The Cactus Blossoms (Neurolux – Boise) – 4/28/19

Although the venue was a bit of a surprise for this band, the show was incredible.

Opener: Jack Klatt

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Jack stood up on the Neurolux stage with nothing but his acoustic guitar and wowed the small and mellow crowd.  Even though everyone remained sitting throughout his set that consisted of country standards as well as originals, we were engrossed and paying close attention.  The club was eerily quiet, devoid of the obnoxiously loud banter that unfortunately accompanies most of the musical performances here.

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Simply put, Jack was terrific and when he busted out the harmonica towards the end of the set it was pure magic.  He was the perfect opener for The Cactus Blossoms, and in fact would make another appearance on the stage later on…

 

Headliner: The Cactus Blossoms

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Brothers Jack and Page have that “it” factor that a few other harmonizing siblings throughout musical history possessed – namely The Beach Boys and The Everly Brothers, the latter of which is such an obvious comparison for their music that you’d think  they are tired of hearing about it.  In fact, it seems to be quite the opposite: in an interview I read recently, one of them was quoted acknowledging their classic sound, quipping that they have yet to figure out how to gain inspiration from the future.

Fans of the group’s two incredible albums may be as surprised as I was that there were five performing members on this night, including three guitars.  While this was still the melodic and mellow country-tinged folk music, it had more backbone and oomph to it than I had anticipated.

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After opening with four tracks from their recently released sophomore effort Easy Way, they tore through four songs from their phenomenal debut You’re Dreaming.  “Desperado” and “Clown Collector” were early highlights, but the best of the show was in the second half.  After a stellar rendition of “No More Crying the Blues”, the fellas invited Jack Klatt back on stage to sing a beautiful cover of Steve Earle’s “Tennessee Blues”, which found Jack smiling so wide I bet his face hurt the next morning.

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Just as I was getting nervous that they were going to call it a night without playing my favorite track, “Change Your Ways or Die”, they played that simple yet simply amazing guitar riff and I totally lost my shit.  The song was even better live with the three guitars interplaying and layering atop each other, and some serious white man dancing ensued.

After a very brief encore break, we were given two more songs: “I am the Road”, a thoughtful take on a life spent traveling to play music, and my highlight of the evening – a quick and true to the original take on The Kinks classic “Who’ll Be the Next in Line”.  I fell in love with that song years ago when Queens of the Stone Age covered it during their Rated R sessions, and I truly couldn’t have picked a better end to a spectacular night of music.  Bravo, gentlemen – come back soon.

Setlist:

Desperado

Got a Lotta Love

I’m Calling You

Downtown

Clown Collector

Powder Blue

Stoplight Kisses

Adios Maria

See It Through

Boomerang

Easy Way

No More Crying the Blues

Tennessee Blues (Steve Earle cover, with Jack Klatt)

Mississippi

Change Your Ways or Die

Please Don’t Call Me Crazy

Encore Break

I Am the Road

Who’ll Be the Next in Line (The Kinks cover)

Spotify setlist playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/3IwQRX7K40ke9LQGbAmR5A?si=YnHpHCTGSD6PYWvIp9BYYQ

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