Jessica: Cracker: 21 Dave Matthews: 2
John: Cracker: 12 Dave Matthews: 5
Ken: Cracker: 4 Dave Matthews: 5
Rabia: Cracker: 3 Dave Matthews: 5
Getting there, etc ...
Jessica and I drove down to Knoxville to catch Cracker, and that one band they were opening for ... who ever they were. Then met up with Rabia & Ken (from the Feb 9:30 Club show) and treked up to Charleston, WV (home of the Mountain Stage I believe) to catch Cracker and Dave Matthews again.
The Thompson-Boling arena sits about 25,000 people, and (at best) maybe 1/4 of the seats were full to see Cracker. The crowd wasnt really into Cracker at all, but there were a few fans around (besides me and Jessica). Jessica of course has the set list, but they played their hits ... Dave Matthews himself even came out and introduced them - this might have gotten more cheering than Cracker's songs. : ( I guess you could say they were struggling to get the audience interested.
During Cracker's set a few fans of note were sitting right in front of us .. they cheered a little bit .. "yeah. opening band! you rock!". (yes, they called them "opening band") Of course they perked up when Cracker did Low. I guess they really did know the band after all.
Jessica and I didnt exactly appreciate the audience's reaction to Cracker - so we were yelling out for The Shiner song .. we got something close though (see below). I'd also like to apologize to Kenny and David. I let out a really loud scream at the end of an accordian solo that Kenny was doing, and I think I messed him up a bit, and I also think that David goofed up the beginning of the next verse. I couldnt really tell if that happened - my head was ringing from the scream still, but Jessica told me the effects when I recovered. : ) So, sorry Kenny & David.
Boy, you'd think those people in the crowd had never heard an accordian solo.
David also did Low & Good Life on a black acoustic guitar, just like the ones that Dave Matthews uses ... not sure who it belonged to hmm...
To get them back at the end of their 45 minute 9 song set David told a little story about the last song they were doing ... he said it was about how all the people in the Knoxville area over the age of 35 had been replaced with mindless, er, no, lifeless automatons. Then they went into a dasmn good rendition of Dr Bernice.
The audience of course didnt get it (but that is why they got it).
One fan in particular was really, really in to Dave's music later on in the show. He kept turning around and singing the lyrics (to the radio hits from Dave Matthews albums) to the people behind him. He was also upset that not everyone in the nose bleed section (where we were) was standing up - because I mean, this is like Dave Matthews here man ... he kept screaming at everyone to stand up. Jessica and I decided that he's got a great future as a high school gym teacher.
Charleston, WV ...
The .. uh .. I dunno, uh, Charleston Civic Center sits close to 20,000 people, so it wasnt as big as the night before - and the crowd - and both bands were much better. About half the seats were full for Cracker this night - and the response was much better. Dave Matthews came out and introduced Cracker again, and this time it sounded like they were cheering for Cracker.
You could tell that Cracker had a good time playing this night - especially after last night.
Johnny was stuck on the stage for this show (I saw him jump into the crowd at the Ziggy's show). The stage was pretty big, and Cracker must not be used to playing on a stage of that size because they only filled the center half of the stage.
The Dave Matthews Band was basically good ... The crowd seemed really into the music the second night (I think they were all into the light show the first night).
I like Dave Matthews' music, but in concert it's a little different ... the endings of the songs go on forever it seems sometimes. Rabia timed the ending of one song (I forget which), but it clocked in at 15 minutes (this was just the jam at the ~end~ of the song!). Dave's set the second night did hit the THREE hour mark.
Boyd, the violin player from The Dave Matthews Band, must be taking show boating lessons from Johnny - he was up at the front of the stage stomping away while he played his violin solos under the spotlight. Ken (who likes DMB like I like Cracker) said that Boyd never used to do that .. he'd just stand back in his corner and play. We didnt get to see Boyd hop in and play a song with Cracker - which would have be incredible.
Oh, the people at the Charleston Civic center were allowing recording of this show, so look for the eventual bootlegs of the show. It'll take a couple of cds/tapes though .. damn long set.
Jessica is off dog sitting this week (effectively in China again I suppose), and since her email bombed when she tried to send her review of the show, her are some things she remembered from her review ...
The first night we got to see a Dave Matthews' fan puking into a garbage can even before Dave started his set. Boy, she must have gotten overly prepared for this show.
Set lists: 5/8 Knoxville 1.This is Cracker Soul 2.Eurotrash Girl 3.Lonesome Johnny 4.Been Around The World 5.Pictures of Matchstickmen 6.Good Life * 7.Teen Angst 8.Low * 9.Dr Bernice They looked like they were only 1/4" tall this night. * Good Life and Low were played on a black guitar that looked exactly like the ones Dave Matthews uses.
5/9 Charleston, WV 1.This is Cracker Soul 2.Eurotrash Girl 3.Been Around The World 4.Lonesome Johnny 5.Pictures of Matchstickmen 6.Good Life * 7.Low * 8.St Cajetan ( !!!! ) They looked like they were 3/4" tall this night. * Good life was started on that black guitar from last night, but something went wrong, and David had to switch to his familar acoustic a few seconds into the song.******
In general ...
I am thankful that Cracker isnt popular like the Dave Matthews Band. Being popular with that crowd, or by having that many fans brings out too many people that like "Low" stuff. I was impressed that Dave Matthews didnt do Satellite (his biggest hit) either night. He only did Ants Marching on the second night also.
Somehow being that popular drags along a bunch of additional stuff that isnt 100% fun. I would much rather see Cracker playing 2000 seat shows than 25,000 seat shows. At times during DMB the focus of stage seemed to be the light show, and how fancy they were, and how the lights were moving around the stage. Also, DMB seemed to drag every song on and on for ever just jamming - it's really great to hear them do that on a couple of songs, but (to me - and I am a DMB fan and Ken even agreed with this too) it's just "too much". : )
Oh, Dave Matthews got a little extra credit in my book too .. he did a cover of a Johnny Cash song (I cant think of the name, but I know I've got Johnny's version around here some where).
Also ... the next time I see Cracker as an opening band some where I am going to have to wear one of the many Cracker shirts I've got. I'll be quite happy to be branded as a fan of "that" band. : )
They had all kinds of tshirts, hats, key chains, etc for the Dave Matthews band for sale. The only Cracker related thing for sale was Gentleman's Blues - and they had the price sticker covering the entire album. I doubt that Cracker aquired any new fans from Knoxville, but they could have easily collected more than a few in Charleston.
Thu Thu Thats all folks ....
'cept that I cant wait to see them Friday at Townpoint!!
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on the first night, Knoxville, the went on promptly at seven. they appeared to be about a quarter of an inch tall from our seats... The crowd sucked ass. They were rude and indifferent. (they were even rude during DMB, actually)
For David's acoustic guitar in The Good Life and Low he was playing a small black one instead of his normal one. The played well and put up nicely with the rude audience. David introed Dr. Bernice by saying something to the effect of -this is a song that was written a while ago, like way back before all the 30 year olds in Knoxville were replaced with automatons- It was nice, Kenny rocked on the accordion, the sound was good, but not loud enough (read I could hear myself singing) suppose I've been spoiled by club shows! =)
oh and we saw a girl puking in the trash can *before* DMB even came on! =) um... DMB was ok, crowd seemed more interested in the light show than the music... they played for like 2 hours...
next night... in Charleston
The crowd was MUCH better this night, and much of the crowd was there when Cracker went on. there were a few Cracker fans in the bunch this time. Dave Matthews introed Cracker saying it was their last show together and thanking them and all. Cracker played with lots of energy and gave us a really great set. St. Cajetan was really awesome.... it was just really good, even though they were 3/4 of an inch tall from our seats (yep, slightly better seats for this show ;-) Made me almost unable to wait for Townpoint this coming weekend!
anyway it was a fun road trip... can't wait for the next one! =) (I've officially seen Cracker play as many shows as I am years old!)
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