Friday, February 1, 2013
Big Dipper @ The Iron Horse
First, a few words about Chris Collingsworth, the opener. It was great to hear "Radiation Vibe" played to some folks that remember it being the track that turned their heads sharply when it came out. The last time I saw it played was a Fountains of Wayne gig at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ, where they played it to a bunch of tweens who had shown up only to hear "Stacey's Mom" and fell dead silent and still during "Radiation Vibe". I loved hearing Chris nail the vocal growl at the end of the tune last night. He was backed by Hartford-based band The Shinolas, who were fantastic. Oh, and Chris, you are probably a couple years younger than most of the audience last night. :-)
Big Dipper was simply great as expected and the highlight of the night for me was the dueling sets of vocals at the end of "Princess Warrior". The setlist was great, heavy on the new album and Craps. Also, "Nessie" rocked, in particular, as did "Younger Bums".
It was easy to catch the occasional look of frustration from Jeff and Bill (as well as the jubilation shown by Jeff after "New Year's Day"), but the audience felt none of that frustration.Anyone who saw the legendary NRBQ in their heyday (and I'd figure I wasn't alone in the audience on that score) knows that they made "mistakes" constantly. Sometimes they were ripped, sometimes just being creative, and sometimes just bored. However, if an audience wanted to go to a concert to hear a record played perfectly through giant speakers, they can go see Boston or Roger Waters or such. The Dipper last night was a group of players communicating with one another and really, really enjoying themselves.
Age jokes abounded. I was making my own age-joke to my friend, saying I know I'm old now that I go to concerts dressed like a shoe salesman, when he pointed to Bill Goffrier (not knowing he was in the band) lingering before taking the stage and said "Well, that guy looks like he could be my high school principal."
I loved Gary's Tele tone. Sometimes, a Tele can get pretty tinny when trying to cut through a live mix, but Gary's tone was both fat and sharp, even at high gain -- really great.
BFK very much hopes Dipper offers us more in the future, both live and recorded. SOMEONE needs to offer a tonal shelter from Justin Bieber and his prefab TMZ-drenched ilk.