Five days in to his latest tour, Jonny Lang packed the house at Boise’s Knitting Factory. His first visit to the Gem State in over five years did not disappoint the fans who on St. Patrick’s Day, deferred the usual Irish-themed shindig for a more bluesy and often times soulful evening of music.
Backed by a group of talented musicians, and supporting Lang’s first studio album in seven years, ‘Fight For My Soul,’ the show started off with the latest album’s title track, “Blew Up (The House).” Appropriately, this impressionable rock unit did just that through an array of exceptional musicianship and masterful execution.
This wasn’t entirely surprising for those dedicated followers in the audience that evening. After all, Lang has developed quite the strong reputation for his work throughout the years. Throughout the years the guitarist has toured alongside such rock heavyweights as the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King and Jeff Beck, to name a few.
These supporting roles have no doubt only fed into his reputation as one of the more formidable guitarists to break through since the “classic rock” period. Considering that the 34 year old musician released his debut effort ‘Lie to Me’ back in 1997, the fact that he has developed such a reputation is quite the accomplishment.
What may have surprised some listeners during this show is Lang’s latest songwriting approach that’s featured on ‘Fight For My Soul.’ In discussing the new album, Lang states, “This album is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Some of these songs may surprise people, but that’s what it’s all about. It keeps it fresh, and it keep me growing.”
This man has soul and it showed on many of the night’s numbers, with Lang belting out hits such as “Red Light” & “Angel of Mercy.” And those fans who attended the show to watch Lang’s incredible guitar playing were rewarded handsomely as Lang feverishly moved around stage slinging his ‘58 Les Paul or his custom Thinline Telecaster while thoroughly enjoying himself, the music, and the fans.
The two hour show ended with an encore of stripped down acoustic versions of “40 Days” and a fantastic acoustic rendition of “Lie To Me.” This impressive set is soon to be enforced even further, considering that Lang’s current tour is the equivalent of a warm-up run in preparation for his upcoming co-headlining tour.
Starting in June of this year, Jonny Lang will be joining another reputable guitar icon, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, for a dozen shows largely based throughout the East Coast, which are almost guaranteed to attract full houses night after night. If either of these two guitar greats pop up on your local concert calendar, do yourself a favor and pick up a ticket or two. You won’t be disappointed.