Monday, June 21, 2004

Castle, I think you gave me good setlist luck on Saturday night, cuz we got 6 Bobby originals -- that's as many as he played at the previous four shows combined. But I stand by my suggestion that his tunes are not this band's strong suit.

I liked the band better this time than I have in the last few years, and I thought it was much improved over NYE. The core four sounded great; they were turned up loud, and I had no trouble hearing Bobby over Jimmy and Warren. I thought Jimmy was much more subued than he's been in the past, which imho is a good thing. The setlist flowed better than the shows I saw last year, and the jamming was generally more succinct. Phil mostly let the music proceed without talking into the mic (with a few exceptions), and I thought Phil's and Mickey's vocals were just fine for the tunes they sang. Billy and Mickey at the Rocks are always a treat, and I loved hearing Jeff as the only keyboard player.

My biggest complaint is that I still don't like listening to Warren or Jimmy. Everyone kept telling me how great Warren is, how much he really makes the band, how he brings so much to the music ... so I was completely prepared to share that view. But honestly, I do not dig either of those guitarists. And I know many folks will think I'm crazy for saying this -- indeed, I never thought I would feel this way -- but I'd rather hear Phil sing Terrapin than Warren. Not that Warren did a bad job -- really, he's a perfectly fine guitarist and singer. It's just that he makes everything sound so generic, to my ears anyway. I just don't connect to his playing or his vocals.

But I did enjoy the show -- much more than I expected to -- partly because it was so easy to tune out Warren and Jimmy and just focus on the 5-piece band that held my interest. It was great to dance to those guys again, and I thought there was a great vibe at the show. Finally met LS3 (there were lots of guys in straw cowboy hats, but only one who was also wearing an I Like Bobby sticker!). The weather was perfect, the lights were great, it was a high quality entertainment package. I'd go again, but at this point I wouldn't travel more than an hour from home. Regardless, it was a relief to finally hear the boys again without being disappointed.