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H.O.R.D.E. Not Hole-y Satisfying
by Andy Angeli
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI
Aug 25th, 1995



Many mainstream concerts that hit Milwaukee aren't personalized to the city or to its fans. However this year's H.O.R.D.E. tour which converged on the Marcus Amphitheater Saturday, proved quite the opposite. Playing to the Dairy State, the H.O.R.D.E. tour captivated the spirit of "cheese."

Saturday's show was like a fine piece of Swiss cheese. A nice substance and an overall good taste, but dotted with many holes. And just like Swiss cheese, the holes were the most noticeable part.

For example, the Marcus courtyard was filled with commercial vendors selling the usual "trendy" clothes, overpriced trinkets and Grateful Dead stickers in a cheesy attempt to imitate a Grateful Dead scene. The atmosphere was further diminished by the "sour" security personnel who snatched and popped the many balloons that were beginning to float through the air.

The biggest hold of the night was having the Black Crowes headline the show, when other acts easily could have topped their performance. But just like Swiss cheese, there was some nice texture and substance to the H.O.R.D.E. festival as well.

Ziggy Marley, looking and sounding remarkably like his father, pleased fans with an identical version of "Could You Be Loved."

Blues Traveler took the second spot on Saturday's bill.

Their tenacity wasn't quite the same as in past shows, but their effort was much appreciated. A straightforward "Run-Around," followed by a delicate "Crystal Flame" (dedicated to the memory of Jerry Garcia) capped off the band's set. Their hour on stage wasn't nearly enough time to generate steam.

Dave Matthews Band broke out of H.O.R.D.E.'s cheesy boundaries as the cream rose to the top. Dave and the boys played with the spunk and originality that they are known for. They opened with the eerie "Seek Up," which made its way into the graceful yet packed with musical punch "#36."

Towards the end of the band's set, Blues Traveler's front man and harmonica virtuoso, John Popper, joined the band for a stellar version of the popular "What Would You Say." The only disappointing thing about the Dave Matthews Band was that they didn't play nearly long enough.