Gary Clark Jr. is beyond a force to be reckoned with in today’s music scene, and he undoubtedly proved his worth at Harrah’s Resort SoCal on May 22. He is the type of musician and performer that embodies true talent. With hands like lightning and the voice of an angel, you would have believed the Beatles were performing the way he made audience members swoon. His rhythmic beat throughout the casino’s ballroom was played with such strength that it must have been shaking the slot machines. I can guarantee that my arms filled with goosebumps at least five times.
The show was all-embracing: Gary Clark Jr. is the creator of an eclectic catalog which attracts a diverse audience, leading to a heterogeneous set that encompassed all the things we love about him. His music blends elements of soul and funk, hip-hop and R&B, southern rock, and blues rock, which all come together seamlessly in his own intensely smooth genre. He busted out close to a dozen guitars during the two hours he took the stage, each with its own unique timbre to fit the vibe of his composition.
The crowd response from Clark’s set was something I did not predict, but experiencing his show made it unavoidable. Eruptions from the small, intimate audience were unbelievable as he showed off his sexy falsettos, and the room was as quiet as could be during his breathtaking solos. The sound of the guitar moved your soul, and as the rockin’ solos ended, you were able to release all of the emotion they created within you through your screams. Clark needed only to incorporate minimal verbal communication with listeners, as his music truly says it all.
A shining star in the supporting musician category included the keyboardist/backup vocalist, who was sometimes compromised by louder instrumentation, left a mark on the overall sound. The performers experienced only a few minor sound mishaps, which they, of course, rocked right through.
For fans of any of the styles he draws from, Gary Clark Jr. is a must-see. I personally look forward to seeing him again in hopes that my body and mind can be freed the way they were the other night.
— Kelly Driscoll, DJ