Experiencing Ian Moore live is something everyone should do at some point. In fact, one should make it a point to see both Moore’s acoustic duo (with Kullen Fox) as well as the full band presentation. Both are very different and unique experiences, and present a vastly different selection of songs. I shared my thoughts on the acoustic duo back in December of last year (viewable here: https://americanahighways.org/2018/12/19/show-review-count-us-in-at-ian-moores-christmas-show-at-the-blue-door/ ) and was fortunate to catch the full band ply their craft this past Saturday, at the Tower Theatre, on 4/20 no less.
In fact, the evening started off for a few lucky individuals as an Ian Moore acoustic performance that was part of a 50th Birthday celebration for David Wanzer. Wanzer is a managing partner of the Pivot Project which is directly responsible for the renovation and re-vitalization of OKC’s Uptown area and The Tower Theatre itself. Undoubtedly this portion of the evening was a loose and fun set of music that was enjoyed immensely. I say undoubtedly, as the public portion of the evening certainly fit that description on a larger scale.
With a bit of a later start time than is typical at the Tower, Shane Henry got things started with a set of tunes that fit in perfectly with the night’s menu. Mostly playing songs from his 2017 album, Light in the Dark, Henry and bandmates, Ryan Miller on bass and Jordan Oliver on drums spun a web of blues/rock blended with pop sensibilities and strong songwriting. Henry is also quite the guitar slinger as well. On an evening in which Ian Moore was the so to speak, “guitar attraction”, Henry stood up and gave notice that he can play a little bit too. The highlight of his set was welcoming his wife, Maggie McClure to the stage to give a preview of their new project, The Imaginaries. I’m pretty excited to see this project unfold, as the duo are currently in the funding process for their new album. I’m also looking forward to catching them about town as they work to complete the album. You can find more information on Shane Henry, Maggie McClure and The Imaginaries here: http://shanehenry.com/
As I mentioned, if you’re even slightly a fan of the blues/rock genre, quality songwriting or just fiery guitarists in general, Ian Moore should already be on your radar. If not, definitely add a future show in your area to your concert budget, you can thank me later. Kicking things off with “Strange Days” from this 2017 album of the same name, we were off to a rousing start. “You Gotta Know My Name” and Al Green’s “I’m A Ram” blistered our senses next, with things really launching into the stratosphere with “Nothing” from Moore’s debut. That self titled debut would hold the bulk of the night’s song selections, with “How Does It Feel”, “Satisfied”, “How Does It Feel”, “Harlem” and “Blue Sky” all making memorable appearances. Other highlights included the always welcome “Muddy Jesus” and the 4/20 inspired “Champagne & Reefer” as well as the anthem-like “Do You Wanna Get High?” In addition to being a superb songwriter and guitarist, Moore is also a gifted storyteller. His tales take on an almost cosmic Ramblin’ Jack Elliott quality to them, whether they touch on Paul Shaffer, old guitars or even his classic Ted Nugent story. I won’t ruin any of them here, as they’re much better told by Moore in a live setting.
Ian Moore is pretty much constantly on tour it would seem. I highly recommend any opportunity to see him live whether that opportunity is acoustic or full band. More information on Moore and upcoming tour dates can be seen here: http://www.ianmoore.com/ And read our earlier interview with him, here: Interview: Ian Moore Talks New Release “Toronto,” “Sling Blade,” and SMASH Musicians’ Healthcare