Sometimes the build up to see an artist live for the first time ends in disappointment. This however was most certainly not the case when Sam Riggs and his band, The Night People, performed a set at the Midnight Rodeo in Austin this past Friday. Sam and his band of four delivered on all counts and then some. Performing with the intensity and vitality similar to an Eric Church show (complete with leg kick and occasional chest thump), Riggs has a stage presence that you can't not watch. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist who embraces the idea of putting on a show with accoutrements (strobe lights, smoke machine and throwing beads for Mardi Gras) that while fun, never detract from the main draw.....the music.
Whether skillfully playing fiddle, guitar, banjo or a drum solo (You Tube that), he balances professionalism with fun and the joy he had being on that stage was evident throughout the set. The setlist included, among others, soon to be radio single "Long Shot," "Collide," "Angola's Lament," and "Six Feet in the Ground." In addition, he played songs from the new album, which garnered incredibly positive feedback from the crowd.
There is no question Riggs loves what he does. He has incredible energy and kept the audience engaged during the performance with fan interaction, telling stories about the songs and making humorous comments. The crowd was somewhere in the low hundreds, but his motto of "5 or 5000" certainly held true. It was a show worthy of a much larger venue and crowd, which undoubtedly Riggs will be playing sooner than later....so enjoy the small settings while you still can.
For tour dates and more information visit his official website