JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

May 2, 2017
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Terry Walsh

The London Souls

New York Duo Flame The HOB

It's never easy being the opening act. The goal isn't just firing up the crowd; it's to leave a lasting impression, and steadily grow your fan base. When opening for a band as extraordinary as the Rival Sons, that task is damn near impossible. New York duo The London Souls were chosen as the Sons' opening act for a reason, as they proved on their first night on the Teatro Fiasco Touré at the House of Blues in Dallas. Rival Sons fans love and appreciate true musicianship, and with their unique blend of pop hooks, soulful melodies, and old-school rock n' roll power, The London Souls fit the bill perfectly.

Supporting their latest record Here Come the Girls, Tash Neal (guitar/vocals) and Chris St. Hilaire (drums, vocals) have been touring non-stop, and it shows in their on-stage chemistry. They played off of each other effortlessly, and while they harmonized beautifully, it seemed to work the best when they traded off vocals. When Tash delivered a lyric in his cool, raspy voice, Chris responded with a smooth, soulful verse of his own while never missing a beat. In addition to the stellar singing, these guys are kick-ass musicians. Tash's guitar licks and solos hypnotized and adrenalized the crowd, especially during the sexy "Steady," and I watched people all around me singing along even though many were hearing the song for the first time. Chris was constantly crushing his drums with his hybrid style of jazz, funk, and rock. He kept the hips swaying and the fists pumping as he led into the highly energetic "The River," and made it look like he wasn't even trying.

The London Souls are one of those great bands that get ignored by radio because they're too original and can't be lumped into any generic category. This is music that will appeal to fans of rock, soul, funk, and even singer-songwriter types. It's incredible to watch two guys play this music when it sounds like a five-piece band. If you find out they're coming to your town, do not miss them, and support hard-working, lesser-known bands like this by buying up their merchandise. That's how they survive these days!