Hootie & the Blowfish
New World Music Theatre - Tinley Park, IL
August 13, 1995
First Appeared in The Music Box, October 1995, Volume 2, #9
Written by John Metzger
Overexposed is precisely what has happened to Hootie & the Blowfish. Just a few, short months ago, the band was energetic and seemed to enjoy what it was doing on stage. This August, heading up a tour of its own, the group seemed tremendously bored with performing the same show every night. That's what happens when one is forced to stretch a 45-minute album into a lengthy, headlining concert. Sure, there are plenty of new songs, but even with all of those, the show barely lasts for 2 hours, and that still doesn't solve the problem of having to perform the same set list night after night. Consequently, Hootie & the Blowfish is tired of the majority of the new material.
In any event, it could have been worse. Not Even the Trees was still quite soulful, Time still packed quite a punch, and Drowning epitomized the rage of racism. Of the newest material, only Old Man & Me seemed to inspire Hootie & the Blowfish to do more than just plod along. Most notable on this tour was that guitarist Mark Bryan drew more attention to himself by bounding around the stage and turning up his guitar a notch to nail a number of catchy riffs. He even flipped into Pete Townshend's windmill-style on Drowning.
A number of cover tunes also found their way into the show, including Bill Withers' funky hit Use Me, a first encore pairing of Wipeout and The Who's I Can't Explain, and a second encore of Mustang Sally, which featured the most pathetic guitar solo ever played, courtesy of opening act Don Dixon. Dixon may not have been a guitarist, but he provided some nice bass parts within his opening set.
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