Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 16/4/2019

Hot Damn! Was this a show or was this a show! Brilliant is the only way to describe and when you’re this good who needs a support band. Steven Van Zandt’s resume is packed full of achievements as a musician, songwriter, producer, actor and activist brought his band Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul to Adelaide to play the iconic Thebarton Theatre. When word well and truly gets out that this show was on there is no doubt that some people will be kicking themselves.

The fifteen piece band are dynamite and are some of the best going around and that’s not even including the mighty Steven Van Zandt. No support, kicking things off smack bang on eight o’clock giving fans some plenty of “spiritual nourishment” for the next two and a half hours. They open with Sweet Soul Music, Soulfire followed by Lyin’ In A Bed Of Fire. Van Zandt opening remarks were “Adelaide, how are you baby?” going on to say that this is the final leg of their world tour and it’s about celebrating teachers who are underappreciated and underpaid and keeping up the fight to keep arts in the system teaching kids how to think not what to think. There was also a promise that tonight would be a sanctuary from the 24/7 business politics where the universal language is bullshit.

The set list was an awesome snap shot of Van Zandt’s stellar career. The Etta James cover The Blues Is My Business was top shelf as was the Southside Johnny & The Asbury Dukes cover Love On The Wrong Side Of Town. The stories were great particularly the about Until The Good Is Gone which was written with Bruce Springsteen. “Adelaide you’ve got soul, outside of these four walls the world has gone fucking crazy” Van Zandt remarked promising the crowd they would get their fill of spiritual nourishment. The good times continued with Angel Eyes and Under The Gun.

There was never a dull moment and it was hard not to be in awe of this band and Steven Van Zandt. A nod and wink to the greatness of all the amazing artists coming out of Detroit and the James Brown cover of Down and Out in New York City was unreal. The preview of two new songs Love Again and Superfly Terraplane would of no doubt got fans a little excited about the new album out next month. The main set finished on Bitter Fruit and Forever.

The band didn’t really leave the stage but continued on after some introductions playing a song “you might know” pulling out a Jimmy Barnes classic Ride The Night Away. Woah! Sun City inspired by the Artists United Against Apartheid was fab at which point Van Zandt said “together we will find our way out of the darkness” playing Bruce Springsteen’s Out Of The Darkness which brought the house down. What a night! It was definitely one of those shows not to have missed.

Live Review By Rob Lyon