Birmingham review, 4/22

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Posted by Woodrow ( on April 25, 2018 at 13:58:34:

Birmingham show, honest take

Pros :
Chris’ voice and energy - top notch on both sides. Haven’t seen or heard him like that since the initial reunion shows after Gorman came back. Good too hear and see him like that. A great mood Chris can make for a good show.

Andy Hess - didn’t ever have an opinion on him one way or another when he was in the band around Lions. He didn’t do anything to stand out but what he did do was coach the drummer ALL NIGHT. So did Chris, to be sure, but it was Hess who led (or tried to lead) him thru the songs

Young Meatloaf on guitar - when he was in the right key/knew what to play, he sounded great. Good backing vocals.

Wiser Time guitar duel - Meat and Audley (esp Audley) went apeshit guitar crazy.....and really sounded "in tandem" with each other.

Those that are saying that Good Friday > Almost Cut My Hair is the highlight - not joking. They kill these two tunes (in a good way) especially the latter part.

Crowd - most enthusiastic “Crowes” crowd I’ve seen in years

Oven Mitts - surprisingly did nothing that I could overtly criticize, even when I knew what was coming in Wiser. Sang a lot of backup vocals.

Cons :

Minus GF/ACMH, there were screw ups, missed ques, bum notes, extremely noticeable ones, in every song. I get that they are a new band, but they easily could have stood another 3/4wks of rehearsals instead of learning via on the job, even in a larger club (this place held about a thousand plus and there was at least that many there). Even during the well-known stuff from the first two records had issues. The signature opening to She Talks as an example. Twice As Hard being more egregious. Some stuff I didn't recognize as they started off and that's not meant for dramatic purposes to add to the story.

Drummer - may be a good fit in CRB, and overall you can tell he has skill.....but if this were the guy drumming before Gorman came back during the early '05 reunion, Chris would have thrown him and his drumkit all the way off the stage. Got lost. A lot. Songs were a challenge for finding the bridge/middle part and especially the end several times. High Head Blues during the jammy end part was a mess. Again Hess was the leader in finding the way out of the maze.

Audley - minus a couple of great moments, he sounded way off - not as in he didn’t know the song, but out of tune. Started off that way and several times in between. Sting Me and Jealous Again especially but never more than the intro to Twice As Hard. His Guitar Face in ACMH and Wiser would have been a beauty of a topic back on the old message boards. I love the guy and expected him to be great. He was lower in the mix than he was during BYS tour.

Young Meatloaf - couldn’t hear him a lot, low in the mix a lot - still learning the songs. Probably is awesome, seemed reserved. I get it, just go nuts. This isn't your fault.

Compared to Magpie :
Musically, there was none. To be fair when I saw Magpie they had a shit ton of practice by then, plus with Rich/MFF and Sven it’s hard to beat what they were able to accomplish.

Vocally - my first thought was that Magpie's singer sings the way Chris should be singing. And he does. He belts the songs out with heart (or tries). Here though, Chris was old Chris and sounded better. Then again he should have.

Put Chris in Magpie, add Gorman in and you’d have one hell of a band. Hey wait...

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