Live Review: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue at the Belly Up, January 6, 2015

Trombone Shorty

Photo credit: tromboneshorty.com

New Orleans, with its rich cultural legacy, is legendary for its role as a musical melting pot — and Troy Andrews, a.k.a. Trombone Shorty, is one of his city’s best ambassadors.

At the second of two sold-out Belly Up shows, Trombone Shorty’s fierce, funky delivery on trombone and trumpet, backed by lush alto and baritone saxophones, was juxtaposed with a highly skilled guitarist and a ferocious drummer who pulled the crowd to their feet in a matter of seconds. The song choice varied widely, with well-timed, integrated nods to a variety of artists ranging from Rage Against the Machine, Suzanne Vega, Lenny Kravitz, and TLC to his lesser-known second line hometown heroes, without ever feeling contrived or awkward.

Highlights included the arm-raising anthem, “Hurricane Season,” a high energy version of “Do To Me,” the slow and sexy “One Night Only,” and a fun audience sing-along version of Parliament’s “Give Up the Funk” that lead into “Long Weekend.”

This guy gives the crowd every ounce of energy in his performances, adeptly singing when he’s not ripping it up on either the trombone or trumpet, effortlessly leading his band, or encouraging the audience to new levels of frenzied participation.

Sadly, the recorded versions of his songs really don’t reflect the glory of seeing him in-person. Most people undoubtedly discover him live, then try to relive the experience by buying all of his albums. This keeps them occupied until he comes back to town, and the cycle repeats.

When he returns to San Diego, treat yourself. It’s fully worth it.



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