June 17, 2007
Xavier Rudd’s appearance at Covington, Kentucky’s Madison Theater on June 17 coincided with several performances, including stops at Bonnaroo and the WNKU radio station that covered the release of his album, White Moth. Rudd’s jaw dropping concerts are quickly becoming the stuff of legend, and he did not disappoint at the Madison, concentrating heavily on his new release while still touching on his earlier material.
Diving headfirst into Moth, Rudd sat onstage, incorporating the aboriginal landscape the disc inhabits as he blew into the didgeridoo, conjuring the ancestors of Australia. Playing both that instrument, an electric guitar and drums often at the same time, Rudd became a one man show, wailing along to the lyrics of "Fortune Teller" from 2005’s groundbreaking yet underrated Food in the Belly.
Focusing on the environmentally omnipresent "The Mother," Rudd’s reggae backbeat and chanting encouraged the floor denizens to dance haphazardly about and shout back towards the stage. The toe tapping "Messages" contained layers of rich instrumentation and appropriate depth of lyrics hidden in it’s saccharine sweet melodies. "Pockets of Peace" returned Rudd to his native land and transported the listener, turning the art deco hall into a fluid flush of colors and reverberating beats.
As the evening drew to a close, Xavier broke out a stunning cover of Bob Marley’s "No Woman No Cry" from his album Solace. A rapturous standing ovation brought him back to the stage to encore with the sing-a-long "Energy Song," and sent the Madison’s concertgoers out into the late night warmth, full of Rudd’s positive vibes and mesmerizing coastal Australian rhythms.