SOUL ASYLUM in Chicago 8/21/98
There were some surprises at the Chicago show tonight. It was awesome, but
too short (like all the shows on this tour!).
The show started out a little weak. Dave seemed distracted. He mumbled and
missed a few lines on the first couple songs. They started with the
standard stuff: I Will Still Be Laughing, See You Later, Somebody To Shove,
Black Gold... Then, Dave stepped up to the microphone and said he was
having a really bad day, a day when everything's going wrong and he just
wanted someone to tell him it was going to be all right, and he wanted to
apologize to the audience for letting his bad day affect them. The band
continued with Runaway Train and Close. Between songs, Dave continued his
ranting, saying something like, "It all started with a blowjob!" As the
crowd gasped or cheered (depending on their ages), Dave went on to explain
that he was really upset about the U.S. blowing up terrorist sites
recently, and it's really been bumming him out.
Suddenly, the whole concert shifted. As Dave vented, he got more animated
on stage with each song. He said he loves Chicago because he just gets so
sick of the east coast and west coast bullshit. Dave was frustrated and
upset, so they threw out the set list and launched into Sexual Healing!!!
We were ecstatic, since we knew they had done pretty much the same songs
all tour until now. Dave goofed up the words a little and repeated himself
in the first verse, but then he got into it. Then the band did Gone Till
November (a Wyclef Jean song), which I hadn't heard before. They closed
with Candy From A Stranger. Yes, things started out rough, Dave got some
things off his chest, the set list went out the window, and everyone was
rocking at the end. It was over too soon. (We were hoping the guys in
Matchbox 20 would get sick or something and ask Soul Asylum to play all
night in their place!)
Unlike other shows (so I've heard), the crowd was pretty "into" the band. A
few people were standing the whole time, and a lot of people were singing
along with the songs they knew. Soul Asylum has been popular around here
for a long time, and I think we gave them a good welcome. Now, if more of
those fans would just go out and buy Candy From A Stranger!
The songs, again:
I Will Still Be Laughing
See You Later
Somebody to Shove
Black Gold
Runaway Train
Sexual Healing
Gone Till November
Candy From a Stranger
I used to be a Trip Shakespeare fan, so I was looking forward to hearing
Semisonic. They were all right live, but I like their new album better.
They picked good songs from it for their 35-minute set. Their basic problem
is that they use many instruments layered in the studio. As a trio, when
they play live, their songs sound a little sparse (they try hard to fill in
the gaps, though). I was impressed to see their drummer doubling on
keyboards--I've never seen that in a concert before. I mean, he was kicking
the bass drum while playing the keyboard simultaneously. Everybody went
nuts when they did Closing Time, and it seemed kind of silly the way Dan
Wilson hammed it up. Oh well, I guess after going nowhere with Trip
Shakepeare, it's his turn to get some attention, like our guys when they
did "that train song."
Matchbox 20? Uh, we were so psyched by Soul Asylum, we didn't bother
sticking around to hear the teenage girls screaming for the main act.
--Dave Johnsen (and brother Keith)