Eric Gales Stirs Emotions At 5 Points Music Sanctuary
Having seen Eric Gales countless times on social media (usually shredding the guitar to “Voodoo Child,” the Jimi Hendrix Classic) when I saw he was playing at my favorite venue Five Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke, Virginia, I had to make the trek back down to the Church Of Music. I didn’t know what to expect from the show but I knew that there was going to be a lot of guitar prowess onstage and that was perfect for me.
Mark Nicholson and The Distance opened up the show and I was impressed by the vocals from Mark and his blues-guitar work. His voice reminding me of Robert Plant crossed with Peter Green. The Distance was the perfect band to open up for Eric Gales. Tyler Godsey, did a great job orchestrating this event for 5 Points. I see Mark Nicholson and The Distance, as one of the best local acts I have come across. They could easily take it to the next level and tour; gaining followers who like Marks vocal styles and bluesy guitar tones. Mark, if you ever need another member, I am here! It felt great to get back to 5 Points, which has been growing exponentially and almost looks like a new venue from the inside. If you haven’t seen a show in this venue, I implore you to make the trip down to Roanoke just to see this Church Of Music.
Eric Gales came onto the stage with so much excitement; the crowd was bristling with energy. I was pumped to see what would happen when he was actually playing music. Addressing the crowd and telling his story: reliving hard times, addiction and the sacrifice of music, Eric made everyone feel at home. This is where the shreds began to happen and between the limited vocals and instrumental parts, there were long solo segments that showcased Eric Gales unique left-handed guitar style. It’s hard to describe Eric’s guitar playing, it’s somewhere between Eric Johnson and Jimi Hendrix: raw and visceral, while still being light and twangy. In the video below you can witness the sheer energy and adrenaline that is rushing through Eric Gales as he plays like his life depends on it. Mr. Gales is no slouch on the vocals either. His voice is as juxtaposed as his guitar work; rough and scratchy while still being light and soulful. Eric Gales is one of a kind and there is no getting around that. While Eric Gales is technically skillful on his guitar, his true talent lies in his energetic and infectious energy. I have rarely seen guitar players play with such vigor and excitement on stage. He would even shed a few tears during the show, recollecting his past experiences. I will see Eric Gales again and while he only played about five songs, I think I have a great grasp of what Eric Gales can do on the guitar. The video that I shared on Twitter received over 3000 views in under a week. Thanks to Eric Gales and 5 Points Music Sanctuary for making this a great valentines experience happen.
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.