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Who did you see at a small club gig that blew you away?

chanley

Member
Messages
113
Early/mid 90's, I saw a band called Isle of Q at (the original) grape street pub in manayunk, PA. Holy **** they were amazing. Unfortunately, I guess the music biz was full up on the "sound garden/big wreck" type sounding acts. They were fantastic live. The bar couldn't have held more than 75 people...if that.
 

mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,284
Sir Douglas Quintet (several times), Eric Johnson & Robert Cray (separate sets, same show), more blues legends than you can shake a stick at, Otis Clay, Howard Roberts, Itals w/ Roots Radics, Lucinda Williams,
 

JeffK

Member
Messages
2,912
SUPERSUCKERS

Man that guy (I don't know his name, and he has been on/off touring with the band) can play!!
I remember seeing these guys and Black Happy in a gymnasium at Western Washington University back in 92 or 93. Fun show.
 
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rolsen

Member
Messages
2,064
Weird answer, bear with me. Juno, A Seattle band on DeSoto records blew me the hell away in the mid 90's and I went to many of their shows. We're talking Seattle bars and clubs, small venues. They must've been best friends with Death Cab for Cutie, as they always played with them. Totally different stylistically though. I always felt like I had to 'endure' Death Cab to see Juno, who melted my face with post-punk/art rock/hardcore/emo.

Of course, Death Cab goes on to big time fame and fortune. I would've been a terrible record label scout when I was 21, I really didn't think Death Cab had a lot going on those days.

I got drug out to see Modest Mouse at the same small clubs.. all I saw was a very drunken, sloppy thrown together set of paint-by-numbers indie rock with a somewhat unusual vocal delivery. Of course I bet wrong on those guys, too. I came around after they polished up after an album or two but thought those early shows were not great... its those shows that got 'em signed so what do I know!
 

Trevordog

Member
Messages
3,631
I saw Jimmy raney playing at a little club in NYC. Best experience of my whole life, period.
 
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Paul Conway

Member
Messages
4,990
King's X /Faith Hope Love Tour and Tool/Undertow tour, both at the Bierkeller, Bristol, UK.

Chuck Prophet @ St Bonaventures, Bristol UK
 

Billyzoom1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
510
For me, it was Ron Thompson (who apparently worked with John Lee Hooker for many years).

This guy belted it out for 4 hours on slide and standard tuning using only a Strat and a Peavey Delta Blues...I could not sleep until 7am because my mind was racing.
Ron Thompson is an incredible guitarist and showman. I remember seeing him steal the show at the San Francisco Blues Festival many years ago.
 

Billyzoom1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
510
Coco Montoya, playing five feet away from me, using an cheap ass Ibanez Soundtank tube screamer through a Fender Super, and sounding more incredible than I ever will.
 

spaceman39

Member
Messages
236
In the early 90’s, my brother and I went to see Buddy Guy at the Channel in Boston Ma., it was an interesting show to say the least. Eric Clapton was playing somewhere relatively local, and the radio stations were saying all afternoon there was a good chance EC would show up later on to jam with Buddy. We had bought our tickets to the show months earlier so this was a pleasant surprise. A steady crowd had been building as he came on stage and Buddy Guy began to absolutely work that ever growing throng of Clapton fans into a frenzy in anticipation of the soon to be hopefully arriving guest co-legend. I have to say, I was hoping he would show up too. For his last number, he asked the now packed house if they wanted to hear some Eric Clapton, the place went bonkers as Buddy ripped into “Sunshine of Your Love” with no sign of ol’ EC in sight. Needless to say, Buddy Guy got the best of all the radio listeners that day as they departed the show without getting what they really came for.


Now on to the actual question, the opening act for the show was this fella named John Campbell who I had never heard of before. The place was practically empty when we first arrived so my brother and I had a few drinks as we waited for the show to start. Soon enough the lights went down and this figure appeared on the dim stage with an acoustic guitar, to a scant audience, as the EC crowd wasn’t showing up early. My early 20’s self said to my brother, look at this guy, I came to hear some electric blues, not some acoustic strummer. The lights came up and John Campbell produced a slide and began to play the the most amazing heavy electric blues I have ever heard. I had no idea an amplified acoustic guitar could make those sounds and what a showman. He played like a man possessed, and that acoustic guitar howled and moaned in the hands of a little known master, we were completely taken by surprise and utterly gobsmacked by this guy. Simply amazing, and this is almost 30 years ago and I still remember him. I came to find he passed away soon after we saw him at the young age of 41. Maybe he knew his time was limited, as John Campbell surely played like a man who knew there might not be a tomorrow.
 
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handyman11

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,028
Captain Beyond - small club in Houston, 1976
Ian Hunter - 5-6 times at various clubs in the Northeast
 

MikeVB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,445
The Hellhounds (aka Georgia Satellites minus Dan Baird) in Athens, Ga in 1992. My face and ear drums have yet to recover from being melted off my head by Rick Richards wide-ass-open Plexi and 412.
 

FoundIt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
62
Captain Beyond - small club in Houston, 1976
Ian Hunter - 5-6 times at various clubs in the Northeast
Oh hell yes. I wore out several copies of my Mott the Hoople records. To me in the early 70's, they exemplified rock and roll. Captain Beyond didn't suck either. :)
 

Jeff Stocks

Member
Messages
961
Emmylou Harris at the tail end of her Wrecking Ball never-ending tour in Columbia, MO at the Blue Note. I still remember exactly what it felt like.
 

Jasonfoote303

Member
Messages
16
I used to work at a bar in San Francisco in the early 90's. One of the bartenders was in a band out of Berkeley and they set up to play at the bar one night. There were probably only 10-20 of us there and we all got out minds blown. The sound of this band and singer just captivated us.
the band was Counting Crows. They did that one Furs song... man.
that was a wow for me.
 

BUK

Member
Messages
759
Wrote this 22 years ago on a Led Zeppelin message board.... kinda corny but it's real.

Rec Room... Wallington, NJ... Thurs., Jan. 11, 1998
Thursday Jan 11th, I went to see Big Wreck at a cinder block walled, warehouse-of-a-place in Wallinton, NJ called, oddly enough, the Rec Room. Like most people at the time, I knew this band only through their Led Zep meets BaBa O'rielly meets hillbilly stomp song, "The Oaf", that is being played to death on both the "alti" station and the classic stations in the NY area. Great riff, great bass drum kick, swirling vocals, a truely joyous, ballsy tune that has one hit wonder written all over it. Like most people, if they played one or two decent songs along with a rousing version of their hit I would be happy.

I was truely not prepared for these guys. Now I'm 43, and have been a music fan for a long time. I own my own graphics firm and can listen to music all day long (mostly WDHA/K-rock/WSOU so for my age I'm fairly current). I'm a die hard Zep fan having seen them live in 74', 77 and on all their solo tours. My favorites range from Elvis Costello to Soundgarden to Alanis to XTC, so you can see that I consider myself a fairly open minded and milti-dimensional listener.

I found that I am affected by music with a sizeable chunk of wit and visceral emotion. Sorry for the long qualification, but I feel the need to preface this posting in order to not sound like an Atlantic Records shill or a rambling old nutcase.

Big Wreck are absolutely amazing! Ian Thornley is one of the most gifted guitar composers I've heard in years. They played the entire album, and 13 guitar changes and 13 melody-hook-riff laden, dense, powerful emotional tracks later they left me convinced. These guys are no joke!

How many times have you seen a band and known nothing of their music and been hooked once or twice during a performance if your lucky. Every song had wonderful twists and turns in unexpected directions. A song would have me hooked on the opening riff, only to introduce a soaring bridge into an extended breakdown. And all the while your concentrating on the melody and the driving rhythm Ian is banging, twisting, bending the sonic envelope. He plays with his body as part of the guitar, interacting with the amps. He's got big meat hooks for hands and he uses the "whole" guitar to get a tremendous range of styles appropriate to each song.

To top it all off, this guy can sing better than he can play!!! Their sound is powerful and very dense in the bass range yet their sense of melody is never back seated. I have never had my head so sweetly banged into the floor. David Henning really adds crunch where needed, swing where appropriate and most importantly "space". This is a band that understands what not to play.

Brian Doherty is the perfect support player. He compliments and anchors the tracks in order to allow Ian to paint. Last but not least, Forest Williams, one of the most bonzo-esque drummers in the best sense, really understands space, great time, tasty fills, can stop/start on a dime, and can be bone crushingly Jurrasic. Needless to say, I was impressed. I bought the CD and have played it non-stop start to finish, at least 25 times since Thursday. I cannot stop telling my friends how good these guys are.

This is a band that has taken vast musical styles, both contemporary and past and blended them purposefully and tastefully without losing the emotion and the joy of the music. Few bands can pique my interest for two tracks nevermind a whole album. And certainly no whiny Seattle drivel delivered here, they act like they truly enjoy these compositions.

My current fave is "That Song", but it changes every day. I can't recommend this CD enough. If this band doesn't become legendary I'll eat my shoes. Me and this other guy in the Rec Room were embarassed for the lack of people in the crowd and their lack of recognition for what they were seeing. People are sheep, they need to be told what is good. Well goddamit this band is good. I almost feel sad that I've been this blown away only weeks before the new Page/Plant release. Now all you zeppaholics don't get mad when you read this post, Jimmy would love these guys. They carry the essence of the music, taking it to that joyous level that few bands can do. See you when I hear the new Zep release.
 




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