Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
What a horrible name for a tour package. It’s almost so bad, it’s good. And all of the bands have pretty goofy names as well. I debated whether or not to go just based on the name. It really does kind of sound like a death metal festival.
Unfortunately, as the Gibson Amphitheatre comes to a close soon in favor of a friggin’ Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios (how messed up is that?), and, one way or another, this will definitely will be one of the last summers at this venue. The construction dates keep getting moved up. You can see in the picture below how the amphitheater is actually connected to Universal Studios. If and when they rebuild a theater, it will be a smaller venue on the other side of CityWalk.
And the venue backs to the studio tour.
In addition to their great name, the Barenaked Ladies were good in concert a long time ago when I saw them (and I saw a bunch of naked ladies on Monday at Steel Panther as well, so this is fitting with the theme). Their songs are pretty catchy and they are funny dudes. I think one of the original guys has gone missing.
While I enjoyed them in concert at the Greek almost ten years ago, the real reason I went to this show was Blues Traveler. I have been wanting to see the harmonica wizardry of John Popper for quite some time. Still, these two bands are a pretty good combo for a summer concert tour package.
DISCLAIMER: The following about the concert is my opinion and I stand by it. While there are many people that are completely stoked by every band that played at this concert (and perhaps a few of whom may actually read this), I probably don’t share the same joy or views from this show as you do and sorry if I am bagging on one or several of your favorite bands. Feel free to post a reply- I’d love to hear opposing viewpoints.
I am quite unfamiliar with the two opening bands- Cracker and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. It turns out I knew one song from Cracker (I can’t place where it’s from, but it takes me to a sad place and is depressing). I’ve given a listen Big Head Todd before, but I don’t enjoy that type of music too much- it’s does nothing for me. When I got the information for the set times, I opted to stroll around Universal Studios instead and went on the Transformers ride to kill some time.
The line for the ride wasn’t very long, so when I got to the venue a little earlier than I had planned, Big Todd was still playing. People around me were digging him. He can play/ jam well enough and he has a pretty talented band, but I really couldn’t wait until he was finished. It’s just not my type of music. Sorry, BHTM fans.
Blues Traveler came out and did about 8 songs. They opener with a Sublime song. That kind of threw me off. After a few songs, John Popper made mention of having a froggy voice for the show. He sure did, but it wasn’t a deal killer or anything. His harmonica playing would make up for just about anything. That guy is like a cross between Buckethead and Jimi Hendrix on the harmonica. Blues Traveler is a great band with a very underrated guitar player. The bass player and drummer played some pretty neat parts.
Their set was good, but it went by too fast and was maybe a bit quirky. I’d definitely see them again. I hope I do.
Then came BNL.
All their songs sounded kind of the same and, at times, the singing seemed kind of flat. The new songs sounded old to me. And the mix was very bass-heavy all evening, which makes things rough. The visuals were easily the best part of their show. I dozed off a few times and really only livened up for a few tunes towards the end. The last couple songs were really good/ enjoyable, but I felt the need to call it an evening. Towards the end of their set and after singing great versions of their TV theme (“The Big Bang Theory) and their most popular song (“One Week”), John Popper came out and played a killer solo on the harmonica on “If I Had A Million Dollars”. I split right before the encore- that was enough for me. I‘ve had Weird Al’s version of that song stuck in my head for a while (called “Jerry Springer”)- that songs is hilarious. Besides Blues Traveler, this is the last summer I’ll be catching any of these other bands on tour.
The best sign ever:
This was roughly the set list for both bands:
Blame It On Me (Acoustic)
PLAYLIST (WITH A FEW EXTRAS):