Although attendance for Saturday's Blues Traveler concert at University
Hall was not especially impressive, the popular band captivated its
audience with melodic blues riffs.
University Union sold 2,800 tickets and U-Hall holds 4,500 people. Union
Executive Coordinator Katrina Foelche said the organization lost money on
the performance, although she would not comment on the amount.
While the opening band Tragically Hip performed, it became obvious from
the crowd's blasť attitude that the majority of them was waiting for Blues
Traveler frontman John Popper to come out with his famous harmonicas.
The crowd's level of intensity surged as Popper and the rest of Blues
Traveler took the stage. The band opened with the well-known radio hit
"But Anyway", and although a few people in the stands got to their feet to
dance, most of the crowd remained seated (as they did throughout the
show). Those who were on the floor displayed slightly more energy, but
were fewer in number.
In the heart of Blues Traveler's music lies John Popper's blazing
harmonica solos. Even dissatisfied members of the crowd seemed impressed
with his amazing musical talents. In fact, Popper also wowed the audience
with his guitar abilities throughout the concert.
The band wonderfully covered the classic Charlie Daniels Band song,
"The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Popper's searing harmonica solos
interestingly replaced the original's strings and making it one of the
concert's most memorable pieces.
At every concert, there are the die-hard fans who will be satisfied with
everything the band plays. This was the case Saturday night, although many
fans were disappointed that the band left out arguably their biggest hit,
The band filled that gap later in the show with a creative rendition of
Steve Miller's classic "The Joker". They adapted the common rock song to
their style of lengthy jamming, extending it with frequent solos. For the
average rock fan, this style could be tedious and boring. But for
musicians and blues fans, the band offered an enjoyable and mellifluous
The band also included a powerful version of their hit "Hook" off of its
multi-platinum album four. Popper ended the song with staccato
vocals that were so energetic the crowd began to sing along.
At the end of the show, Popper gave some members of the audience something
to remember the band by when he threw harmonicas and guitar picks out into
After the show, fans gave mixed reviews.
"'The Devil Went Down to Georgia' was an amazing interpretation of a
classic song," first-year College student Mark Brzozowski said.
However, first-year College student Viet Nguyen said he felt the band
dragged out the songs and was not concerned with what the crowd
Still, Saturday's performance was enjoyable-both for true Blues Traveler
fans and for those just looking for something different to do.