Son Little Live And Intimate In Small City Brisbane

U.S. artist Son Little (aka Aaron Livingston) was the newest addition to my Live Music Bucket List after instantly falling in love with his self-titled debut album released last year.  Finding that long-awaited live experience amongst a handful of people at a tiny venue in small-city Brisbane, was a surprising and a blessedly intimate opportunity.

Son Little live in concert 2016

Son Little live in Brisbane

He performed solo on the Black Bear Lodge stage with a microphone, three guitars, effects-pedals and a laptop in tow. The set included most tracks from the debut album as well as a few new ones- each a fresh, subtly-different journey to the recorded version; all sung and played with raw, honest emotion undoubtedly seen and felt by everyone there.

I ain’t gonna sugar-coat it though. This show could’ve been magnificent, but wasn’t. It should’ve been because Aaron Livingston is a super-talented, one-of-a-kind artist in the contemporary music world. He writes, plays, sings and produces bluesy, soulful, jazzy (non-boxable), instrumentally-sparse songs infused with the essence of glorious musical days gone and stamped with a modern sound that is distinctly different to and recognisable from everyone else. His voice and the ways he uses it especially make it so.

But unfortunately the first of his Australian shows just didn’t flow as it should or reach its full potential. It’s hard to say why, exactly – but more than once Son Little told the crowd he was tired, a broken string put one guitar out of action during the gig and most annoyingly, the competing noise of non-gigging people talking in the venue’s adjoining bar was hard to ignore.

Despite that lack of flow and overall feeling of the gig’s looseness, it was a special pleasure to experience Son Little performing in such an intimate environment: to hear his unique vocal tone traversing both the gravel and the sweet and be impressed by the diverse ways he uses that vocal instrument; to hear him tell stories between sets and exchange banter with members of the crowd at large and individually; to hear his guitar chops and the improvised sounds created on the guitar pedals- including distortion levels hard to find outside of a Parliament-Funkadelic show.

And despite having now experienced Son Little perform live, he’ll stay on my Live Music Bucket List for now ’cause I need another. I know that in a different time and place the experience will be that kind of crazy-amazing we’re all looking for at live shows of beloved artists.

For a taste of the live experience had by folks in Brisbane last weekend, check out this video footage of Son Little performing “O Mother” at Black Bear Lodge.

For a compressed-mp3-taste of Son Little’s studio creations, listen here to sample tracks from the debut album.

Son Little - Son Little (2015)

Son Little (2015)

Son Little – “You’re Love Will Blow Me Away”

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Son Little – “Carbon”

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Son Little – “Go Blue Blood Red”

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And finally, click here to add the full Son Little album, of decent sound quality, to your Beloved-Forever-After Music Collection – importantly, whilst thanking and supporting the music-maker in the process.

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