First up of course was Athenaeum. In the last few weeks, I've really come to dig these guys. Anyone who likes songs with loads of guitar, cool vocals, and more hooks than a bait shop will love this band. Philly's set once again showed the boys in fine form, and the crowd roared their approval after every song (OK gents, where's my ten bucks like you prom. . .oh, whoops. Never mind.)
Soon enough, Monsignor Pietro was lighting the candles, the amps were spitting o ut aircraft landing noises, and it was time to hit the stage to the pummeling roar of DIZZY and catch our first look at the Philly crowd. You know what? Not to sound too Ted Nugent, but Philadelphia fucking ROCKED. No wonder Rocky Balboa was so stoked to go running here. These people were INTO IT in a large 'Friday Night' kinda way. Mike looked dapper in a functional shorts/t shirt ensemble that s aid 'I came to play drums, dammit.' From his sensibly shorn head to his no nonsense sneakers, there were no frilly tuxedo ruffles to be seen on this percussive maestro. Robby was resplendent in a deep emerald short sleeve collared shirt and slacks - a far cry from yesteryear, and yet a natural for his high-energy manic rock attitude. Of course, the trademark 'oops, left my footwear on the bus' look was in full effect, because shoes are optional when you rock THAT DAMN HARD! I believe Johnny was working the! leather pants/tank top combo he has favored as of late, but even if I'm wrong, let's face it folks, that Rzeznik fella could get the females fillin' the drool buckets in a ratty-ass bathrobe and a Holiday Inn shower cap. Keyboardist extrordinaire Dave 'Sober' Schultz chose not only the awesome t-shirt 'pepsi logo letters but says PUSSY' and dashing straw pork-pie hat, but special for Philly he rocked some awesome SHADES at the beginning of the set. Who's that behind those foster Grants? And your humble scribe, not really wanting to mess with tradition, once again went with the green 'Lone Ranger on animal tranquilizers' cowboy shirt/vinyl pants combo. Vinyl-for that 'NEW CAR' smell!
As far as the set list, check out other recent reviews - we're not tinkering with it too much right now. Judging from the crowd's response, it seems to work out well! Once in a while, someone will yell out a song title and I'll think, " Yeah, we should play that one," but then I'll think "Wait a minute, we never play 'Hooked on a Feeling'! What the hell's WRONG with that guy?" Then sometimes I'll think, "Man, dinner was good tonight, but too bad they ran out of pork." Or sometimes I'll think, "How cool is it to play with the best band ever to touch instruments, the GOO GOO DOLLS!" Yeah, life's sweet.
Highlites from tonight would have to include HATE THIS PLACE, guest star Gino Tummorro's incendiary harmonica work on BROADWAY, and IRIS floored 'em as well . Robby sang his torqued larynx off on favorites like JANUARY FRIEND and 2ND TIM E AROUND, and maybe soon I'll actually remember the correct parts to eternal crowd-pleasers like FALLIN' DOWN and SLIDE.
Well, like the song says, I just want you to know. . . THE GOOS ROCKED PHILADELPHIA'S HINEY!!!
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