Columbus, OH, LC Pavilion, February 18, 2007

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

One would be very hard pressed to find an artist that devotes themselves as much to their craft as Garrett Duttin, a.k.a. G. Love. Fronting the band Special Sauce, G. Love has carved out a career path that has led to a legion of fans without relying on outside marketing to bring the few thousand devotees to the LC Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio.

 

It was 1994 that saw these street musicians pull together and release their first record, and it has been a steady climb in terms of success and creativity ever since. 1994 saw the hits Cold Beverages and Shooting Hoops help break the band on the college scene, and over a decade later, those same fans as well as a new crop of college-aged fans keep coming on board.

 

Supporting the newest release, Lemonade, G. Love and Special Sauce took the stage at 10:15 and from the moment G. Love sat in his chair and strummed his glittery, baby blue guitar, the sing-along began for over 80 minutes.

 

For several years, G. Love has been releasing his records on Jack Johnson's label, Brushfire Records, but it was actually G. Love that helped bring Johnson to his fame after they met in 1999 while surfing. Since then, G. Love has been active helping artists create careers, including former girlfriend Rosey and most current, Tristan Prettyman. However, even while working heard with other acts, G. Love has never strayed from his own music, and Lemonade proves that G. Love is always looking to progress his sounds. The second single from the record, Beautiful, a duet with Prettyman, proves that G. Love has taken yet another trail in his musical discovery as Lemonade strays a bit from his Hip-Hop Blues style and relies more on those around him to help him drive his sound.

 

On stage, G. Love finds himself at home and performs as comfortably as if he was playing by himself in a hotel room. Donned in a derby-style hat and slick suit-and-tie ensemble, G. Love melded with the crowd as soon as his voice echoed throughout the hall.

 

Performing on a Sunday night is usually a daunting task, but with many of the fans coming straight from the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game, the enthusiasm and excitement spilled into the club to make for an upbeat, joyful show that even seemed to surprise G. Love somewhat.

 

When Blackbird was strummed, it was easy to tell the die-hard fans as the eyes popped a bit wider since that is not a song usually associated in a G. Love set, unlike when Basketball was ripped out as the fourth song of the night, and really got the crowd ready for the next hour.

 

G. Love brought it to Columbus, and the fans gave it back just as fluid. When G. Love comes to town, much is expected and it was all received with great enjoyment and enthusiasm. Too often, audiences go to a live concert with other agendas besides having a good time and enjoying the music. But when the performer is as into the music as G. Love, it resonates and fills the audience with the same tenderness and brings the fans closer together, allowing those in attendance to enjoy the show with a togetherness and affection not often witnessed at a live show.

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