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Samantha Fish Band takes advantage of a headliner’s trouble

Samantha Fish
Samantha Fish

Most tickets to outdoor concerts declare that the show will go on in spite of bad weather: rain or shine. Tuesday’s show at Crossroads KC went on despite another inclement factor: the extreme tardiness of the headliner’s singer.

However, a crowd of about 400 that stood in the venue’s soggy mulch for more than four hours on a crisp and dreary late-spring evening was treated to an unexpected showcase by the local opener, the Samantha Fish Band, which played a dynamic 90-minute set — twice as long as the headliner, Vintage Trouble.

Showtime was supposed to be 8 p.m., but when the DJ spinning soul and R&B tunes from the stage went on well past starting time, it was evident something was awry. If there was any official announcement explaining the delay, I didn’t hear it. However, Bill Fish, Samantha’s father, told me she’d be going on at 9 p.m. and playing an extended set because Ty Taylor, Vintage Trouble’s singer, had missed a flight and wouldn’t be landing in Kansas City until after 10:30 p.m.

Samantha Fish has been touring relentlessly the past few years, nationally and internationally. She and her band — drummer Go-Go Ray and bassist Scot Sutherland — kept the crowd entertained and aroused with a lively set of rock, roots and blues that included songs from her two full-length albums, “Runaway,” released in 2011, and “Black Wind Howlin’,” released in September. They filled the time with several covers, including a countrified version of the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers” and an incendiary rendition of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

Vintage Trouble took the stage a few minutes before 11:15 p.m. and, facing a midnight curfew (noise ordinance), the band tore into several songs, forgoing a formal hello or an apology for the tardiness. Taylor is a dynamic and kinetic lead singer who channels a few heroes and legends of vintage R&B and soul: James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke. His band is tight, raw and no-frills. A horn player or two would send its live sound over the top.

They opened with “Blues Hand Me Down,” the first song on “The Bomb Shelter Sessions,” their debut album, released in July 2011. Other songs on the abbreviated set list: “Low Down Dirty Dog,” “Total Strangers,” “Strike Your Light” and the closer, “Run Outta You.” The clock had already struck midnight before they finished that song, and the crowd was smaller than it was when the set started.

But, hey, the show went on, and here’s to the local opening band, which made it a show worth attending.

To reach Timothy Finn, call 816-234-4781 or send email to