G. Love and Special SaucePosted 04/27/2007 10:33AM by Chris Conlan as Show Review
It’s been quite awhile since I last attended a show. In all honesty, I can’t even give you a valid reason as to why I haven’t, but when a couple of my buddies were going to see G Love and Special Sauce I figured I might as well give it a shot. My previous musical experience with G Love is quite limited. Although he’s been around for quite awhile and released plenty of albums, to even remember a song he’s sung would be a task. So to prepare myself for this little endeavor, I tried to submerge myself with some of his albums to at least be able to sing along to a couple songs.
Now it is the day of the show and I’m scrambling to make sure I’m on the guest list because a past experience of mine has left me scarred from attending shows away from where Dubuque, IA. Just think how you would feel if you drove 4 hours thinking you were on the guest list and then getting to the venue and finding out your name isn’t on the list AND the publicist didn’t answer the phone. Well, my worries were tossed to the side by the ladies man Shawn Koonin at Universal. Thanks again.
Ok, so let’s get the party started or at least that’s what my friends were doing on the way up to the show. Usually, I don’t find myself drinking at concerts because I’ll get all shit-faced and then forget what happened at the show. So while I was sitting there all straight-edge, my buddies were pounding back beers on the drive up. By the time we got to the venue the first band already started playing. They were called The Expendables. Unlike G Love, I’ve had no prior knowledge of this band, but they definitely left a good impression with me. Their music was in the vein Sublime and Pepper. For those who don’t know, basically they play reggae styled music. Since I didn’t have anything write stuff down, I can’t really tell you the songs they played, but from judging from their MySpace and website, it was all older material, although they did mention they played one new song.
So after The Expendables finished their set, you could feel it in the air the anticipation for G Love to hit the stage. The venue started filling in and people were frenzying to find a seat. Luckily, we found a row of seats right up in the front with a perfect view. While I might go a little off of the review here, I highly recommend most venues have stadium style seating if you do have seats. I’ll get into more detail at the end of the review.
It was time for G Love to hit the stage. The crowd was screaming at the top of their lungs and the energy was massive. The band hadn’t even picked up their instruments and you could tell already you were in for a great show. Unlike many bands I’ve seen live, there have been only a select few were the crowd anticipation was like this.
Kicking off the almost 2 hour performance was the song “Don’t Drop It” which is off the band’s 2004 release The Hustle. Within the first 30 seconds of them playing, they had complete control of the crowd. You could see people dancing everywhere, even if some of them looked absolutely ridiculous. They didn’t care.
About 3 songs into the set, I was getting a little jiggy with it. Maybe it was because of something I did before the band went on, but either way I could tell I was going to be in for some fun even if I didn’t know most of the songs. Every so often throughout the set, my buddy Kies would keep hitting me and exclaiming, “Put that in your fucking review!” With his glazed eyes I just shook my head and laughed.
Song by song the crowd was wanting more and more. The set list varied in pace from up-tempo to mid-paced songs. While a lot of bands get done with their set after an hour, I knew the band was far from over. The guys finished the first set with the hit “Give It to You”. This song was the highlight of my night because it is the song I actually remembered and was able to sing along to.
The song ended and the guys left the stage. The lights went dim and people were shouting “G Love, G Love, G Love!” While, I’m sure 99.9% of them knew the show wasn’t over (I was one of them), they kept screaming it. So while they were doing so, I started talking to my friend Kies and some girl smacks me on the arm and says, “Less talking, more shouting for an encore.” I held myself back from saying anything because I didn’t want a fight to break out (kidding).
Well, after waiting about 15-20 minutes, G Love came back out and started playing some songs on his steel guitar. The music was definitely more soft-spoken. After a couple of solo tracks, the rest of the band came out and finished off the set with about 4 songs. The crowd gave the band a huge applause and the group bowed to everyone thanking them for coming.
As I stood there clapping my hands I was thinking to myself, “I have no clue what I’m going to say in the review.” My only complaints from the show would have to be the volume for the vocals. At times, it was really hard to hear what he was singing, but other than that, the band did a fantastic job. If only more bands put that much into their live show, you’d see more people going to shows.