Last night at the Palace Theatre, Gary Clark Jr. took the stage for the first of two nights with swagger and confidence. More polished than in previous local shows and with a tight groove, he played with ease and his classic relaxed style, extending into long guitar solos.
Clark let the songs gently segue together without any stage banter, just pausing long enough to switch guitars occasionally. His only comment from the stage during the first half of the show was a quick appreciation for the sound of the room. Clark’s long years on the road showed in his well-rehearsed set, even if some might have preferred a looser feel that pushed his peerless chops right to the brink.
Jackie Venson — of Austin, Texas — opened the show. Playing with two band members as a blues trio, she got the night started with some killer guitar licks. Her set bridged into some funky songs, including one she introduced as a song that she wrote for a department store — while it was rejected, she deservedly was paid anyway.
Gary Clark Jr.