Legend in the Making | Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos | Tricky Falls Theater, El Paso TX | March 9, 2016

Legend in the Making | Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos | Tricky Falls Theater, El Paso TX | March 9, 2016

by • March 29, 2016

“That one’s a little love song for ya,” he says with a twinkle in his eye, paired with a mischievous half-grin.

Legend in the Making | Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos | Tricky Falls Theater, El Paso TX | March 9, 2016

Gary Clark Jr. just finished playing “Don’t Owe You a Thang,” a song that screams romance, to a jam-packed Tricky Falls Theater in El Paso, TX.

I don’t owe you a thang, baby
I don’t owe you a thang
No, we ain’t get married
I ain’t buyin’ you no diamond ring”

Okay, well maybe the lyrics don’t scream romance, but the way he makes his Stratocaster scream in between verses is sweeping everyone off their feet. Ever since taking the stage, he’s kept cool. Real cool. Even cooler than his super cool guitar player.

Legend in the Making | Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos | Tricky Falls Theater, El Paso TX | March 9, 2016

Clark soulfully sings his lyrics with absolute grace, only to strut to center stage periodically to shred the shit out of his 6 strings. With an ecstatic room of fellow Texans at his back, he smoothly turns and walks his way back to his microphone at the left of the stage, like nothing had happened. I’ve never seen an artist more laid back after ripping a solo like that.

Although GCJ is 500 miles and 2 gigs west of his hometown of Austin, he shows no signs of holding anything back from this pumped up El Paso crowd. “We came out to have a good time,” he admits, “but ya’ll came out to have a GREAT time. Cheers to ya,” and lifts his red solo cup to the enthralled audience raising their cups right back.

Whilst spending the past 3 weeks in Texas with The Bro’d Trip, I’ve experienced the hustle and bustle of Dallas, the weirdness of Austin, and now the TexMex town of El Paso. But I’ve yet to get a good serving of Texas blues for my road-worn soul. Luckily, Gary Clark Jr. is sending me onward with a soul full of exactly what I needed.

Legend in the Making | Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos | Tricky Falls Theater, El Paso TX | March 9, 2016

The night only gets better as Clark proceeds to play a flawless set of a tasteful mixture of sexy R&B jams and crunchy Texas blues. What really sticks out to me is how comfortable he seems on stage with a guitar in his hand. With his eyes closed a majority of the night, it’s as if his soul flows straight through his fingertips into the instrument. Although his improvisations are coming straight from this moment, each slide, bend, and flurry of notes is extremely tactful, making me wonder if it is indeed rehearsed. But there’s no possible way that music like this can be 100% rehearsed. Right?

Legend in the Making | Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos | Tricky Falls Theater, El Paso TX | March 9, 2016

As if he heard my thoughts, GCJ plays “The Healing” containing a line that sums up the whole night, perhaps his music as a whole:

This is something you can’t touch
This is something you feel”

Everyone in the theater is feeling this special music that Gary Clark Jr. is spilling out on this typical Tuesday night in West Texas. Even the security guard next to me just looked up from his quest on eBay for a car subwoofer. A facial expression of “How the hell is he making those sounds?” spreads across his face as he slides the phone back into his pocket, mouth agape. The perfect blend of bass and treble for his beater of a Corolla will have to wait! History is being made.

As Gary and his band close the night out with a 5 song encore, it’s evident that this man does not have the ability to leave less than his all on stage. It’s evident that everyone here knows that, too. It’s evident that everyone here knows that Gary Clark Jr. is a legend in the making.

Gary Clark Jr. Live Review & Concert Photos by Adam Fricke, edited by Matthew Weller.

Gary Clark Jr. Concert Photos by Adam Fricke.

Adam Fricke Photography

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