Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Concert Review: Better Than Ezra


House of Blues - Cleveland
Tuesday, June 23, 2009


1. Turn Up the Bright Lights
2. Good
3. Black Light
4. A Lifetime
5. Rolling
6. All In
7. Extra Ordinary
Segue into Love is What I Got (including small rip/impersonation of DMB)
8. Absolutely Still
9. King of New Orleans
10. Sincerely, Me
11. Hey Love
12. Under You (a half-assed performance)
13. Wallflower (I think)
14. Laid (James Cover)
15. Nightclubbing
16. Miss You (Stones Cover)
17. Juicy
18. Desperately Wanting

18. Blackbird (Acoustic cover)
19. I Just Knew
20. The Loveless
21. In the Blood

I have been excited for weeks upon hearing tickets were available for another Better Than Ezra show in Cleveland. The last time I saw BTE was when the House of Blues first opened here in our fair city about five years ago. I was in love with that show. It was second in performance only to their 1995 tour (which is far-and-wide, my favorite live show that I have ever witnessed of any band).

Kevin Griffin always had a way to emotionally connect me to his music with his powerful, heart-wrenching lyrics and his lusty voice. And he had a particular genius in tying his music to some very special memories -- many of which should be forgotten.

Just as the most recent show in Cleveland should be.

The show started (innocently against Griffin) with major sound problems. It was disorienting at first (especially to a half-blood perfect pitch spawn) The first two or three songs on the setlist were incredibly bad and continued to be distracting at any time guitars played together (which, duh, is frequent). I hoped that the muddled sound would eventually correct itself -- it didn't; I drank more PBR. (note: I stood in the same location on Stage Left for my last show at House of Blues, with no problems).

Regardless of sound quality, I was pleased with the onset of BTE's setlist.


I found myself enjoying the new music from the Paper Empire album as the show progressed. "Hey Love," "Black Light" and "I Just Knew" were all GREAT selections. The song "Nightclubbing" is uber-catchy, resembling the glam-rock sounds of say, The Killers. Very, very sweet dance-when-no-one's-watching kind of song. “Nightclubbing” definitely perked up an otherwise very meh Better Than Ezra performance.

The new album is nothing short of fantastic – as one would expect from these talented musicians; however, I feel the band really let down the crowd in focusing mostly on the new release. There is no denying it was a really good show (save for shitty audio issues), but it was as if the original BTE nostalgia was entirely gone. Also, I detest when bands – who have an arsenal of great music -- skip it to play a handful of mediocre covers and medleys. Yes, we all hear James' “Laid” practically each and every time a bar owns a sound system. And “Blackbird”? Really? Yuck. Stick to Steely Dan's "Dirty Work." Now, THAT is a cover!

I sincerely hoped BTE would extend an encore to include my favorite live versions of "Porcelain" or "This Time of Year" (as MANY fans were chanting) or even for Griffin to plod his way further through "Under You." You know what, Kevin? This is NOT that obscure of a song. It came up on Pandora shuffle just a day or two after the show. Now, I am an obvious fan of the Deluxe era of BTE, and I would have switched out "Good" for an addition of any song from that album, had I known there would not be a place in the encore list.

And then... and then... Griffin compared a song on Paper Empire to Wings. I practically threw up in my mouth. Or wanted to eat the beer can in my hand and wish for an instant splintered death. Nobody. Ever. Should compare himself to Wings. Not even Wings.


All that being said, I was still left somewhat empty by the performance. It felt as though my former emotional connection with the music had dissipated. This is not the Better Than Ezra I would have been geeking out for some fifteen years ago. It's as though... we broke up.

But at the end of the day, we can all thank the "King of New Orleans" for not boring us with "Rosealia."

  • ferris

    Thanx for the report… The long version of “In the Blood” has one of the great minimalist guitar solos. I think so, anyway.

  • Stacy

    So I take it you won’t be going to see Denny Laine (the dashing young lad in the very plaid jacket above) at the Winchester next month?

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Stacy, I’m thinking I might….with Denny Laine about a mile away from my house at a cool club, how could I avoid going?

    I’m sure Mel can give me reasons. But as a McCartney fan, and also a Moody Blues fan, I think I have to check out Denny!

  • Freeda Britson

    I thought this was pretty neat: singer-songwriter Michael Bernard Fitzgerald likes to visit to extremes.Two years ago, the Calgary soul-pop folkie bombarded 120 singers onstage for the sold-out present at his or her hometown’s version on the Winspear Centre.

  • criminal background check

    Hey there! I randomly stumbled upon your blog from Yahoo.

    Your article is filled with great info, and I
    will probably use it at some point in my career.
    Keep up that the fine work!

  • payday loans online

    Great web site! I’m loving it!! Will come back once
    again. I am book-marking your feeds additionally

  • cell phone lookup free

    Oh my goodness! an first-class post dude. Many thanks Conversely We
    are experiencing query with ur rss . Don’t be acquainted with why Not able to sign up to it.
    Could there be anyone getting the same rss dilemma? Anyone who knows kindly respond.


  • advance america cash advance

    From my opinion, nothing at all consequently catching being keenness,
    the idea carressed pure stone, it’s substance concerning hope.
    Sturdy faith would be successful with all of the effective fellow, and then
    suggest these individuals more substantial.

  • cell phone lookup

    This is usually a right blog for would just like to obtain out about
    this topic. You realize a lot it’s just about challenging to argue along (not that I personally would want…HaHa). You really put the latest spin with a topic thats been discussed for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just fantastic!

  • pay day loans

    Loving that the info on this internet site , you
    have done outstanding job on the posts .

  • free reverse phone lookup

    Whenever you tow a definite caravan nor van movie
    trailer your entire loved ones pretty soon get exposed to the down sides towards preventing best securely
    region. awnings

  • how to lose weight really fast

    we love watching Dancing with that the stars, that the actresses and actors
    that joins it have been nice’

  • pa criminal background check

    I consider something truly interesting about your weblog so I saved to fav.

  • reverse cell phone number lookup

    Grand poteau ! Merci pour prendre le temps d’écrire quelque chose
    qui est réellement en valeur la lecture. Trop souvent
    je trouve l’information inutile et pas quelque chose qui sont réellement
    appropriées. Merci pour votre dur labeur.

  • payday loans

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any other case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write
    again soon.

  • hcg diet south florida

    Dead pent subject matter, thankyou for entropy.

  • google people search uk

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this web
    site requirements considerably more consideration. I’ll probably be once more to discover far more, thank you for the information.

  • debt consolidation with bad credit

    Lindsay Lohan’s Court Appearance – This Is Sad Excellent goods from you, man.
    I’ve understand your stuff preceding to and you have been just too magnificent.

    I actually something like what you’ve acquired here, certainly
    for instance what you are stating and that the line
    of attack in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still
    take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more Lindsay Lohan’s Court Appearance – This Is Sad again out of you.
    Thanks For Share .

  • free cell phone lookup by name

    Terrific paintings! Which can be that the type of information that have been meant to be shared around the net.
    Shame on that the seek for no longer positioning this publish higher!
    Come on over and consult with my website . Thank
    you =)

  • best raspberry ketone to buy

    Great post, I conceive website owners should larn a lot out of this
    website it is very user friendly .

  • free credit score clark howard

    When visiting internet websites, i always look for
    a very nice content just like yours .

  • 14 year old make money online

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think
    that you’ll want to write read more about this topic, it will not be considered a taboo subject in spite of this generally everyone is too few to communicate in on such topics. To a different. Cheers

  • watch movies online without download

    puppies and dogs are very cute, i always love to play with them during my spare time.

  • available scholarships

    Hey this is kinda of off topic in spite of this I was wanting to know if web sites use WYSIWYG editors or if you need to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to locate answers from someone with
    experience. Any help would be very much appreciated!

  • cheap auto insurance in nyc

    Im no expert, on the other hand I consider you just made the best
    point. You certainly know what youre talking about, and I
    can really figure out behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so sincere.

  • background check

    Merely a smiling visitor here to share that
    the love (:, btw great style and design .

  • car insurance quotes

    That is very interesting, You have been an excessively professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for seeking for more of your great post.

    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  • people finder alberta

    It is easy to also put a chatbox on your blog for more interactivity among

  • win back girlfriend

    Wow, awesome blog structure! How long have you been running a blog for?

    you made blogging look trouble-free. The total look of your site is wonderful, let alone
    that the content material!

  • how to lose weight with hypothyroidism

    I are absent for some time, conversely now I remember why I used
    to love this web site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often.

    How frequently you update your website?