Alejandro Escovedo Brings “Real Animal” To The 930 Club

Washington, D.C. July 12th.  Some bands work the entire evening to show half the range exhibited by Alejandro and the band on just the opener, “Put You Down.”  But then, not every band capable of playing everything from punk rock to Bowie can have their cellist, violinist, and guitarist prove themselves to be rock’n’roll virtuosi the way Al’s band can. 

It was a stunning evening.   Alejandro was relaxed, in fine voice, and as a six-piece, with David Pulkingham playing (mostly) electric lead, you really had the complete meshing of the Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra with his rock band.  (David normally plays acoustic with the former, but not always electric with the latter.)  On “Real Animal”‘s rockers — particularly “Nuns Song,” and  “Chelsea Hotel” — the band was languid, not overly forceful, and it worked. 

Where the whole building shook was on stunners like “I Was Drunk” and “Everybody Loves Me.”  If you’ve ever seen Al do these songs with the orchestra inside a more polite setting, you know how hard they can rock with acoustic instruments.  Dial it up eight notches and you’ll get a sense of what it was like last night.

Alejandro is getting his due.  The 930 Club was pretty packed, for an early show in July.  For the first time, he seemed content — no, eager — to show off some rock star moves; singing “Real Animal” without guitar in his best Iggy immitation, doing the windmill guitar moves on a few songs.  Closing the place down with “All The Young Dudes” and “Beast of Burden” made everyone go home thinking they’d seen a real rock’n’roll show.  You’ve gotta love a guy whose heros are Iggy Pop and Joe Strummer.  Yeah, Alejandro is absolutely in that league.

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