Saturday, September 5, 2015

Eliot Sumner Edges Alabama Shakes

VMworld - Hosted by VMware, Inc.
Alabama Shakes at VMworld
Eliot Sumner
     In a span of 24 hours, we were able to be close to the stage for four bands we looked forward to seeing. Alabama Shakes and Neon Trees performed for a corporate event (VMworld) at AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. Because the alcohol and food were available without cost, and because there were carnival rides and booths (pictured above), only a small number of people took full advantage of the music. It was a rare opportunity. The next night, we were at Rickshaw Stop for entertaining performances by Eliot Sumner and On An On.
      Alabama Shakes were strong, as always. On An On added elements to “Drifting,” which is one of our favorite tracks of 2015. Neon Trees were engaging, as frontman Tyler Glenn told stories about his past. The surprise was Eliot Sumner.
Eliot Sumner
     As Eliot Sumner walked onto the stage shortly after her three bandmates, it was clear that she does not spend her money on makeup or her time on hairstyling. The music is the focus. She grabbed the bass and the band started with “Dead Arms & Dead Legs.” The performance of the song was even better than the digital release. And they didn’t let up, until they finished with “Information.” In performance, almost every song is modified to include either more Rock or more Shoegaze.
     We hesitate to mention that Eliot Sumner has famous parents, since it might be wrongly inferred that her current and future successes are a result of having well-connected parents. The question goes in the opposite direction – with the talent she possesses, why isn’t Eliot Sumner receiving more attention, particularly in the U.S. The parents of this 25 year old are a rockstar, Sting, and an actress/producer, Trudie Styler.
     “Firewood” by Eliot Sumner

      A recording of “Dead Arms & Dead Legs” by another attendee at Rickshaw Stop (thanks Matt Dilg).

On An On the Rickshaw Stop

Alabama Shakes at VMworld

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