There’s not a lot more that needs to be said about Kiwanuka that I didn’t say already here. He played the Troubadour last week to a packed house, maybe the most crowded I’ve ever seen it — definitely a long time. There’s a difference between a sold out show and a sold out show where everyone shows up. Even the VIP section was overflowing.
We found a spot to stand in the balcony, in an aisle and on the stairs. Kiwanuka’s set was everything that I was expecting and more. It was a soulful performance that elevated his one-man-and-his-guitar roots by pairing him with a 5-man backing band. The sound was immersive. At times, they diverged into jam band performances, letting solos breathe and taking instrumentals further than a producer would allow on a record. I’d definitely look forward to seeing him again after he releases another album, because the variation in songs would help round out his 90-min set a little more.
He played a fantastic, fantastic cover of “May This Be Love (Waterfall)” by Jimi Hendrix, which he credits with being his inspiration for picking up a guitar and pursing music as a job, dream and life. He did it justice.
5 Word Review of Michael Kiwanuka Live @ Troubadour:
Soulful Hendrix Proves Further Potential.
I’m not a huge fan of my wording there, but hey — I only get 5 words. And I can’t wait to see what Kiwanuka does next.
“May This Be Love (Waterfall)” Cover (Note: This is a more stripped-down version of what he plays with the band):