The Capitol Theatre - Port Chester, NY
October 13, 2012
Spin Doctors set
Refrigerator Car ->
Big Fat Funky Booty
Nice Talking To Me
Off My Line
Little Miss Canīt Be Wrong
Some Other Man Instead
If The River Was Whiskey
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
Jimmy Olsens Blues
What Time Is It? ->
About A Train
Two Princes ->
Shinbone Alley ->
Lady Kerosene (jam)*
Blues Traveler set
Things Are Looking Up
Back In the Day
What I Got --> bass --> jam -->
You Reach Me**
Manhattan Bridge -->
Gotta Get Mean***
Cara Let The Moon
I Dont Wanna
You Dont Have To Love Me
E (Spin Doctors with Blues Traveler):
Hard To Exist++
Spin Doctors + Blues Traveler double bill
* - Enter 1 by 1 Brendan .. John .. Chan .. Tad .. Ben = Spinning Traveler jam
** - with Bill Evans
*** - with Eric Schenkman (git)
**** - with Chris Barron (vox)
+ - with Justin Mazer
++ - both bands performing the Spin Doctors version of the song together
Download the show here: archive.org/details/spintraveler2012-10-13.freddieg.flac16 (Freddie G recording)
archive.org/details/st2012-10-13.140s-mk4smix.flac16 (Frank DīAuria recording I)
archive.org/details/st2012-10-13.140s.flac16 (Frank DīAuria recording II)
archive.org/details/spintraveler2012-10-13.tlm170.flac16 (Scott Bernstein recording)
Scott Bernsteinīs show notes / show review:
My pre-show excitement for this show was higher than any I could think of in a long time. Yes, Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors are way past what could be considered their "prime" years. And despite the fact that the chances of ever hearing a new song from either of these bands on the radio are just about 0, both continue to try and remain vital by touring and releasing albums which are mostly ignored by the public.
The Spin Doctors, building off of their successful "Pocketful Of Kryptonite" 25th Anniversary Tour and Blues Traveler, trying to build momentum for their new release "****" were paired together in a genius booking at the awesome newly-renovated Capitol Theatre last Saturday night. Anyone who has been in the jamband scene knows that these 2 bands grew in lock-step in their early years -- Chris Barron and John Popper were high school buddies, and when John moved to Brooklyn and formed Blues Traveler, Chris moved into the apartment that they shared. Soon afterwards, Spin Doctors formed through various connections that John and the guys had made at The New School Of Music. They wrote some songs together and thanks to Blues Travelerīs early success, they often invited their friends from The Spin Doctors (or sometimes just Chirs Barron) to share the bill with them when they performed. At its peak, this meant, at times, the 2 bands performing interlocking sets where they would transition from one band to the next without any break. So they knew each othersī tunes, and had a lot of fun sitting in during each othersī sets.
The interlocking sets (sometimes known as "Spinning Traveler" or "Blues Doctors" shows) reached their pinnacle on the HORDE tour, which brought the Aquarium Rescue Unit and Widespread Panic (local southern heroes and bands who were just as close to each other as BT/SD were) along to perform their own interlocking sets.
Anyway, after lots of success and all sorts of tragedy and drama over the years, both bands continued along their parallel paths, but rarely intersecting much for a long time.
Fast forward 20 years after the HORDE, and we get the first "Spinning Traveler" show in possibly 20 years (though I am willing to be proven wrong if someone can dig up one they have played in the meantime). Having experienced a few of these, regardless of how the bandsī individual sets are, there is nothing like heights the bands achieve when you start to mix up the chemistry of both bands for a full band segue. And on this night, they did not disappoint -- in fact it was everything I wanted and more.
The Spin Doctors played a VERY strong set after shaking off a little dust in their first couple of tunes, and they really started heating up with a song from their most recently released album "Nice Talking To Me" which has been growing on me of late. This led into a great Eric Schenkman-led "Off My Line" (with an "I Hear You Knockinī" jam) and a run through of their first big hit "Little Miss Canīt Be Wrong". With that out of the way, we got a nice 2-fer of some fresh songs the band has recorded for their forthcoming blues-based album -- "Some Other Man" and "If The River Was Whiskey", with Chris Barron reminiscing about how they had to play blues covers in their early days to get the high paying gigs, which led to them writing a whole bunch of faux blues originals to fool the club owners. :)
Next up, the band tossed out a superb version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" that they originally recorded for the "Philadelphia" movie soundtrack that the crowd was into (and singing along to! I mean, who doesnīt love Creedence?), a couple of additional signature tunes -- "What Time Is It?" and "Jimmy Olsenīs Blues", and then another blues based DEEP favorite cut of mine from the old days -- "About A Train". Bringing their set nearly to a close, they knock out the last of the "big 3" tunes that they play every show, "Two Princes", a superb jammed-out version of "Shinbone Alley" (with a drum solo which should remind everyone why Aaron Comess remains one of the most amazing drummers out there and a bass solo that showcases Mark Whiteīs ability to do subtle things on his instrument in addition to slapping up the funk!), and then the real fireworks begin!
Ripping into possibly the most high energy version of (the already high energy) "Lady Kerosene" ever, the Blues Traveler guys came onstage one-by-one -- first Brendan Hill stepping up to his own drum kit for some double-drumming action (while simultaneously the crack stage crew slid Aaronīs drumkit to the back of the stage WHILE HE WAS STILL PLAYING!), then John Popper, Chan Kinchla, Tad Kinchla, and Ben Wilson one by one adding to the jams until everyone was onstage jamming to a monster "Lady Kerosene" together. Chris was so amped up that he started singing the chorus before singing any of the verses (which he did get to). Eric Schenkman really proved his worth during this song, pulling off a MASSIVE guitar solo that caused John Popper to exclaim "Eric MOTHERFUCKING Schenkman!" afterwards. Riding the wave of this intense bit of music, Blues Traveler led the way into one of their most high energy oldies "Crash Burn" which was a great platform to keep the energy high leading into their set, as the Spin Doctors members filed off one by one.
Right here, you can see the benefit of the full band segue -- instead of needing to build up the energy from ground zero after a set break, the 2nd band gets to ride the crest of the wave already in motion from the first band! Despite having released a whole slew of recent albums (some somewhat successful, some not so much), Blues Traveler managed to cover a lot of great classic tunes from their repertoire in their set -- including some true favorites of mine. "Back In The Day" (not quite an old classic) was great; "NY Prophiesie" is an older one that Iīd forgotten about but still holds up; "Manhattan Bridge" is a very old transitional instrumental that Iīd also forgotten about; "Runaround", "But Anyway", and "Hook" were all played with energy and good vibes that was surprising after all of these years; "Slow Change", "Gotta Get Mean" and "Brother John" are slightly deeper oldies and great gems from their back catalog and really MADE the Blues Traveler set for me. "Brother John" included a traditional medley of covers in the middle including The Isley Brothersī "Shout". And then there were the covers -- "What I Got", a Sublime (a band that I somehow missed in the 90s while I was busy seeing The Grateful Dead and Phish and lots of Jambands at Wetlands) song that was a BLAST to hear, and John Lennonīs "Imagine" (with Chris Barron joining on vocals, and hilariously reading the lyrics from the palm of his hand, much like a cheating grade school student!) which was beautiful, featuring a nice harmonica solo from John Popper. "Gotta Get Mean" also featured Eric Schenkman sitting in on guitar.
And finally for the encore, we got a smokinī version of the one tune I KNEW theyīd play together -- "Hard To Exist" which was co-written by both bands (and which both bands used to do their own arrangements of in 89/90) but eventually wound up on the Spin Doctorsī 1st album (and Blues Traveler stopped playing it).
What a night! Nearly 4 hours of continuous Blues Traveler / Spin Doctors music -- so much fun (for the fans and for the bands too!), and so well played. I think to some extent, both bands had to raise their game a bit, since they were egging each-other on and feeding off of each-other.