Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul at the State Theatre Center for the Arts | Photographs by Diane Fleischman / Review by Janel Spiegel

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Photographs by Diane Fleischman | Review by Janel Spiegel

 

The Bowery Presents

Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul

Summer of Sorcery Tour 2019



EASTON, PA! You guys ROCKED! The legendary Steven Van Zandt performed at the Easton State Theatre tonight and it was more than a concert, it was a true celebration. Little Steven is a genius in music. He performed a bewitching, enchanting concert that felt as if he took everybody back to the sixties, the seventies and put his own flare on every detail for today.

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul not only brought the party to EASTON but Little Steven brought the MUSIC! If you didn’t feel that show tonight. Little Steven’s energy and enthusiasm is so catchy. First, let’s start with the amazing people at the Easton State Theatre (HUGE Thank you to the nice people in the Box Office! You guys are awesome!) Everyone was so helpful and kind as always. the State Theatre is beautiful. It is amazing and comfortable to walk around. I spotted a few new posters on the walls since my last visit including Actor Chazz Palminteri who performed his hit show, “A Bronx Tale” at the State Theatre and many more talented artists.

Tonight was about Little Steven and the amazing people in Easton, PA. As you drive into Easton, they already had a pretty rocking set-up with a band playing outside, downtown from the State Theatre. Little Steven took to the stage with his Disciples of Soul and they delivered. Little Steven has the legendary Lowell “Banana” Levinger from The Youngbloods. He asked the audience who gave them a standing ovation as soon as he set foot on the stage… Little Steven wanted to know if we remembered a song, “Come on people now. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together.” WE REMEMBERED. He sang with us as he reminded us, some of may forget what we had for breakfast yesterday, but we remember a song from 1967.

It is the nostalgia and more for some people. Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul felt every word they sang. He did a variety of songs and the energy was amazing as people sang along, clapped and had a blast. He sang everything from “Camouflage of Righteousness,” “I Visit the Blues.” He paid respect to Southside Johnny & The Asbury Dukes with “Little Girl So Fine” and can we talk about the background singers. Jessica Wagner, Sara Devine and Tania Jones all in red and singing and engaging with the audience.

 

The entire band was incredible. Little Steven touched on a few topics including the importance of all the girl groups and the music they released including groups like, The Shangri-las, (“Leader of the Pack”) The Cookies, The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, The Ronettes, The Blossoms and more. The focus was on summer. Each song he delivered more and more feeling, love and passion. You could feel every note and word he sang. He reminded people that sometimes you need to remember something else. Music makes people react differently.

Singing “Gravity,” “I Am a Patriot,” he reminded us that with so much talk of politics he wouldn’t do too much talking about it but he did remind people that we are here, we are together and we should stick together. Anthony Almonte who was on percussion was just phenomenal. This man can PLAY! He was exciting and he had the crowd going. If someone said, they would just sell tickets to see Anthony Almonte play then we have a show.

Stevie Van Zandt only briefly mentioned his role on the show, “The Sopranos.” He doesn’t really even need to because he is one of the greatest musicians of all-time. However, he briefly touched on “playing a gangster on TV.” Stevie Van Zandt portrayed Silvio Dante on “The Sopranos” in only the way he could. I don’t think I have ever been to a show where the crowd didn’t want to go to back to sitting or they didn’t want to leave.

If summer, the season was a person, I believe summer’s soundtrack would be, “Summer of Sorcery.” He has a way to create and make music that everybody just loves. It is fun, loving, happy music that you can dance and sing along with. It is psychedelic and vibrant. If music needed more description, Little Stevie could capture it like an artist painting details with his lyrics. This is a concert that you MUST GO SEE. If you have never have seen him perform live, go to that PARTY! The beauty of the band, the background singers and Little Steven is so enthralling.

He spoke of the importance of teachers and they performed “Education.” (https://teachrock.org/ ) He thanked the teachers, he thanked the crowd and you could tell his genuine happiness and the love he has for music and those amazing people on stage with him.

As he sings, “I want to be in love again,” I felt that, the whole crowd felt that. EASTON, PA FELT THAT! He kicked off summer. If anyone could do that, LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL brought all the soul and captivated a sold-out crowd. Performing “Bitter Fruit,” “Soul Power Twist,” “Summer of Sorcery,” “Sun City” and “Out of the Darkness.” Little Steven brought music, a little bit… or a lot of Jersey to PA and so much soul. If Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul roll into town, go see the show. It is everything with a lot of heart and even more soul.

 

https://www.littlesteven.com/

 

https://statetheatre.org/

 

LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL

Stevie Van Zandt – Guitar, vocals

Marc Ribler- Music Director, Guitar, Slide Guitar

Rich Mercurio – Drums

Jack Daley – Bass

Andy Burton – B3 Organ, Accordion, Synthesizers

Lowell “Banana” Levinger – Piano, Mandolin, Esraj

Eddie Manion –Horn Director, Baritone Sax

Stan Harrison – Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Flute, Oboe

Clark Gayton- Trombone

Ravi Best – Trumpet

Ron Tooley – Trumpet

Anthony Almonte – Percussion

Jessica Wagner –Backing Vocals

Sara Devine- Backing Vocals

Tania Jones- Backing Vocals

 

 

 

littlesteven.com

Steven Van Zandt is a member of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and is recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost authorities on both Contemporary and Traditional Rock and Roll. After helping create the “Jersey Shore” sound with the Asbury Jukes he became a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and went on to become a successful solo artist in his own right recording and performing solo with his band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul. In 2017 he released his first new album in over 15 years returning to his Rhythm and Blues roots entitled “Soulfire” which Rolling Stone named one of its “Best Albums of 2017.” He has recently released “Soulfire LIVE!” a 3 disc CD box set with a 7 Vinyl box set and 2 disc Blu-Ray to be released this February, recorded live during the “Soulfire Tour,” his first solo tour in over 20 years.”

https://statetheatre.org/events/little-steven-the-disciples-of-soul