Friday Night: "Last Summer on Earth" Tour at The Woodlands

Ladies July 23 1.JPG
Photos by Jim Bricker
Barenaked Ladies
"Last Summer on Earth" Tour
Feat. Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Cracker
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
July 20, 2012

As Nathan Smith said a few hours ago, his partial '90s nostalgia show at House of Blues Friday was more than a sight harder than the throwback bill I was on board for in The Woodlands. Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Cracker made for an even-uneven roster.

Of course, nothing this year will hold a candle to the Everclear/Gin Blossoms/Lit/Marcy Playground/Sugar Ray bill that was roaming the land this summer and skipped Houston for greener pastures to the west.

If you are like me, you spent the past decade making fun of things like 93.7 The Arrow's ArrowFest, with bills featuring the likes of Journey, Kansas, Little River Band and Loverboy. And you will also know the odd feeling when you realize that alternative-radio bands that you knew growing up (or from MTV's Buzz Bin) are now in the exact same spot as Journey and the rest.

Cracker July 23 1.JPG
It makes sense then that our bands from the '90s are now out on the road looking for tour blood, because the twentysomethings who lapped up that stuff now have disposable income and kids in junior high that can stay home alone, without parental guidance.

The funny thing about such a milquetoast bill as the one I saw on Friday night is that none of these bands were ever considered dangerous or innovative, save for maybe Cracker, who benefit from being led by David Lowery post-Camper Van Beethoven.

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Big Head Todd & the Monsters
Their opening set was a little more than 20 minutes long and heavy on the enduring flashbacks, able openers who don't need to be playing a shed like this when they could be packing in a smaller club.

Where were the Spin Doctors? I'm not even being flippant either.

Big Head Todd & the Monsters have built on the minor success of 1993's Sister Sweetly the past two decades with regular touring, and along the way somehow became a decent blues-rock band.

Singer and guitarist Todd Park Mohr's "Bittersweet" and "Circle" are muscular now, which is saying something when you consider how listless they used to be. With each single you wanted to shake the shit out of them to wake them up, but it took the bar-band grind to do that.

Thankfully, now they are little gruffer, older, and wiser, and the key thing: Louder.

Location Info


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX

Category: Music

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What a pity that Cracker got stuck opening for these light-weights.

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