Blues Traveler Celebrates 30 Years With A Sold Out Show
Blues Traveler Celebrates 30 Years With A Sold Out Show at The Paramount
Celebrating an anniversary is always special but celebrating 30 years with multi-platinum recording artist Blues Traveler is what good times are made of. The fans came out in force to rejoice as this band has a long rich history. Forming back in 1987 in Princeton, NJ, they have released twelve full-length studio albums since 1990. The album that introduced them to a mainstream audience was 1994’s, four, which had two chart topping singles, one of which awarded them a Grammy in 1995 for Best Rock Performance for the song “Run Around.” And with that being said, to add to the anniversary excitement on January 27, it was also a special night for the venue they were playing at, The Paramount in Huntington, NY, this top 5 rated venue was also celebrating the fact that this would be their 1000th show.
The show was sold out so a lot of fans got there early. The crowd was made up of all age groups and they were eager for the good jamming to start. Warming up the crowd was a Nashville based band, Los Colognes. Taking the stage, Jay Rutherford (vocals, guitar), Aaron Mortenson (drums), Gordon Persha (bass), Clint Maine (guitar) and Alex Caress (keyboards) all had warm smiles on their faces and they went right into “Baby, You Can’t Have Both.” After a few more tunes, “Backseat Driver,” “Molly B Good,” and “White Whale” you could get a slight feel of The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd yet they had a unique sound all their own and the crowd was really enjoying it.
They really got a great response after they played “Man Over Bored” when Rutherford asked, “Are you guys with us?” and even more cheers after “Working Together.” Before their last song Rutherford spoke a little about their band and how they are not strangers to Blues Traveler as they were honored to be on the last tour, this past fall, with them also. They ended the set with “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” and invited the cheering crowd to meet them at the merch table to say “Hi.”
The venue was filling to its capacity as the nine o’clock hour was approaching and the crowd was pretty laid back, most everyone had a drink in their hand. You could feel the excitement building, as they knew they could never know what to expect from a live Blues Traveler’s show. The band in known for weaving in and out of segues of their songs and covers and they rarely play the same set list, so each show is truly unique.
Just before the lights went dim there was not a space left unoccupied, so when John Popper (vocals/harmonica), Chan Kinchla (guitar), Tad Kinchla (bass), Ben Wilson (keyboards) and Brendan Hill (drums) came out on stage a deafening burst of cheers erupted. They started the show with an intro, “Mountain Cry” and then went right into “Stand” and then “All Fall Down.”
The crowd was swaying along and having a great time as they played “NY Prophesie” and they were really jumping to “Run Around.” Then they were treated to a Radiohead cover song, “Creep” and the fans were going wild. After the cheering came down just a tad the band took the show to another level with “But Anyway.”
It was now time for Popper to take a few moments to talk about why they have been on tour, “We are celebrating our 30th anniversary!” He continued with more about that and to also talk about the future, as the next song they would play is a brand new song, “She Becomes My Way” and the fans thoroughly enjoyed the new tune.
Then it was time for “Slow Change” before playing a crowd favorite, Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” where the fiddle is replaced with Popper’s amazing harmonica skills.
And another treat came after “Ode From The Aspect” when Jay Rutherford came back onstage to join the band in “Carolina Blues.” They went to close out the show with “Hook” but the fans were screaming too loudly for it not to end, so in satisfying their fan’s craving they ended the night with and incredible version of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker.”
Not only was the band fantastically tight, but also throughout the show each band member had an opportunity to show off their astonishing skills by taking solos and often jamming together.
There was a lot of energy on stage and the crowd really grooved along with it, they had a truly good time. Definitely check these guys out; they will be on tour though mid March mostly on the East Coast. They even have a couple of dates listed in August, so keep watch on their tour page as we can hopefully expect to see more dates pop up.