Madison mainlines soul with Curtis Harding at the Majestic

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    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Sun Apr 01 2018


Author: Vickram Premakumar

Curtis Harding continued his jaunt through the Midwest with a stop at the Majestic on Wednesday March 21. Wisconsin's own Heavy Looks opened the show.

Harding did not wait for the lights to dim, taking the stage around 9 PM to kick off an hour long set featuring tunes spanning his solo career. His backing band featured a rhythm section, guitarist, and keyboardist who occasionally bellowed on a baritone sax. Auxiliary percussion and rhythm guitar were provided by Harding, changing instruments on just about every song. Harding's singular voice was the highlight of the show. He modulated it with a radically delayed echo, making for one of the most stunning uses of vocal effects I've heard live. The backup band was rarely featured, a couple licks from the drummer and guitarist made their way to the forefront, but the players themselves never saw an introduction. The show stalled twice for technical difficulties during Harding's instrumental swaps, due to an improperly secured strap on his electric and a bad plug on his acoustic. If his spirit was dampened, it was impossible to tell. In retrospect, “how many people out there have Soul Power?” may have been an inquiry about sales of Harding's first record. Since I have both the album and the spirit, I cheered. Madison's crowd was especially jazzed when Harding opted for his acoustic, making tunes like “Welcome to my World,” perversely, the show's most electric. He closed with an extended jam, finally being explicit with his order – “dance!” The band finished up and Harding left to try and fit in a quick smoke before the inevitable encore. Harding told us all to pick up his latest release at the merch table before the house lights went up and everyone curled towards the exits.