Anders Osborne enchants crowd at Tipitina’s

Olivia Tanaka-Kekai, Contributing Reporter

Anders Osborne’s show at Tipitina’s on Oct. 7 reminded me of how much I missed live music. 

It’s been a while since in-person concerts were even a possibility. Over the course of the last 18 months, I think I’d forgotten just what we were all missing. It felt like my first foray back into live music since March 2020. I could feel the music in my bones again. 

In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. Though I was familiar with his music, Osborne isn’t an artist I had been all that exposed to. 

Upon entering Tipitina’s, it was immediately obvious that the average age of audience members was closer to 50, with few college-aged fans among the masses. In the moments where my attention wandered from Osborne and his band command the stage, I would glance back at the crowd of couples dancing and beaming up at each other. 

Perhaps the reason the crowd was so lively is tied to Osborne’s deep roots in New Orleans, even having recorded a live album at Tipitina’s in 1998. There was a palpable connection between the band and the audience that enhanced the experience. Most songs were accompanied by seamless transitions with little talking. Everything that needed to be said was said by the music. 

Musically speaking, the show was incredibly impressive. Osborne both sang and played lead guitar. As I listened, I don’t recall noticing the band come out of sync. Both Osborne and his guitarist were looping and distorting sound through pedals live, communicating just how much they and the audience experience their music through feeling. 

Even when a string broke in the middle of the song, there was a near-seamless transition to a new instrument while the guitar with a fleur-de-lis strap was restrung for the next song. I wouldn’t say that Osborne kept his cool but rather the opposite. The feeling of the set was electric with his passion for performance felt by the entire venue.