Better Than Ezra @ Variety Playhouse 5-5-14

Better Than Ezra returned to Atlanta April 30, playing to a packed crowd at the Variety Playhouse with support from Jon McLaughlin. The New Orleans natives have now been making music together for more than 25 years and are set to release an 8th studio album this summer. Better Than Ezra is well known for its fun, high energy live performances and the band did not disappoint with this set, with tracks ranging from the 1993 debut Deluxe to the stellar new songs.
“King of New Orleans” from 1996’s Friction, Baby got the night started off right, with front man Kevin Griffin being his enigmatic self on stage, playing up the crowd as the band continued with “A Southern Thing” from 2005’s Before the Robots and “A Lifetime” from 2001’s Closer. New song “Gonna Get Better” was well received while fan favorite “Extraordinary” had the entire venue singing along. Current single “Crazy Lucky,” a quintessential Better Than Ezra song with its catchy hook and fun lyrics, kept the crowd moving and afterward, Griffin joked that they wanted to play their current single back to back with their first ever single, before launching into “Good” from Deluxe.
Griffin was a natural performer throughout the lengthy set, remaining invested in the audience while cracking up and having fun on stage with his band mates, drummer Michael Jerome and bassist Tom Drummond. No Better Than Ezra show would be complete without a breakdown, which the band chose to do during “Desperately Wanting,” playing teases of “Diamonds” by Nathan and “The Spirit of Radio” by Rush before finishing the song. Griffin then joked with the audience that they wanted to “rehearse a song for you guys” before launching into a cover of “The Boys are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy to close out the set, but not before drummer Michael Jerome was challenged by Griffin to rock an epic cowbell solo.
Kevin Griffin returned to the stage to play a gorgeous acoustic version of “Porcelain” before the rest of the band came back out for “In the Blood” to end the night.
© 2014 Hues Images
Originally published for Target Audience Magazine
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