Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven 12/29/18, Denver

Dates: December 19, 2018

Location: The Soiled Dove, Denver CO

Live at The Soiled Dove, and the sibling bands were in fine form.

BY TIM HINELY

OK, so a few facts here. It had been over a decade since I’d last seen Camper van Beethoven and I’d never seen Cracker before, but I like the venue (though their booking is a bit suspect) so I jumped at the chance to see these two classic bands (plus seeing David Lowery pulling double duty, as he always does, it quite a treat).

Was pleasantly surprised to see Camper Van Beethoven with the original (more of less…at least their classic) lineup of Lowery on vocals/guitar, Greg Lisher on guitar, Victor Krummenacher on bass, Jonathan Segel on violin and Chris Pedersen on drums.

The set was a nice mix of hits and other oddities, yes, we did hear their Status Quo cover of “Pictures of Matchstick Men” plus “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “Eye of Fatima” (both parts 1 and 2).  Near the end they did a fabulous medley that included “Hava Nagila” and some Led Zeppelin tossed in (some “Kashmir” for sure). They ended the set with “Northern California Girls” and I’m happy to say that after all these years CVB still sound fabulous.

Cracker took the stage at about 9:15 PM and the packed house was ready.  Segel from CVB was sitting in on keyboards while Pedersen was on drums (I think it was him) and up front was the big three with Lowery on rhythm guitar and vocals plus cosmic lead guitarist (and Colorado resident) Johnny Hickman and rock-solid bassist Bryan Howard.

Cracker sounded like a well-oiled machine as well. They played a relatively short set that was packed with classics including “Low” as well as “Get Of This,” “Seven Days,” “I Want Everything” and “Teen Angst “what the world needs now)”. Near the end they showed off their honky tony roots with the “King of Bakersfield” (off their most recent record, 2014’s terrific From Berkeley to Bakersfield) and ended the set with a whooped up version of ‘Euro-Trash Girl.”

On a night that I wasn’t sure what to expect both bands put their best foot (foots) forward and completely delivered. A great night and I can’t wait until they come back to town.

 

 

 

 

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