Little Feat, Indian Ranch, Webster, MA – 7/29
The outdoor summer concert circuit brought Little Feat to a venue it has never played in its 42-year history. In the southern Massachusetts hamlet of Webster sits Indian Ranch, a 2,200-seat shed, a literal stone’s throw from a lake, nestled in a campground of mostly seasonal mobile homes. Friday nights are party nights and, despite the heavy mist that threatened rain, this was no exception.
Opening with a tight, snapping “Hate to Lose Your Lovin’” from 1988’s Let it Roll, the venerable sextet took early notice of the enthusiasm emanating from the audience. “Down on the Farm” followed and seemed a nod to the rustic setting as well as a harbinger for what would be a funk and rock set interrupted only by an acoustic sojourn bookended by “Truck Stop Girl” and “New Delhi Freight Train,” both featuring beautiful four-part vocal harmony.
Missing from the two hours of music was the jazz fusion of the middle Feat albums, the band instead opting for heavier jams, though guitarist Fred Tackett did introduce the extended “Dixie Chicken” with a seductive, dancing trumpet. Ultimately, the “Let it Roll” closer with yet another impressive guitar solo from master Paul Barrere had them dancing in the aisles. What is most satisfying about Little Feat is its ability to balance the demands of an aging audience with its own inclination for vibrancy and variety. An enduring act that respects its history, Little Feat is at its best when it simply grips it and rips it. Tonight was one of those nights.
Hate To Lose Your Lovin’, Down On The Farm > Candyman, Cat Fever, One Breath At A Time, Spanish Moon, In A Town Like This, Truck Stop Girl, Willin’ > Don’t Bogart That Joint > Willin’, New Delhi Freight Train, Dixie Chicken > Bass Solo > Key/Drum Jam > Dixie Chicken, Fat Man In The Bathtub > Abba Zabba > Fat Man In The Bathtub, E: Let It Roll