Here's the set list in a rough order:
Been Around the World Seven Days Euro-Trash Girl 100 FPM Sweet Thistle Pie Useless Stuff Teen Angst Get a hold of Myself Lonesome Johnny Blues St. Cajetan I Ride My Bike Pictures of Matchstick Men The World is Mine I Hate My Generation Big Dipper I See the Light Mr. Wrong Low Shiner Song Get off ThisDuring Get Off This David busted a string or two. . .while he was getting another guitar Johnny went into a sort of extended jam type thing. . .and when David got back to the mic, he couldn't remember where to start singing again. . .kinda funny. If I've missed anything, maybe the silty sandman can help out (where were you Silty???). Johnny said afterwards that we should be able to see Red River by the end of the summer and they're working on getting the soundtrack out. I'm going to Peoria tomorrow. . .perhaps I'll have something to say about that.
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Front row center balcony, just as we hoped for. Snag a happening Cracker tour poster off the wall (it's now ready for display in the office). Stand next to aforementioned law student, an unwashed older lady who's a bit soused (and who proceeds to nod off during the show), and another couple who, like us, hadn't seen Cracker since, what May '95 at the Riv? I score major points (thanks, Crackerfans) for having all the up-to-date news like Bob playing on the tour, some new songs we'd hear. It took quite a while for the Metro to fill in, but by the time Cracker was on stage, it was packed pretty full.
Brought my camera--as I always do if there's nothing regarding cameras posted on the ticket. Get some sweet shots of the band as the show starts. Then a disgruntled frat boy security guy comes and takes my camera. I ask what gives, and he says to check my ticket. I do, but the camera's already gone, and nothing's posted at the Metro about cameras, as far as I can tell. So any photos that actually would have came off well and passed on to a Cracker web page or two were ripped out after the entire security staff commiserated over my camera to determine how to remove the film.
Great show. Terrific form. Best part to me is that they seem to be having so much fun. Johnny looks more and more comfortable, and we all agreed that he just keeps getting better and better. As we leave, decide to pass on the retread $10 tees, despite the nice price.
The new songs are dyn-o-mite. Johnny's "ballad," for lack of a better term, was particularly wonderful. If given anywhere near the promotion of _Kerosene Hat_, _Gentlemen's Blues_ ought to be another platinum release.
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Anyway, after David saying they may be a bit rust or something because they hadn't played any shows in a while, they set opened with about six or seven songs in a row from the yet-to-be released Gentleman's Blues album. Even though these songs were unfamiliar to me, since they wouldn't be released for another four months, they rocked the audience as well as any of their familiar songs. Then of course was an onslaught of songs from their 3 previously released albums, including most of the better-known songs, much to the crowd's delight, plus "Pictures of Matchstick Men," which I didn't realize was such a rare treat live.
Unfortunately, it was such a long time ago that I can't recall all the specific songs they played, though Bob Rupe's backup vox on "Sweet Thistle Pie" still resonate within me noggin. But there were two other items of note from this show. First, the sight of Johnny Hickman in a Cook County Jail inmate shirt (for those who don't live here, Chicago is located in Cook Co.) was simply too much-- every time I looked at him I couldn't help but put on a huge-ass grin. Finally, I've been to a fair number of shows in my 24 years, but this is the first time I've ever seen a band tell the audience that they were going to stay onstage until the venue said they had to come off, rather than leaving and then coming back for encore, just so they could play more songs for their fans. As if I wasn't a big enough fan already, this impressive gesture gave me even more reasons to call Cracker MY favorite group, for whatever that is worth.
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