2016 has been a particularly good year for concerts so far, and two Wednesdays ago, the 13th, was no exception. Soul Asylum and the English Beat, bands I would consider co-headliners as opposed to an opener and featured act, played the Ogden Theater in Denver, a show ENH and I happily attended.
Soul Asylum, the younger of the two acts (The band started playing as S.A. in Minneapolis in 1983), took the stage first and I was initially taken aback by who I was seeing on stage.
Dave Pirner looked and acted and sounded like the Dave Pirner who has fronted the band since it's inception, but the absence of Karl Mueller (who had passed away from cancer back in 2005), Grant Young (fired/replaced back in 1995) and Dan Murphy (who left the band four years ago to live a quieter life and run his antiques business with his wife) was a little bit of a shock.
Uhm, I should mention that I hadn't seen the band since they played a dive bar in downtown SD in the mid-'80's, so yeah, it's been awhile.
The new guys playing with Dave Pirner are Michael Bland, a great drummer I saw backing up PDubya on his 2005 Folker tour (Bland isn't really a new guy btw, as he's been SA's drummer for the past eleven years), Winston Roye, a session musician of note who took over on the bass when Tommy Stinson left to reform the 'mats with PDubya, and Ryan Smith, a member of the Minneapolis band the Melismatics, playing lead guitar for only about a month now, as the former SA lead quirtarist, Justin Sharbono, got the axe in mid-June (or rather, to use rock lingo, was relieved of his duties on the axe....)
The new Soul Asylum line up played all the biggie's of course, and they played them extremely well. The hits included my fav, Somebody To Shove, but they also played a new tune from their new album (I had no idea they had released a new album - I really gotta keep up with Minneapolis area bands not named the 'mats a little better).
The new tune is titled Supersonic, and it lived up to it's title - great power pop punk number. I'm going to have to track down the new album.
The English Beat took the stage about twenty minutes after SA wrapped up their set, and they too were comprised of both a recognizable veteran (Dave Wakeling, still front and center as he was when I saw them thirty years ago in SD) and a stellar new line up (well, new to me...)
Will finish this later, gotta jet