Photos and Review by Chandler Mays
It’s a strange, yet very satisfying feeling that occurs when you show up to a sold out show for a band you’ve never heard of. I do pride myself on having a fairly eclectic knowledge of modern music, but as it turns out, I was blissfully ignorant of the special occasion that was to occur on Saturday as I stepped into Smith’s Olde Bar for the Soup concert. The drinks were flowing and a steady stream of people were spilling into the venue as the opener, Jessica Cayne, took the stage. Jessica sounds like what would happen if Christina Aguilera abandoned dance-pop, learned to play a guitar, and started writing acoustic rock songs. She has a strong soulful voice and really works her vocal range within a song, all the while strumming out groovy chord progressions on her acoustic guitar. With lyrics such as, “He got moves that make me wanna rip my clothes off,” Jessica indulges the the raw sexuality of rock ‘n’ roll and has a no-nonsense attitude that is always prevalent in strong southern women. Her sexy performance was the perfect starter to rouse the crowd’s appetite for the main course: Soup.
The first thing I noticed before the band hit the stage was the crowd’s diversity. With patrons ranging anywhere from twenties to sixties, I haven’t witnessed such a varied age range at a concert since the last time I saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Soup is an Atlanta based jam-band that formed in the mid-nineties. They had a successful run, building a devoted following, until they decided to call it quits in October of 2002. However, over the next five years, their fans were quite persistent in requesting another performance, and sure enough they performed a reunion show at Smith’s in September of 2007. The response was so overwhelming that Soup has continued to sporadically play reunion shows since then, and judging by the audience reaction on Saturday, they still don’t disappoint.
A live Soup show is, for a lack of a more eloquent word, downright fun. The band really knows how to work a crowd, and due to knowing each other for so long, their precision is perfect. Their song lyrics have an offbeat sense of humor that remind me of Barenaked Ladies, Primus, or They Might Be Giants. They jam hard like DMB or Widespread, and they sing beautiful harmonies like the Grateful Dead. The whole time, as is with the best jam bands, they were having a blast on stage, and that energy transfered straight to the audience, who in turn sent it right back. Did I mention they have an accordion player? Indeed, Andrew Margolius wowed the crowd with his versatility as he displayed his highly adept accordion skills. He also played keyboards and the harmonica on occasion. All the other band members were also very accomplished, creating an infectious sound that constantly inspired me to dance a jig instead of take photos like I was supposed to be doing. I had a rollicking good time at the Soup show and definitely intend to catch their next reunion show. Let’s all hope that date is sooner than later.
Full Gallery after the jump…