Over the years there been several bands that have made their way into my everyday life, from learning all the lyrics of an entire album to attempting to see every show I could regardless of where they played. The list has steadily been added to over the years, but the one band that pretty much started my ongoing musical journey, Blues Traveler, recently made their way to Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre for a Saturday evening performance.
The band, who was formed in New Jersey in the late ’80s, is no stranger to this historic venue, being one of the many top acts such as Phish and The Rolling Stones to have played there back in the ’90s. Having not seen the band since their last stop off at the venue in 2012 this was a welcomed chance to spend the evening with the band that first got me into live music.
The venue was alive with fans, most of whom seemed to be letting loose for an evening of drinking and music much like they would have with this same band in the mid ’90s. As the room packed in the band took to the stage instantly jumping into an energetic cover of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The song which was left unfinished instantly set the tone for the evening infusing the band and crowd alike with an energy that could be felt throughout the night. As the evening progressed the band received echoing cheers from the intoxicated crowd as they dug deep into their song bank playing hits such as “Run Around” and “Hook” before delivering a moving version of “Mountains Win Again.”
On a night full of memorable moments my personal favorite came when guest vocalist Faul joined the band, pairing her mesmerizing vocals with John Popper’s infectious harp, resulting in an intense musical battle between the two musicians. The band’s large catalog of hits allowed them to play something for every fan over the course of the show which they did beautifully before transitioning back into “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” allowing Popper the chance destroy the songs main solo as well as bring the set to a fitting end. The band left the stage briefly before making their way back out to announce they were currently working on releasing a new studio album before thanking venue owner, Pete Shapiro, and the audience. The band finished the evening off with a hauntingly beautiful version of “Alone” which for me was a welcomed tune and perfect way to close out the show.
With the holidays over and the year quickly coming to an end this for many was one last chance to get out and share an evening of music and fun with friends, which the band more than provided. Taking me on a trip down memory lane over the course of the evening drove home how much I truly love this band and their music. From their ability to tell a story or to just open up and jam out a song, this is a band that has done it all over the years and with their announcement of a new album in the works, seems poised to continue doing so for years to come.