
Steve Amedee’s drumming on the tambourine was fantastic and remains, besides their fantastic harmonies, one of my favorite things about this band. The idea to drum on a tambourine and to do it so well that it sounds like a full drumkit, is amazing and innovative. The way he plays it, it doesn’t sound like noise, and instead sounds like rhythm. Magnie really shined on keys and accordion, whuile Malone can still play great guitar and has a fantastic voice.
Malone did admit that he doesn’t have the pipes he used to when someone upfront called out a request. Tons of people in the audience called out requests — some new songs, and some old ones, but Tommy just smiled and responed with “next time.” I didn’t mind this at all. The band worked up some material and that was the material they were going to play out on the road. It’s kind of hard for a band who hasn’t been together in 17 years to play all of their albums from front to back. They did perform “Behind the Levee” — the title track off of their 2006 album.
For an encore, they did three more songs off of their live album: “Strait Shot,” “Late At Night,” and “All the Time in the World.”
I’m really going to miss seeing these guys, even though I only got to see them twice. Their harmonies and muscianship soothes my soul. But, if you get a chance to see them before the tour is over, please do, they’re absolutely worth it.