The Tulsa Arts District was bustling last Friday night. The streets were packed with cars and people were out and about for the First Friday Art Crawl. Unfortunately the crowd didn’t find their way into Cain’s Ballroom. Upon arriving, tables and chairs covered half the famous dance floor and attendance was spotty at best.
A last minute emergency meant the replacement of original opener, Durand Jones and the Indications, with local band, Dane Arnold & The Soup. To be honest I’d never heard any music from either act and had no idea what to expect. What I got was soul. A whole lot of soul.
Dane Arnold & The Soup, a band based in Tulsa, is an eclectic group made up of frontman and lead guitarist, Dane Arnold, with members Johnny Mullenax on guitar, Matt Teegarden on drums, D.G. Rozell on Trumpet and Dominick Stephens on trombone. Looking at Dane Arnold, I’m reminded of a kid brother, hammering out tunes upstairs in his bedroom. However, when Arnold began to sing, that comparison went out the window. He’s distinctively old school, with a smooth voice straight from another era. The band started out with their song, “Beneath the Cascade”, a tune that swings along with a deliciously brass heavy background. A favorite song of the set was “Tulsa Mama” and is as Dane Arnold describes, a song that sounds “retro country”. Arnold’s voice really shines on this one, smokey and soulful. The band recently released an EP in April, with four songs on it. You can find it here: https://daneandthesoup.
Thankfully by the time headliner, Anderson East hit the stage, the crowd had increased by quite a bit. A long line of women flanked the front row, chattering about where they’d driven in from and how excited they were to see the show. Then with lights dimmed and to the strains of “If You Keep Leaving Me”, East took the stage. With his mop of dirty blonde curls, electric energy and soulful voice, it was easy to see what had brought them to the show. The next two songs, “Sorry You’re Sick” and “Surrender” brought up the tempo and the energy. East is pure unbridled energy on the stage. I never knew what was going to happen next. Would he spin the microphone around? Slide down on his knees? Hang from the railing above the stage? It was a guessing game and his energy was infectious. The rest of the set was a great mix of both Anderson East albums, Encore and Delilah. Included were “All I’ll Ever Need”, “Devil in Me”, “All on My Mind” and many more. I came away from this show as a new fan and wouldn’t hesitate to catch East in the future. You can find Anderson East’s tour schedule here: http://andersoneast.com/?