Rocker, Actor and really just all-around versatile artist Lenny Kravitz was in Nashville on Thursday, playing to near sold-out crowd at Ascend Amphitheater.
In 1989, Kravitz burst on to the music scene with the release of his first album “Let Love Rule.” Thirty years later – it’s evident just by the crowd size alone on Thursday— that his music still has staying power.
What’s more mind-boggling is that Kravitz has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For some earthly reason, he has continually be a snub. Well here’s hoping that it comes soon, because it’s deserved and Thursday’s show was an indication of why.
Let’s be honest though, people remember the hits more so than any of the newer stuff. Kravitz has continually been releasing new music, including his latest album “Raise Vibration,” which came out in Sept. 2018. However, to a younger generation of audience, he’s more known for his acting career, being featured in The Hunger Games, amongst many other reviews.
So, it was genuinely a smart move to make Nashville’s two-hour show focus more on the classics, because ultimately, that’s what the fans wanted and it showed. Throughout Thursday night’s performance, the crowd was enthralled throughout the 19-song performance.
There were even a few surprises mixed into Kravitz’s set list. Following his famous cover of The Guess Who’s “American Woman,” Kravitz and his backing band kept the song going, mixing in a little reggae. From there, he performed a short little cover of Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up,” which was a welcome addition to an already groovy performance.
As expected, there were quite a bit of drawn out instrumentals on Thursday throughout Kravitz’s set. It was in those moment’s where the backing band got plenty of focus and rightfully so, as Kravitz has some of the best instrumentalists on set.
One of the unexpected highlights came from Harold Todd, who manned the saxophone. Following Kravitz’s performance of “It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over,” Todd took over, getting an extended solo. It was really well done and one that had the Nashville fans on their feet for a standing ovation.
Even more special, for Todd was the fact that it came on his birthday. Kravitz and the Nashville crowd sang Todd “Happy Birthday,” before the singer added a jokingly kiss on the top of Todd’s head.
That wasn’t the only appearance where Todd got to feature his skills. Following “Where Are We Runnin’?” the band headed into an extended version of the song. On a platform above the stage—where Kravitz initially started his night – Todd was featured, making for a fun solo as the rest of the band jammed around him.
Shortly after that performance, Kravitz and the rest of his band headed straight into “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” again adding some extended instrumentals to that song as well. The initial set concluded with “Love Revolution,” however Kravtiz did perform two more songs during an encore.
The singer was came back on to perform “Here to Love,” before ending the night with “Let Love Rule,” – which was fitting as it went with the ongoing theme that Kravitz had set previously in the. Call it hippy-dippy, but Kravitz has always delivered a message of peace, love and understanding and that was once again prevalent on Thursday night.
“We are so, so blessed to be here with you this evening,” Kravitz told the Nashville crowd early into his set. “Moreover we are blessed to have another day of life. I know we take it for granted sometimes, but life is so precious. It gives us another day to love and another day to grow.”
From the applause that Kravitz was awarded from that speech, it appears that the rest of the Nashville crowd got behind the singer’s sentiment. In the mix of people dancing there were several smiles flashed from the Nashville audience as those fans truly enjoyed Thursday night’s show.