A bit late posting (as usual, I know…) but Brian and I had the pleasure of seeing Blues Traveler (Wikipedia Page) perform at Soul Kitchen on Wednesday, June 14, 2006. I have seen Blues Traveler twice previously at festival shows (Bayfest in Mobile and Music Midtown in Atlanta which unfortunately is no more), and they have always put on an amazing show. This show continued that precedence and then some. By the way, you can check out some live Blues Traveler at their Live Music Archive page
The new location Soul Kitchen moved into is much larger than their previous venue. Not sure how many people fit in there, but I would say easily 200-300 (maybe more, I’m a terrible judge of these things). It was a packed house and the crowd was a very diverse mix of people. We missed the opening act of Joe Purdy but got to seem him later in the night when he came up to help out on a couple of songs with Blues Traveler.
The band had amazing energy throughout their entire performance and played exteremely tight. They covered their big hits (Hook, Runaround, Mountains Win Again, etc) along with a broad spectrum of songs from most of their other albums. They even threw in a colleciton of covers too. Now normally you would expect the headline act to give you maybe an hour of entertainment for your dollar, but these guys came to play. They played for almost 2 1/2 hours (that includes a 40 minute encore set). You definitely left feeling like you got your money’s worth.
The musical talents of these individuals was amazing. The singer, John Popper, looked great having had gastric bypass surgery back in 2000. His skills on the harmonica are unbelievable. I think he definitely changed my generation’s impression of what the harmonica is capable of when Blues Traveler first hit the airwaves. He also has a perfect voice to sing blues and blues/rock music. The vocal range he has is very impressive as well.
The guitar player, Chandler Kinchla, was great backup to Popper’s harmonica solos along with being able to rock out the solo himself. He may be in a blues/rock band, but he is still all rock and roll hitting the stage with fully painted black fingernails. Oh yeah, rock will never die.
The bassist, Tad Kinchla, was somemthing else. He played a 6 string bass for much of the show, rocked the upright bass for the latter half, and then played acoustic 6 string for part of the encore. Definitely a versatile fellow.
The drummer and keyboard player, Brendan Hill and Ben Wilson respectively, held their own with this group of talented musicians. I’m amazed the drummer didn’t pass out, he was the only member that didn’t get a break the entire show, but he kept on going.
I would definitely recommend checking these guys out if they come your way. I took some pictures and videos of the performance that turned out pretty good considering the lighting and my ability with the camera.
Here are some pictures of the band rocking….
….wait a minute, not quite what I was expecting. That’s what I get for borrowing Casey’s camera for these pictures. The aforeseen cat belongs to Casey and is named Sophie. What a little angel, making sure the fish are ok. Now some pictures of the band doing their thing.
This one is not a picture of the girl in the foreground, if you can believe that. I actually took it to show Casey that I wasn’t the most preppy dressing person in attendance. This guy had me beat with the long sleeve shirt with the rolled sleeves.
More of the band rocking out…
Dig that upright bass that Tad is playing now. This guy was awesome.
More upright bass goodness.
6-string electric bass anyone??
And the to cap off the photos, check out this artsy shot. Didn’t know I had this latent photo-expressive side in me, but I think this shot is pure gold. I will accept offers from any magazines that would like to use this photo in their layouts 🙂
I also shot some short 30 second video clips so that those that did not attend could enjoy a sample of the rock and roll goodness, the embedded versions don’t get pulled down in the feed, so you’ll just have to click the links or visit the actual blog page to see them.
Here is a clip of one of their big hits Hook. You Tube Link
One of the covers they played was Charlie Daniels’ Devil Went Down to Georgia. Just awesome. You Tube Link
Can’t remember which one, but here is a big finish to end one of their songs. You Tube Link