Boston – House of Blues welcomes back the blues
Last Wednesday, the House of Blues Boston was gifted with a show so epic that I’m surprised the building is still standing. One room, a handful of legends, and a rowdy crowd is the not-so-secret formula to bring a venue as classic and beloved as HOB Boston to its knees, and yet here we are, several days later, with no word on a collapsed building or structural damage.
Blues Traveler is in the thick of a national tour and has no intention of settling down or going easy on future venues; I think it’s safe to say that supporting acts The Wallflowers, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Howie Day feel the same.
Maine-native Howie Day kicked off the night with his indie-pop-rock concoction, setting the upbeat, dance-infused tone for the evening. While his music has been on the radar since the late 90’s, his use of samplers and effect pedals during his live show is what took his name outside of Maine. Songs like “She Says” and “Collide,” which are some of his most well-known singles from his 2003 release Stop All The World Now, finished off his set, checking off one of three openers for the night.
Next up: G. Love & Special Sauce, an alt-hip-hop fusion from Philly. Imagine everything you love about blues set to everything you love about hip-hop and boom, you’ve got G. Love & Special Sauce. Perhaps the most memorable part of their set belonged to a song that wasn’t even theirs; the group covered “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road” by, you guessed it, The Beatles and if that’s not ballsy, what is? Also, awesome. It was awesome. They closed out their set with crowd-favorite “Nothing Else Quite Like Home” from their 2014 release Sugar.
Opener #2, check. The much-anticipated The Wallflowers took the stage next and trust me, you know this band. Bob Dylan’s son, Jakob Dylan, is the mastermind behind the band, meaning he’s the dude who penned their most successful single, “One Headlight,” from their 1996 release Bringing Down the Horse. The beginning of his set offered a cover of the Box Tops’ “The Letter,” although they graced Boston with “One Headlight” AND “The Difference.” Talk about a sick set.
The audience wasn’t without a legend in front of them for too long, as Blues Traveler took the stage quickly. Performing classics such as “Looking Up” and “But Anyway,” along with a reprise, Blues Traveler demonstrated why their nearly 20 year career has been going strong since 1987. The audience was either blessed or cursed (depending on who you are, but I think we can all agree to use #blessed on our Instagram pic of the night) with a cover of Sublime’s “What You Got” with G. Love. They finished off the night with a killer cover of The Charlie Daniel’s Band single, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”
While their music is awesome and their live show should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already, what makes this band even cooler is who they are outside of the group. As people, Blues Traveler are doin’ their own thing and making a name for themselves. Drummer Brendan Hill opened up a weed boutique called Paper and Leaf not too long ago in Washington. Is it successful? Of course it is. It’s a pot shop in Washington owned by a guy from Blues Traveler. Why wasn’t this opened earlier?!
On the other side of the spectrum of baddass-ness (that’s a word, right?), frontman John Popper is technically still recovering from spinal surgery. Three crushed vertebrae were operated on not even a month ago and now he’s playing shows! If that’s not top-level, I don’t know what is. According to Popper, if he hadn’t gone through with the surgery, he would most likely be paralyzed. Scary stuff, but apparently it’s nothing to Popper since he’s back home on stage. This show might be worth seeing based on these facts alone, but luckily they make good music too. Find a date near your here, get yourself to a show, and let us know how ol’ Popper is doing.
Check out a full gallery of the show here!