Are You Experienced? - Jimi Hendrix tribute in full effect!
Due to the fact that I was born too late to see bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd live, the idea behind cover bands kind of got me excited lately after hearing so much good things about them. In the next few months you can expect Letz Zepp (Led Zeppelin) and Think Floyd (Pink Floyd) in Melkweg (Amsterdam), but to open the “cover band season” we had a Jimi Hendrix cover/tribute band from United Kingdom playing on the 23th of January. Named after Jimi Hendrix’ legendary Are You Experienced? album, the band was ready to relive old days!
Opening act for tonight was John Carrie and Moor Green, who have just released their brand new album Clearing Air. Even though most of the crowd decided to arrive a little later, John Carrie played a very decent mixture of genres in front of the small amount of audience who were apparently a bit afraid of the front of the stage. Think somewhere between country, pop, folk and singer songwriter and you’ll find Carrie’s music. Catchy songs and the use of some rare instruments you don’t often see in this genre (clarinet and even a theramin). I even spotted a Roni Size & Represent-like bass loop supported by sort of drum ‘n bass drumming. Decent warm-up for what’s to come!
Led by John Campbell, Are You Experienced? have been playing Jimi Hendrix jams since 1996 already and came over for a one off show in the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Immediately starting with a classic, ‘Foxy Lady’, the crowd reaction felt a bit tame. Perhaps it was the fact that the audience was completely stunned by the fact that these guys looked and sounded almost exactly as The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The sound was just plain amazing and John Campbells voice (besides his abnormal playing skills) sounded just like Jimi back in the day. They felt the crowd wasn’t going along too well so, why not ask the audience what to play? Someone shouted 'Fire' and a good hour and 45 minutes followed, showcasing almost every Jimi classic like ‘Red House’, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Axis Bold of Love’, ‘Are You Experienced’, ‘Manic Depression’, ‘Little Wing’ alongside two Bob Dylan covers; ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. The whole performance was pretty stunning as playing every single note, including playing with his mouth and guitar on his back, just like the man himself isn’t the easiest thing, not even for the most skilled guitarist. The only thing that kept the drive out of the set was halfway when John did a way too long sing-a-long part with the audience on ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ for about 10 minutes. But kicking in with ‘Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)’ straight after that made up for the lost minutes of the set. And of course all good things have to come at an end; after they played ‘Little Wing’ they left the stage but came back after not even a minute or so to play the brilliant ‘Voodoo Child’. I feel less bad about never seeing Jimi Hendrix live as this performance definitely made up for that! Makes me curious to see more of these tribute/cover bands, Black Sabbath perhaps?