Last night (May 29th), I had the pleasure of seeing one Mr. Paul Gilbert. Famous for his work in Racer X, Mr. Big, and of course his extensive solo catalog, Paul has continued to grow as a musician and songwriter through the years. In fact, I feel as though when compared to his contemporaries, he has grown the most as a guitarist and overall musician. I’d venture to say last night was one of the best instrumental music concerts I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to quite a few.
But that’s not what this is about.
The showtime was to start at 7:30, and it did, but with an opening band, not Paul. That’s normal, of course. But in what I felt was a bit odd for someone of Paul’s stature as an artist, they had a local cover band open for him. A……mediocre cover band. I’m not going to say the name, as I don’t feel the need to drag anyone through the mud. They tried hard, after all, and it takes balls to get on the same stage that someone like Paul Gilbert will be on after.
But here we are, at a venue that’s bigger than a bar, albeit smaller than say the Congress or Riviera, but still a nice venue for live music. We have a musician and his band who are beyond tight, and excellent performers. And then we have a bar cover band opening? Huh?
I know. Big deal, right? That’s not why we’re there anyway, so just go get a beer and shut up.
No, my main issue with it is that there are TONS of bands in this area alone, writing and performing original material, that would die to play for free in front of Paul’s audience, probably for free. I know if I had my shit together, I definitely would. Who wouldn’t? If nothing else, it’d be fun to play on that stage to just my mom, if for no other reason to get experience of playing in such a venue.
But I’m old. My days of chasing the rockstar dream are long over, and that’s fine. I’m talking about the kids in their early 20’s that truly love the craft of music, and want to get it into more peoples’ ear holes. These people would die for the opportunity to open for Paul freakin’ Gilbert, and possibly make a few more fans, get a few more social media followers, and hell, even sell a CD or two.
It makes me wonder; does this cover band have a relative that works for the Arcada? Probably. Why else would they ignore all the great talent out there to be seen?