Concert Photos & Review: John Fullbright @ The Altamont Theatre (Asheville, NC)

Concert: John Fullbright

Date: August 3, 2012

Venue: The Altamont Theatre – Asheville, NC

It’s not unusual for me to attend the concert of a young and emerging artist and leave the venue in amazement, saying to myself or to my partner, Beth, “Wow.  What a talent.  And so young.”  Yes, once again, these were my words as we departed the Altamont Theatre on Friday night.  But, what was different this time was that my words were supplemented with, “We just witnessed a future legend.”

A future legend.  John Fullbright.

John Fullbright - The Altamont Theatre, Asheville, NCAnd, I mean that.  Remember this name, because this “kid” is on his way to fame and fortune.  I don’t know how old Fullbright is, and there is limited information about him on his website or on the internet, but I’d say he was in his young 20s.  However, he is well beyond his years when it comes to his songwriting talent and musicianship, not to mention his stage presence, including his sense of humor.  Lyrics.  Story-telling.  Vocals.  Finger-picking guitar.  Piano.  Harmonica.  He’s got the whole package and he knows how to weave it all together even while performing solo.

Given Fullbright’s newness on the scene (his debut CD, From the Ground Up was released in May 2012), I wasn’t expecting much of a crowd at the Altamont Theatre.  Heck, had I not heard “Satan and St. Paul” on WNCW about three weeks ago (with WNCW following up a few days later during my drive to the studio with “Moving”), I probably wouldn’t have been in the audience myself.  But, it only took those two songs, and hearing each only once, to compel me to download his CD.  To my pleasant surprise, Fullbright had a respectable Altamont attendance, and those who were there were as appreciative as any crowd you’ll see. What Fullbright lacks in years, he made up for in maturity, humor and, of course, in raw talent.

I expected Fullbright’s impressively soulful vocals to be supported by some quality finger-picking guitar work (as can be seen on this popular YouTube video of Satan and St. Paul), but what caught me off-guard was Fullbright’s prowess on the piano.  About half of the first set was spent on the black-and-whites (with some harmonica thrown in), with the front end of the second set and the two encores returning to the keys.  The stand-out tune was Fat Man (from From the Ground Up), though he threw in a lullaby or two to woo the kids in the audience (which there were none!).

This was truly a special night at the Altmont Theatre in Asheville — one that will go down in the history books.  Unfortunately for Ashevillians, I wouldn’t expect to see this young Oklahoman in such an intimate venue when he returns.  hose who made it out to Fullbright’s Asheville debut know that they experienced something special.  In fact, they witnessed a future legend.


CLICK HERE for link to the Flickr photo slideshow

John Fullbright - Altamont Theatre, Asheville, NC

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