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Most artists 35 years into their career have long since slipped into something more comfortable, like complacency. Not so for Paul Weller, as his latest, Sonik Kicks, proves he continues to push his own musical envelope.

The Style icon opened at the Greek (his only show in California this year) with his only real U.S. hit, “My Ever Changing Moods,” and then kept the crowd happy by dropping in “Start!,” “Strange Town,” and “Shout to the Top.” Weller then kept the crowd on their toes with a set largely made up of less obvious tracks. The goth-tinged “Around the Lake,” the (maybe) self-mocking “That Dangerous Age,” and parental ballad “Moon on Your Pajamas” were all well received.

The highlight of the night was the acoustic bones of “Foot of the Mountain,” beefed up to a bluesy, dueling guitar Jam(!) for him and wingman Steve Craddock. Weller switched comfortably to piano for more gentle moments, like “Broken Stones.”

Weller was riled when told that, because of the venue’s curfew, the band had to finish in 20 minutes, “We’ve still got 40 fucking songs to play” he quipped. Undeterred, they played on as long as possible, closing with a blistering “Changing Man” to rapturous applause.

Weller’s aged like fine wine. Good work for a 54-year-old mod-father of seven.

  • Concert: Paul Weller
  • Date: 19 October 2012
  • Venue: Greek Theatre
  • Seats: Stuck in the middle
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