Vintage Trouble at The Castle Theater in Bloomington, IL 10/17/2017

Written By: Michael Deinlein

Vintage Trouble turns The Castle Theater into a soul and love filled dance party on the first stop of their headline tour with Desi Valentine.


Los Angeles based Vintage Trouble come to the Castle Theater while in the midst of providing support for Trombone Shorty on his current tour and kicking off their own headline tour. This tour introduces US audiences to the recent addition of Brian London on keyboards, enabling them to expand their sound and provide another strong vocal presence to support frontman Ty Taylor. 


From the first note of the first song, Vintage Trouble has the crowd bouncing and engaged. Playing songs from their first 2 albums, fans know the words and when to get their hands in the air. The opening song, “Total Strangers”, is a sexy high energy number that sets the tone for the night. Ty Taylor is in perpetual motion throughout the night, working every inch of the stage, at one moment standing on drummer Richard Danielson’s stool, minutes later doing a handstand on the drum riser. Ty is the ultimate front man, providing easy natural banter that is both amusing and at times empowering.


Vintage Trouble and their music strive to be a positive influence, if only for the next 90 minutes and Taylor speaks several times about our responsibility to do something to make the world a better place. “Not Alright By Me”, from their debut effort The Bomb Shelter Sessions, speaks directly to the issue of social injustice and our individual role in speaking out against the wrong in the world. When they perform this song, it is from the heart and people can be seen clasping hands and moving together to the music. When Nalle Colt plays the first few notes of Vintage Trouble classic “Run Like the River”, the crowd ignites. Here, Colt is at his very best with some of the bluesiest and inspired playing of the night. It is a full audience participation vehicle, with everyone clapping and singing “Run, Baby Run!” on cue. Ty Taylor is out in the audience, standing on railings, up in the balcony and the crowd loves every minute. It is always a high point of their show. 


Along with familiar fan favorites such as “Strike Your Light,” “Blues Hand Me Down” and “Pelvis Pusher”, this crowd is treated to a trio of newly recorded songs. “Love Song to the World” is upbeat and uplifting with people singing along in short order. “Crystal Clarity” begins with a sensual groove from Richard Danielson on drums and Rick Barrio Dill’s bass, with Ty Taylor’s vocals making this a soulful tune that makes you want to pull your partner close and sway to the music. The final song of the night is their recently released single, “Knock Me Out”, with its fast-paced tempo and a rocking backbone. As the band take their final bows and jump off the stage to exit through the crowd, one Troublemaker, as their fans are called, describes this night as “a soul and love filled dance party.”  It is definitely that, and then some. 


Beginning the night, UK transplant Desi Valentine treats the crowd to a string of songs that sound like something you might hear on an old jukebox or on a top 40 radio station. He steps on the stage with what can only be described as a presence, a sharp dressed man with a 24 carat smile and a voice that is smooth like Leon Bridges but with a quality reminiscent of Amy Winehouse somehow. His set includes his most recent single, “My Worst Enemy” as well as “Fate Don’t Know You”, a tune that was featured in the season finale of the television series Suits. With a new EP due out in early 2018, keep a look out for Desi Valentine. 

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