When Marc Ford took the stage at Birdy's he apologized to the crowd for a lack of preparation. “We’d be much more prepared if we hadn’t had the weirdest day of our lives. Friends died, vans broke down and the weather was ….. just incredible. But we’re here and we’re doin’ it.” The modest Tuesday night crowd left agreeing that Ford and the boys were definitely doin' it — and they did it well.
Marc Ford is best known as the former lead guitarist for The Black Crowes and as a member of The Innocent Criminals, but he is an accomplished solo artist in his own right. Touring in support of his new album Holy Ghost, Ford has recreated himself. Bouncing from blues rock virtuoso to Americana singer-songwriter, Tuesday’s concert showcased both sides in equal measure. Starting off the show with laidback renditions of his new folk/rock sound that makes up Holy Ghost, Ford’s musical sermon of hope and family — his son Elijah is a key member of the band and one of the opening acts — drew the audience in and made clear that this is a confident and more mature musician. After playing several tracks from the new album, Ford broke out the ax and reminded the crowd that, while his sound has matured, he is still a blues rock behemoth. During early career deep cut performances, Ford and the band went on long exquisite jams that showcased what an amazing and deft guitar player he is.
The opening act was The Steepwater Band, a quartet from Chicago that started the night off with a bang thanks to their high-energy southern classic rock sound. Showcasing Jeff Massey on guitar and vocals, The Steepwater Band was a lively and spirited appetizer for the evening.
In between Steepwater and the main act: Elijah Ford and The Bloom. Elijah Ford, himself an aspiring lead man and guitar ace, started off his set with two slow solo acoustic songs that killed all the energy that The Steepwater Band had worked so hard to build up. When the rest of the band joined him on stage, regaining that momentum was a hard fight. But with the help of his pink Strat and some serious lead guitar solos of his own, the ship was righted.