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11-01-2000Blues Traveler hosts Halloween bash in Athens

Bassist Tad Kinchla made the grand entrance at Athens' Georgia Theater last night to the strains of "Hit Me Baby One More Time", clad in Britney Spears garb. Ben Wilson followed that with his Cher outfit and took his place behind the keyboard while "Believe" blared in the background. Brendan Hill took the stage in a Spiderman outfit. Then, both the "old John Popper" and the "new John Popper" strode on stage and for a moment, fans did a double-take. Many hadn't seen John since his solo band's tour came their way nearly a year ago, and when the 270-pound lead singer strode across the stage and strapped on a guitar, standing in Chan Kinchla's spot, the joke was funny enough. But then Chan came out, stuffed shirt and all, pulled out a harmonica and actually played and sang the first verse of "Run-Around" before the two switched positions and finished the song in their customary roles. The show featured the traditional Black Cat Jam to open the second set as well as the first Joker of the tour. There is no word yet on whether or not the band plans on continuing with its cover of "Sweet Home Alabama", debuted last week in Tuscaloosa.