Review: Patrick Stump gets soulful at the Orpheum in Ybor City
The crowd at the Orpheum on Sunday was mediocre at best. I’ve seen more people at my keg parties. But the people that were in attendance were 100 percent into The Stump.
I’ve heard people compare Patrick Stump to Michael Jackson, and I just didn’t think that was possible. From Stump’s Fall Out Boy history, I knew he had a good voice, and overall was very talented. I was really wondering where these comparisons were coming from, though.
It took one live show to learn firsthand why these comparisons were brewing.
At this point I can see the comparison in the music, but Jackson and Stump both have something the other doesn’t. Patrick plays instruments live — cornet, trumpet, drums, guitar and piano during Sunday’s show. And while Jackson’s dance moves blow Stump’s out the water, Jackson just didn’t have the same talent of playing music as Stump. And Patrick does have dance moves, enough to keep his audience entertained. Plus, you can only have so many dance moves with a Gretsch guitar strapped to your back, which he did most of the night.
Stump’s music was very reminiscent of '80s pop, but also had his punk and rock influences squeezing out of the edges. Even his image was a mixed bag of punk and pop. Mike Score of Flock of Seagulls would have been proud of Stump’s look for this show.
Stump writes all of his own music, and it shows. The drumming was powerful, and many times had explosions that reminded me of punk bands. His guitar riffs were flowing with rock, but changed without notice to an R&B slow strum, with Stump’s voice matching that R&B feeling.
After a few energetic songs, he covered Me and Mrs. Jones on the piano, again showing his fans his flexible musical talents. This guy is just all over the place. He grabbed his guitar or the next song and soon after was on the trumpet again. He traded licks with his lead guitarist and always seemed to be enjoying himself as a performer.
After a long set, Stump thanked the exhausted crowd for their support and ended the night. After hearing him live, I was surprised by the small turnout, but I’m sure if he keeps up this routine, success in his solo career is near.
Stump’s opening acts appeared to be time fillers, and while they were mildly entertaining, I have seen local acts play in Ybor City that were much more talented.
First up we had an MC that goes by Rockie Fresh.
The '80s MC name was begging me to put on my zipper pants and do the windmill. The best thing about Fresh was he had a real drummer, which was respectable. His rhymes just didn’t set him apart from the other 1,000 “MC” rappers I heard this year.
John West was next in this lineup. He could sing and play his acoustic guitar just fine, and his show reminded me of a mix of Pee Wee’s Playhouse meets Boy George.
He made nice with the crowd and laughed at his own jokes, but it seemed he was the only one that knew there was a joke somewhere in the room. His sidekick was sporting two Macbooks, and I guess that means they were serious about creating some sound. Again, the theme of the night was an acoustic drummer, this time around playing along with mixed beats. West’s music was fun and his voice was strong; it just seemed he wasn’t taking the night or the crowd seriously. Maybe he is just that joyful and carefree.
The night’s entertainment really got started with the young Wynter Gordon. This Diana Ross-style revival had the crowd's full attention. Her soul and pop exploded onstage and people were into it. She really knew how to work the crowd, and while scantily dressed, her appearance was just straight from the '70s. Tall shiny silver boots, a large afro, and a tube top screaming “Look at me!” Everyone did.
Her music was energetic and the applause and response was huge. My only complaint about Wynter was her fiddling too much with her ear monitor, and then apologizing to the crowd about the monitor not working. My thoughts on this: there was a time in music when people just sang to the live band without ear monitors. If you need the ear monitor to perform, and life stops without it, maybe practice without that technology, just in case it’s not around at some point. Venting complete ... I feel better now.
Overall this show was a great time. And while it took a while to get heated, once it did it didn’t slow down. I look forward to Patrick Stump’s October release of Soul Punk, which should not disappoint.
Check out Stump's performance of Me and Mrs. Jones below:
-- Review/photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*