“Lesser known” bands you love that should’ve sold out stadiums.

Traintrack

Where is the Talent?
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Lesser known? How a 'bout these guys? In South America they did huge outdoor shows then flew back home and played the Showplace in Victory Gardens, N.J. The biggest musical crime ever was that they never got airplay when they needed it.


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rmackowsky

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I love me some Pixies, but they’re not underrated. They’re pretty much considered one of the original alternative bands that influenced prominent artists like Nirvana.

To that end, you could argue the Meat Puppets. I saw the band literally several feet away from a small stage two years ago - I’m guessing nobody remembered how great they were.

The last time I saw the Pixies (about a year ago, they were playing a bigger stage and the show was sold out). That’s a small sample size, but could be a rough indication of popularity.
Title says “lesser known”, not underrated. I agree they were extremely influential, but your average Joe rock ‘n’ roll fan probably never heard of them.
 

Five Horizons

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Title says “lesser known”, not underrated. I agree they were extremely influential, but your average Joe rock ‘n’ roll fan probably never heard of them.
I group the two together. If you’re “lesser known” and you’re good you are “underrated”.

I can almost guarantee anyone who is into rock or even watches movies has heard “Where Is My Mind” at one time or another whether they know it or not. You don’t get that kind of distribution unless you’ve got a big label behind you.

Hell, “Gigantic” has been used in commercials.

I’m sure they’ve done quite well for themselves. Black Francis has been quite prolific over the years.
 

Five Horizons

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My nomination is the Posies. They’ve written some of the best material I’ve ever heard in their mid to later years and yet few really know who they are.

Heck, Ken Stringfellow plays in Big Star.

These guys should have been as big or bigger than a lot of their alternative peers.
 

tracyk

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888
Savatage went from almost completely unknown to playing stadiums and having their music played by everyone everywhere by changing their name and image...



They should have already been huge in the 90s.
 

Pick53766

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1,155
Shearwater. Not exactly stadium material but it is a shame that they hardly sell out a small club. Such smart music, such nice people.
 

k tone

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663



My vote goes to Earl Greyhound.
I saw some tiny sidebar about them in The New Yorker somewhere in mid-2000’s and thought ‘huh, they might be good.’

No idea what became of them. Crazy talent, looks, chops, songwriting. Who knows?

Playlisted
 

mtmartin71

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5,270
Big Head Todd and The Monsters. They've been around 30 years or so, touring the country pretty much every year. One of my favorite concert memories was flying from Boston to Denver to see them play their annual show at Red Rocks.
They got close. They had a moment in the 90s for a couple of albums for sure.
 

mtmartin71

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5,270



My vote goes to Earl Greyhound.
I saw some tiny sidebar about them in The New Yorker somewhere in mid-2000’s and thought ‘huh, they might be good.’

No idea what became of them. Crazy talent, looks, chops, songwriting. Who knows?


Good call. I remember seeing them open for Chris Cornell when he was on solo tour and Pete Thorn was one of his guitarists. I was blown away by those guys. The drummer sounded massive. The male/female vocal dynamics were great. They had a 70s Zep vibe but with their own definite twist. Bought that CD with SOS but I lost track of them after I wore that one out.

If I'm being critical, the guy singer/guitarist had a LOT of words he stuffed into his lyrics. Not a lot of space in there so I could see how they didn't connect. The grooves and sounds were awesome though and I thought they were talented and original.
 

Feverdog

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Good call. I remember seeing them open for Chris Cornell when he was on solo tour and Pete Thorn was one of his guitarists. I was blown away by those guys. The drummer sounded massive. The male/female vocal dynamics were great. They had a 70s Zep vibe but with their own definite twist. Bought that CD with SOS but I lost track of them after I wore that one out.

If I'm being critical, the guy singer/guitarist had a LOT of words he stuffed into his lyrics. Not a lot of space in there so I could see how they didn't connect. The grooves and sounds were awesome though and I thought they were talented and original.
Yep. Almost like they had too many influences or something. I always thought they sounded one great producer/manager away from absolute world domination.
 

SingleMalt

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325
Not sure about stadiums, but I've seen the Smithereens and the Gin Blossoms each twice. Saw them both in the late 80's and then a few decades later and both times they were still playing relatively small rooms for the amount of energy they had on stage. I'm not entirely sure what propels certain bands to break through to the next level as far as audience size is concerned.
+100
 

OldN'inTheWay

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403
Always liked Eric Johnson, but his main appeal is to guitar freaks even though he has some pretty good songs. I think "Emerald Eyes" could have been a radio hit on adult contemporary, but what do I know. He's one of the better song writers in the "shredder" community.
 

OldN'inTheWay

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403
^^ my vote for the greatest power-pop band of all time, of all time!

I always suspected that DiNizio's relatively subdued stage presence was a factor in their non-attainment of (at minimum) arena-rock status --
musically, for me, they had everything that makes Cheap Trick great, and even poppier songwriting
Agreed ! Always loved The Smithereens, I also think the fact that they looked a bit "older" than their contemporaries, as opposed to "cute" guys like Duran Duran, kind of limited their appeal. Plus, they were pigeon-holed as an "alternative" band, lumped in with bands on alternative radio like The Cure, Flock of Seagulls, etc. I didn't see them fitting that genre. They were more of a straight-ahead rock / pop band and should have been featured more on rock radio.
 

Sloppyfingers

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1,606
Well here's a Tragically Hip song..They played it great live..Our bar band covered this song back in the 90's, and we always got a great reaction.



The Headstones.

 




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