Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
I attended this show with ultra-VIP Mark Schwind. We sat right behind the mixing board and watched Pat Travers play, followed by one of my all-time favorites- the Steve Morse Band. Pat played a good set and he sounded pretty good, but I’m honestly not very familiar at all with his music. Steve Morse is one of my favorite guitar players and Dave LaRue is a phenomenal bass player- together they pull of some very interesting and mind-boggling musical passages, so I was ready for an all-out shred-fest.
I have seen Steve Morse play probably somewhere around 20 times between concerts of the Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple, Angelfire and the Steve Morse Band. I have come to expect perfection with this band. Unfortunately, they hadn’t really rehearsed a lot for this show and, to my surprise, it was kind of obvious. Add a lot of technical and sound difficulties and, although it was a enjoyable show, I found it to be the least likable of any of his performances that I’ve attended. Still, this band is still better than 98% of the music out there – even on a bad or mediocre day. The sound was muddy, Dave LaRue wasn’t cutting through the mix very well and, at one point, the speakers sounded like they were going to explode. There was a lot of what seemed to be filler/ easy-listening music (for them, anyway), but it really picked up toward the end and the show finished strong. These guys definitely still shred- no doubt about that. This is very complex music, but I figured the 20 years they’ve played together and how well they played here two years ago made it a given they could pull everything off with ease. I guess it takes a lot more work than meets the eye. Add to the fact I had a splitting headache all night and I’ll probably give the show a lot more credit once I have the chance to look back on it more objectively.