So… How many times in your life have you been invited to a really up close and personal performance from a couple of your favourite artists? For me, it’s literally only ever happened the once, and with obstacles being thrown in front of me it was a mission and a half to get there. I say there, I mean down to Peterborough, the land of funny accents and over priced beer (that’s why I took my own Jager).
Now, being a total fan boy (the proof is in CB’s previous Ugly Kid Joe interview with Whit Crane and Sonny Mayo), I was worried about popping a nut over the prospect of meeting Ryan and Erik, or even being in the same room as them.
Anyways, I digress, fan boy style….
I arrived a couple of hours before the show was due to start, ready for the show of a lifetime. Liz who was hosting this particular leg of the tour (I have to mention this lady, she’s totally an awesome person) made this gig one of the best for all involved with a warm, inviting atmosphere and, of course, up close and personal performance from two really talented individuals. We were all literally a couple of feet from the stage, making the show just that much better. Better than being in a sea of thousands screaming in some sold out academy tour.
This show just had that personal feel about it that simply couldn’t be replicated anywhere else. Ryan Hamilton (People on Vacation), and Erik Chandler (Bowling For Soup) performed a couple of their own solo tracks, and the one that sticks in my head is Ryans “Rose Covered Mansion” (you really need to get this track – seriously) – beautiful music. In that kind of atmosphere it went down a total treat. There were covers thrown in left right and centre, Lemonheads, The Eagles, and a BFS track – The Bitch Song. Acoustically, this track worked so well, Ryan’s voice was simply amazing, and Erik just knows how to harmonise perfectly, making this track sound chilled out, yet really powerful and almost weepy. I say that in a good way, not many songs tend to move me quite the way that one did. (I didn’t cry though – I’m a total alpha-male after all. If I was a girl, I totally would’ve wept like a baby.)
Really, I am trying to be objective and straight down the line with this review, but, you know that feeling when a show is one that you’ll remember for the rest of your life? I think this is the one for me… I will never forget it. I can’t fault their performance, the guys kindness and willingness to mix with the folks that came to watch afterwards, and most of all, just being humans. Although these guys are on that ‘Rock Star’ pedestal for me, they are the nicest folk around, no egos allowed here. Over my years of writing I’ve met and interviewed some rock stars that do believe their own hype, which is kind of bad as it makes them less approachable, but these two are just two guys having fun with guitars, and making it work well!!
To give the show marks out of 10? It has to be a 10 for me, with the meeting and greeting scenario afterwards just being a total bonus. IF, any of you get the chance to watch these guys perform, do it, I promise you won’t regret it. They’ll move you, make you laugh, cry, and take home a satisfaction you will get nowhere else.
I have to thank everyone that made these shows possible, Kate and Matt (for being awesome human beings and if I don’t mention Matt he’ll call me names… Again), Liz for giving her house up for a night, the twitter family (there’s too many to mention) for making whole thing that much better and, finally, a massive thanks to Ryan and Erik for being outstanding.