|10/02/98||Whiskeytown||I've Got News For You Baby||Previous|
|Navy Pier Ballroom||You're Alright||Next|
|Chicago, IL||How You Can Sleep|
|Ain't No Use In Trying Now|
|If He Can't Have You|
|What You Wanted (a.k.a. Can't Deny Me)|
|Piss On Your Grave|
|I was at the Chicago on Friday. It was part of the Oktoberfest at the Navy Pier Ballroom. The main problem with the show was it was not just at a bar with WT being the main act. There were a lot of people at the show but only a handful of them were there to see WT. It was basically a big beer party for a bunch of Chicago yuppies, who are smoking cigars and trying to meet other yuppies. Also the sound absolutely sucked. These factors obviously are not ideal for WT nor will they make Ryan bearable. The set was very hardcore compared to other WT shows on the long Strange Almanac tour. My main complaint with the band is that they basically over power Catlin. You can't really hear her fiddle or her voice. It is really a shame. They played a very short set and ended in true "rock star" fashion with Piss on your grave. That song was pretty good. Like in Raleigh, he did the whole splitting beer up in the air at the end of the song. The new guys in the band are good. Ryan's head is way too large. WT is a great band but they are not the Rolling Stones, the Who,etc. Ryan has no justification for the way he acts. One thing that sort of pissed me off is his complaining about "rented" sound equipment. If this bothers him so much then he should bring his own equipment. At the end of the show, Ryan kicked over the mic stand and this really pissed the sound guys off and after the set they were basically throwing WT's stuff off the stage and yelling at their road manager.|
Well, regarding WT at Navy Pier (AKA Navy Astrological Observatory, IMO. A
huge domed room with illuminated vaulting that felt as though there should
have been theater-style, in the round, cushioned seats to look up to the
heavens to view a starry-night sky . . .). . . Never been there before.
Interesting choice for a rock show tho. . .Anyhow. . .
Being that WT "headlined" second to last, during what I understood as an entire day of swing (yawn) bands, it seemed as though most of the crowd would pretty much give a hoot. And that was kinda the case. Cigar-smokin, yuppies trying to be hip and extravagent by attending a "retro" swing show. Since WT wasn't wearing shark-skin and wing-tips? . . . Am I being snide?
There was definitely a mass of 150+-ish people at the stage specifically for the WT rawk show. Probably close to 700-800 people total in this huge room, with banquet table seating set-up beyond the front of stage area. (And another ton of people in different areas of the entire "micro-beer" festival, trade-show space. . .)
The sound was pretty poor and muffled where Linda, myself, Jon, Pete, Alex and Carrie stood, but I don't know how much better it could have sounded anywhere else, either. But it was the case that many of the songs got a pretty strong positive reaction of cheers, yee-haws and clapping. . . even from beyond the mass-o-fans. On stage the sound was definitely not to the bands' liking. "Rental gear" was the problem. But that is the chance you take when you go that route. Trade offs of one-shot shows.
I don't recall the set-list. Although I had never heard them perform "If He Can't Have You Before" live before. . .it really treat. There was another brand knew song I'd never, ever heard anywhere, which was pretty cool and in the vain of many of Ryan's newer guitar-power rockers. Wish I knew the name. . . Didn't go for the set-list this show. . . wishing I had now, but?? I've seen WT quite a few times since the new-ish line-up, just pre-Fogerty tour and onward, there are about 10 to 12 yet-to-be-recorded songs that dominate their revolving set lists. And a good handful of those songs I've heard played live in various moods and instrumentations. "How Can You Sleep," which is pretty much a high-energy hip swinging, stones-y tune was performed acoustically and at half time or so. . . Interesting, but seems to me it's got a great punch at electric speed. . . Still beautiful tho. . . Of course, Ryan had a jab or two to give to the monitor mix guy. But with reason, it sounded to me at least. And "Piss on Your Grave," which they wound the set-up with, is the new, token punk rock, in your fucken face, song which pretty much gives an excuse for the boys (and girl) to get way riled up, wild and fierce in order to lead into minor displays of destruction if need be to. . . well, I won't give my .02 on this, but I have my theories. . . Overall, a good Whiskeytown performance. Short as it was. . . :45, but that is what they were slated for, so? And Ryan is always entertaining, unpredictable and a personality to be reckoned with. . .and always will be as long as he is around. . .which WILL be a long time, I have a hunch. . .
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