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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsGeorge Ezra marked his final stop of his tour in Tempe before returning to his homeland of England. This was a concert that had to be postponed from an earlier date this year and the fans were packed in the venue eager to see and hear Ezra in person. They faithful would certainly not be disappointed.
Before Ezra's appearance singer/songwriter, Dylan Leblanc, entertained the crowd with a 45-minute set that was well worth the wait. 25-year old LeBlanc is not a stranger to opening for some of the biggest names in music including Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Drive By Truckers and Alabama Shakes. He cut his teeth on watching performers at the record studios where his father worked in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. LeBlanc played guitar and sang with a cellist and violinist as back up. This unique set was a great example of his singing and well-crafted songwriting. Dylan is presently working on a new album soon to be released.
George Ezra hit the stage running with an exuberance that matched the screaming fans in the venue. He was sporting a white Dylan LeBlanc tee-shirt supporting solidarity for his opening act. One of the first striking things one notices on first appearance is how very young George was compared to his voice and his 'old soul' lyrics.
One would have to be a cave dweller not to have heard Ezra's monster hit, "Budapest." However, not only did the crowd know the words to that, but they also were singing along with every song from his recent album release, "Wanted On Voyage." The many of the song lyrics were inspired by a trip he made through Europe. The set contained two well chosen cover songs. Macy Gray's "I Try" and Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" seemed to be written for Ezra.
The ages of the crowd were mostly young, but he had a hefty group of older people present as well. Ezra's music obviously holds a universal appeal.
This was George's party from start to finish and he was loving every minute of the soiree. Ezra was very comfortable in front of this crowd and in this intimate setting and appeared to be taking his huge success in easy stride. The encore was split between George solo and George with the band. The only negative was that his set was far too short.
1. Cassy O'
2. Stand By Your Gun
3. Listen to the Man
4. Benjamin Twine
5. Song 6
6. Girl From the North Country (Bob Dylan cover)
7. Leaving It Up to You
8. Blame It On Me
9. Spectacular Rival
10. I Try (Macy Gray cover)
13. Blind Man in Amsterdam
14. Did You Hear the Rain?
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