A setlist from any of The Essentials recent live performances explains what the band is all about: legendary music.
Covering the likes of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Prince, while also tossing in some originals, The Essentials should produce a horn-heavy, soulful show at The Annex on Saturday night. The Essentials are a 10-piece mixing bowl of talented musicians that infuses tight percussions, saxophones, keyboards, bass, guitars, trumpets, trombones and soothing vocals to form a throwback sound with a modern feel.
The band, comprised mainly of current and former University of Oregon students, was formed three years ago and has since captivated audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The band's 2007 debut album features a total of 19 musicians, including Dana Heitman of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
The heart of an Essentials live show comes from covers of the funk era, such as "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, or "Simple Song" from Sly and The Family Stone. The Essentials typically taylor a live show to the vibes of the audience, so there's no telling what might come out from their varied collection of songs.
10pm Saturday, March 8.
The Annex. 51 Greenwood Ave., 388-1106.
Tickets available at the door.