Long after The Who but well before Oasis, Paul Weller was leading The Jam through the mod revival in the late ‘70s, only to completely change lanes in the ‘80s towards the jazzy, blue-eyed soul of The Style Council. And then of course there’s his solo career, which from the ‘90s through now is one of the most prolific and consistently engaging, yielding practical royal status in British culture.
“Start!” also helped scratch The Jam itch, and while there were several others from any incarnation that could’ve been selected, Paul Weller never once disappointed with an emphasis on maximum energy and quality.
Though never massive in America, those familiar with Weller are typically dedicated fans, which meant those who filled up Chicago’s House Of Blues didn’t only come for the oldies, but have likely kept score right up through the heartfelt retro rocker “A Kind Revolution.” Though “The Modfather” did look back a little bit throughout a marathon set that moved well into the wee hours of the morning, he was committed to more recent explorations, though thankfully for those gathered, they were just as memorable as anything in his treasured catalogue.
“White Sky” started the show illuminated by a sea of strobe-like flashbulbs with the 59-year-old’s soulful delivery in marvelous shape and his four-piece band stomping with insistence. The guitars really heated up during “Long Time,” followed by a chance for the double percussionists to add some extra bounce into The Style Council’s already delectable “My Ever Changing Moods.”
The title of that retro cut seemed to match Weller’s musical demeanor as he wound around several more blazing individual offerings (mostly on electric guitar), such as the snarling “From The Floorboards Up,” the bubbly “Woo Se Mama,” the brisk and bluesy “Into Tomorrow” or the softer-spoken “You Do Something To Me” (on keyboard) ensuring no two set lists are ever duplicated. He did return to that mid-career band a few more times for “Have You Ever Had It Blue” and “Shout To The Top,” but kept them lively and limber without settling into nostalgia.
“Start!” also helped scratch The Jam itch, and while there were several others from any incarnation that could’ve been selected, Weller never once disappointed with an emphasis on maximum energy and quality. Along with his insatiable hunger to keep creating at a level well beyond his peers, perhaps that’s precisely why those in the know keep coming back for more.
For additional information on Paul Weller, visit PaulWeller.com.
For a list of upcoming shows at House Of Blues, visit HouseOfBlues.com/Chicago.