Concert writeup: Bruce Hornsby at Manteo, June 26 2014

Thanks to Aaron Pritchett for this writeup:

Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers Rocking Roanoke Island- Manteo, NC 6/26/14

What a beautiful night and beautiful venue for the OBX (Outer Banks, North Carolina) as Brew-Thru presented it’s opening concert featuring Chess Boxer, The Pat McGee Band and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers.  Roanoke Island Festival Park is a 25 acre island in just off downtown Manteo, NC.

For all of you history buffs, Manteo is known for the Lost Colony- and for all of you old school TV buffs Manteo was also the home of the late great Andy Griffith!

Manteo is not far from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina- the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse! and The Wright Brothers at Jockey Ridge.

The venue sits beautifully on Shallow Bag Bay on the Roanoke Sound and contains a wide open grass field for blankets and chairs as they face a stage with a huge glass window overlooking boats on the Sound.  Gates opened at 5PM and the concert began promptly around 5:35-5:45 with Opening Act Chess Boxer consisting of Matt Menefee and Ross Holmes of Chess Boxer! Ross is the newest Noisemaker and previously played with Mumford and Sons and Cadillac Sky.  I was very interested to see what these guys were about and they soon let me know performing an hour and 15 minute set of 99.9% instrumental music and it was mesmerizing and quite incredible.  It gave me time to get to know especially Ross who is a master of the strings and Menefee was quite impressive on the banjo.  These two guys quite comical and and really put on a show interweaving some really cool music together for a very entertaining set!  It would indeed be very interested to see how they would fit in with Bruce, Sonny, JV, JT and the soon to be heard Gibb Droll . . .

At around 7PM the Pat McGee Band took the stage and although I have heard of their music before and especially two  of their well known songs:

Pretty cool band, enjoyed them but of course ready for the Bruce to take the stage!

The venue and the people there were sprawled out across the lawn, it was by no means sold out but there were a lot of people there.  The first two previous concerts most people remained seated, but as they made the set change for the Bruce and the Noisemakers I along with hundreds of others made our way right to the stage and this is where I would spend the next 2 1/2 hours enjoying the closest I have ever been in this very beautiful and intimate venue!  As Bruce and the Noisemakers took the stage the crown erupted and let me tell you Bruce and the Noisemakers were on top of their game and ready to bring a show that hadn’t been heard like this before on the Outer Banks!  Here is the set list for the show-

Setlist 6/26/14

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers- Manteo, NC (Roanoke Roanoke Island Festival Park)

What a Time
The Dreaded Spoon
Great Divide
Beach Music Tease
Life in the Psycho Tropics
Mandolin Rain>That Would Be Something
Line in the Dust
Tango King
*MIA -New song debut on Dulcimer
*Just a Tipping- New song debut on Dulcimer
Valley Road
Prairie Dog Town>Drop It Like It’s Hot!
Big Stick
Swan Song
Spider Fingers
The Way It Is
Rainbow’s Cadillac
The End of the Innocence

What a killer show!  Bruce teased that the last time he had been in the OBX for a show was for some JAYCEE Banquet back in the 70’s early 80’s so he referenced a little Beach Music tease after an awesome 3 song set of What a Time, The Dreaded Spoon, and Great Divide-  all powerful songs showcasing all the members of the Noisemakers and especially Gibb Droll who really stood out in my mind as one bad ass guitar player who really can groove and bring a lot to Bruce’s already witty, creative music style!  Bruce and Gibb really traded riffs all night and blended nicely!  Ross was impressive too, but at times it looked as though he was still trying to find his niche/role in some of the songs- but he didn’t disappoint and trade a few licks mimicking Bruce on the keys and Sonny on the Drums!  Menefee joined in as well on a few songs and Bruce did a great job of featuring the three new members prominently as well as showing off their cohesiveness and uniquenes they collectively bring to the Noisemakers!  JV, Sonny, and JT were as tight as ever and put on one incredible display of talent!  They haven’t missed a beat and put on well hell of a show, I think even surprising some of the newcomers, tourists, locals and those who were used to the Bruce Record Albums!  It was party all night and Bruce and the Noisemakers really enjoyed putting on a show for Manteo, NC!  Of all the songs my favorites and the ones that stood out for me were Tango King- a real jamming song especially for the beach, MIA and Just a Tipping *brand new songs in the Dulcimer set that Bruce and the gang produced just in the last two weeks and debuted them here first- really catchy especially the Tipping song about tipping waiters/waitresses!  The whole Dulcimer set was awesome and Bruce even eluded that his most creative form of music and new ideas has come with jamming with the Dulcimer, Spoons/Washboard (Sonny) and Ross (Fiddle) as of late and didn’t rule out a Dulcimer album in the near future!  He teased the Planes 2 contribution, the new Solo album in Sept,, Spike Lee Soundtrack, Bobby Weir and Metheny Tour and SKBSTD! Prairie Dog Town was SICK and BH doled out a little Drop It Like It’s Hot (Snoop Dog)

Big Stick was rocking,  Spider Fingers really got the crowd up and attem and Rainbow’s Cadillac was the climax of the show!  He of course had to calm the crowd down and close out the night with End of the Innocence, but all in all a very powerful show and can honestly say that they really enjoyed every minute of playing on Roanoke Island and for the people of the OBX!  Bruce as always poured his heart and sole in the entire show and I was very fortunate to be a part of this special night in North Carolina!

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