Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

Sunday, August 18, 2002 :::
Is there a more humbling experience than having to use a porta-potty at a summer concert?

Last night was the last show of the DCSessions concert series, starring Blues Traveler. After seeing the band 25 times, almost all of the involving traveling over 100 miles, it was a little odd to be able to jump on the Metro for 5 minutes and be at the show.

I arrived in time to catch Gibb Droll. This band is a throwback to the power trio rock/blues bands. Gibb is the lead singer and lead guitar player, backed a faceless rhythm section. He was everything wrong with G.E. Smith from the Saturday Night Live Band. The grimacing face during the guitar solos, convulsions during speedy runs on the fret board, the usual rock guitar player gimmicks. It wasn't that the band was bad, insomuch as you've seen this act at every biker bar on a Saturday night. I kept waiting for someone in the crowd to shout "FREEBIRD!!! WHIPPING POST!!!" just to complete the cliché.

Next up with Will Hoge. A hard rockin', blues group from the Tennessee, their big selling point was they absolutely did not take themselves seriously. They knew the crowd was there for the headliner, and they played up to that for the entire set. And any band that takes a swipe at a poser band like the White Stripes is OK in my book.

Which brings us to Traveler. Popper started off the night with his trademark Hendrix-esque rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, followed quickly by Save His Soul. Good way to start the show. However, many in attendance seemed more interested in talking with their friends. This never, ever, ceases to piss me off. When did concerts become a cocktail party? This was most evident going into and out of the two Hits - Hook and Run Around. The crowd went something like this:

blah blah Dude, I was soooo drunk blah blah *opening riff of Hook* WOOOOOO YEAH, POPPER!!! WOOOOO so, like, yeah, I can't believe she was like that, oh my god, did I mention I was drunk?

Which is really too bad, because Traveler put on a very solid show. Not tremendous, not classic, but free, 90 minutes summer shows rarely are. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson, the two newest members of the band, bring an energy and enthusiasm to the music that had been missing in the later part of the Bobby Sheehan days. Popper is 150 pounds lighter than he was two years ago, and he no longer seems to be struggling through every song. Chan was lost in the mix at times, due to his insistence on using too many effects pedals, but when he cut through on numbers like Slow Change and Carolina Blues, it helped take the music up a notch. The encore of Pretty Angry seemed a little out of place. The song was penned as a tribute to Sheehan after his death, and its poignancy is dampened in this kind of setting. As if the band realized this, they closed the night off with a standard, but still blistering, Devil Went Down to Georgia.

For those curious, here's the full setlist:
Star-Spangled Banner>
Save His Soul>
Back in the Day
NY Prophesie>
This Ache>
Carolina Blues>
The Path
Slow Change
If You're the One
You Reach Me
The Mountains Win Again>

E: Pretty Angry
The Devil Went Down On Georgia

::: posted by Chris at 5:21 PM

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Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

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