alex, jess, john, and, sara
Victor, Jonathan, & Greg: 1. Bittersweet VK 2. Not Coming Back Again VK 3. One Here JS 4. For Yourself GL 5. Bust In A Boomtown VK 6. Perfect JS 7. Blind VK 8. Feeling Cheap (??) GL 9. St. John's Mercy VK 10. Hey Joy JS 11. Rocket Fuel VK The guys were all excellent and put on a great opening set. We got a 15 minute break, and then- 1. Heaven Knows I'm Lonely (w/ JS, Brandy on violin & backing vox) 2. Be My Love (w/ JS) 3. Been Around The World 4. 7 Days (BW on backing vox) 5. Still Waiting For You Girl (w/ JS & GL) - this one rocked! 6. Eye Of Fatima I (w/o JH) 7. Eye Of Famitma II (w/ JH on mandolin) 8. Eurotrash Girl 9. Wedding Day (BW guiatr & vox, DL bass) 10. Dr. Bernice (w/ JS) bleeds into... 11. Tania (w/ JS & GL) - still the best part of the show, IMO 12. Good Guys & Bad Guys (JS & GL) 13. Crackersoul -> 14. Sweet Thistle Pie (w/ BW on bass & backing vox) 15. Sweet Potato (still w/ Brandy) 16. Pics of Matchistickmen (w/ JS & VK again) 17. Low (w/ GL on lead guitar - no kidding!) 18. One Of These Days (w/ JS & GL & slight David mistake) 19. Take Me Down To The Infirmary 20. How Can I Live Without You (w/ JS) 21. 100 FPM (w/ JS) 22. James River 23. Trials & Tribs (w/ JS - violin solo!) 24. Southern Moon (BW singing & guitar) 25. Sad Lovers Waltz (w/ JS & GL) 26. Mr. Wrong (w/ JS) 27. History Of Utah (JS & GL) 28. Teen Angsthey list, Jess here... The show last night was *so* amazing. I thought I was prepared for a Cramper show but I really had no idea what I was in for. Victor, Jonathan, Greg, Chris Xefos, and Pete Moffat(?) came on at 8pm and played til around 8:50. Their set was really tight and it came off really well. The crowd was a bit cold at first but quickly warmed up to their stuff and seemed very much won over by the end of their set. I really like Victor's stuff and I will be getting it once I am able to go to the magneticmotorworks.com site for it. He has a song called "Blind" that is really beautiful.
After a 10 minute break following the opening set, "Cracker" came out to start the Cramper set. Victor played bass on most of the songs, Brandy did come out to play on a few and she also did some vocals work. David was wearing a suit and Jonathan was sporting a snazzy Sparklehorse shirt. Highlights of the show for me included:
Sad Lover's Waltz -- how beautiful. David introed it as a fairly obscure song that he felt kinda got lost...
Waiting For You Girl -- It's the the first time I believe they've played it... Or at least that I've ever heard it live...
Matchstick Men -- seeing the JES JH duel was very cool
Eye of Fatima I and II -- just amazing ... I never thought I would get a chance to hear that live
Oh... there are 2 new Camper shirts. a black and blue one that say Camper Van Beethoven is Dead, Long Live Camper Van Beethoven...
ah.... there's so much more to say but I think showering before the next show is more important...
If you are anywhere *NEAR* the upcoming shows, you *have* to go. You just HAVE to.
jess, alex, john (b.), and sara
Back to top
Overall, Cracker's set relied heavily on Gentleman's Blues (which was cool by me), and some newer songs, including "Heaven knows I'm lonely" and "Be my Love" There were 3 songs from The Golden Age; 100 Flower Power Maximum, Sweet Thistle Pie, and How Can I Live Without You. Low, Sweet Potato, Take Me Down To The Infirmary, and Eurotrash Girl were played off Kerosene Hat. They played Teen Angst, Dr.Bernice, Mr. Wrong and This Is Cracker Soul from the first album.
Interspersed, there were several Camper songs (I only recognized Pictures of Matchstick men and Sad Lover's Waltz) that the former members came on to help with (and they helped with some of the Cracker songs, too.) It was generally a revolving door onstage, and I'm not sure there were even 2 songs played by the same band. Brandy played bass only on a few songs, but sang on several. Johnny played mandolin when the Camper guitarist would come on.
Everybody seemed to have a great time. It was a tremendous show for me, and I've never really been into Camper Van Beethoven. I'm sure it was a wet dream for the (many) fans of both bands in attendance.
The highlights for me were Trials and Tribulations, Wedding Day, and Mr. Wrong. Overall, the best part of the entire show was when Johnny would rip into one of his riffs or solos. He gets such incredible sound from that guitar rig of his. I don't think there's a purer rock guitar sound to be heard anywhere else, either live or recorded. I know that's a bold statement, but his guitar alternately sings and delivers a "smooth buzzsaw" tone, that I wish could be bottled. It's just wierd the way I get all excited about it, I guess.
Anyway, if you live anywhere they'll be on this short tour, DO NOT MISS IT or you'll never forgive yourself.
Back to top
the power of the camper songs is truly evident when they are played live. i was blown away. i can't imagine what they were like when the songs were new, the irony was fresh, and the band was super-tight. i got to sing along to "good guys and bad guys", gaze in wonder at the musicianship of "eye of fatima pt. 2", and get goose bumps over the incredibly beautiful final minute or so of "the history of utah". i couldn't have asked for more.
i've read before that the ex-camper guys didn't seem to be enjoying each other's company up on stage on the last apocathary tour out west. well, they all seemed to be having fun - ROCKING, INTENSE fun. david and lisher are more intense than smiley while playing. segel and victor manage smiles very once in a while.
i suppose everyone looks sullen compared to the antics of johnny on stage. i thought they were having a good time up there. you should have seen david skipping and clapping around the stage in circles during "trials and tribs" (with segel and victor). he could barely contain himself. he was starting to have so much fun - he didn't look as cool as he usually comes off. he definitely let his guard down for a bit.
it looks as if the boys have truly buried the hatchet. segel was singing along with cracker songs backstage, lisher played lead on "low", and victor played and sang spirited backup on cracker tunes.
it was good to see. good for them. good for us. a lesson maybe? it was for this passive/aggressive grudge holder.
Back to top
Jonathan, Victor, Greg, Chris, and Pat were great opening. I know I raved about them back in Feb, but I'll do it again. They are taking the best songs from something like 15 or 20 albums worth of material and blowing the crowd away with all of it. Yes, they are the "opening band", but they have been playing together for a long time. Think of the timing musicians can develop after playing together for 10 years. Jonathan, Victor, and Greg have been playing together for close to 20 years. The opening set seems to be concentrating on Victor's music (mainly from St John's Mercy and Bittersweet, his last two cds). The stuff that Jonathan is doing has the same quirkiness and violin that made me fall in love with Camper int he first place, it's amazing too. Oh, the song "Hey Joy" is a song by Jonathan that isnt on an album yet, it was done for a movie that he's been doing soundtrack work for. Stay tuned to magneticmotorworks.com for more info...
As for the Cracker/Camper set. Wow. I like Cracker on it's own, seperate from Camper, and to throw the stuff from Camper in to that same mix is quite intense. Hearing Jonathan add violin to the Cracker songs is mind altering.
A mental picture that I wont forget from the show Jonathan and Victor playing violin and bass while singing backup on one side of the stage and then Johnny and Brandy on the other side of the stage doing back up too. I know someone was taking pictures of the show, so I hope they got that one in particular.
Another priceless picture was during Trials and Tribulations. Johnny was singing and playing acoustic int he middle of the stage with Jonathan and Kenny playing violin and accordian, one on each side of him - and Victor was off on Johnny's regular side of the stage playing tambourine.
Hearing a different version of Low is great, hearing Greg play lead on that song with Johnny playing the "shaky thing" was also priceless. I like the song Low and all, but it's been over killed on the radio and it's been played at nearly every Cracker show I've seen ... very refreshing to hear it differently. Also very nice to see them with extra energy on the song since they are playing it differently.
My personal highlight for the show ... Sad Lover's Waltz. This song is simply so amazing, my mother, the one that has no understanding or appreciating for music likes this song. In addition to being my all time favorite Camper song, as a bonus, it's a little musical connection with my mom.
The drive home after this show was insane... mother nature put on an amazing light show... not sure I want to see that while driving again.
Back to top