Monday, October 06, 2003

Better Than Ezra better than Hootie

Well, Bayfest has come and gone. I have to admit, it was a great time.

I signed up to cover the Hootie and the Blowfish concert because I thought, like many others, it would be nostalgic, as they were at the height of popularity at a particularly fun time of my life.

I met up with two of my friends and we headed for downtown Mobile. After about 10 minutes of driving around to find a parking space, we were finally able to get to the stages.

Bayfest is always full of people, color, sound and the wonderful smells of all kinds of food, and this year was no exception. My diet prevented me from purchasing a funnel cake, but I still enjoyed the smell!

We arrived at the WABB stage in time to catch Better Than Ezra. All I can say about them is, they rocked. The lights were spectacular and the music was loud.

Even more impressive, they were having a great time. It's always better to see musicians who are having fun up on the stage because it is obvious they love what they are doing. The guys in Better Than Ezra love making music. Anyone in the audience this weekend could tell that right away.
Lead singer Kevin Griffin jumped around the stage, joked with the crowd and did impressions of Mariah Carey. Tom Drummond was the typical cool bassist one minute, plucking calmly at his guitar, then he broke out with a bass solo that rocked the house, stealing the crowd (and my heart)!
Hailing from New Orleans, these guys know how to party. For one night only, they brought the party to Mobile.

After the awesome Better Than Ezra show, I was even more excited to see Hootie and the Blowfish. The crowd grew, anticipation mounted and Hootie disappointed. They hardly addressed the audience at all, and when they did, it wasn't convincing. They looked like they were just up there performing, not having all that much fun. The crowd did erupt with applause whenever they played something from "Cracked Rear View," their most popular album.

I personally enjoyed their performances of "Hold My Hand," "Time" and "Let Her Cry" much more than their newer music. The reason I wanted to see Hootie was because of that 1996 album, not for the newer songs. Fun was had by all, but not nearly as much fun as Better Than Ezra.

I'd have to say the best moment of the concert was when Darius Rucker, lead singer, dedicated "Let the Circle be Unbroken" to all those who have died and will die for our country. It was a very touching, very American moment.

Now Bayfest is over and after a little rest and recovery time, I know I'll be excited for next year. To the organizers of this event, I have to say, bring Better Than Ezra back! I'd love to see the cool bassist, Tom Drummond again!

The rest of the guys can come too, of course!

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