I had another busy musical week. I was assigned to review two shows at the Orange County Fair. I covered Hootie & the Blowfish, Tonic and Cracker on July 12, while I covered another triple act bill last night, July 14, featuring headliner Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Berlin and the Motels. Although you can see my reviews that ran in the Orange County Register to get the full story, general impressions are some of these acts are a lot better than many of the so-called musical press want to admit. Hootie & the Blowfish continue to prove they are the best bar band in America (being a long-time fan of the Smithereens, that's saying a lot for me!). And Cracker rocked. "Low" could be a hit on modern rock radio today - more than a decade since its release.
I was never much of a fan of Pat Benatar (my mom and brother loved them), but I really enjoyed the authentic connection she and husband-guitarist Neil had with the audience and their own music in Costa Mesa last night. Neil is a great guitarist and seems to only have improved over the years too.
I really excited about the weekend; I get to see Tears for Fears and the Gin Blossoms on Sunday night. I'll check in with you early next week about that concert.
I'm also hoping to check out Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at the movies this weekend. Composer Danny Elfman, who led the great Oingo Boingo, is back singing for the first time since "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with the soundtrack here and it should be good. I'll let you know.