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The Iguanas
A Concert Review

June 15, 1996

The Cubby Bear

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Left
When I heard The Iguanas were going to be playing on a Saturday night at Cubby Bear, my first reaction was to look at a Cubs schedule. Yep, the Cubbies had a 3:05 game against the Padres that afternoon, and that sealed the deal. The forecast called for sunny skies and temperatures in the nineties; as Harry would say, "It's a beautiful day for baseball".

Trash and I got up to Wrigleyville by noon and had secured a couple of bleacher tickets by one. So, with a couple hours to kill we hit The Sports Corner, a cool little bar at the corner of Addison and Sheffield, just down the street from the El station. They have a pretty good selection of beers including some microbrews, and of course the Wrigley standards , Bud and Old Style. It is a good place to meet before games because its small and they have a nice patio area right on Sheffield so it's easy to see and be seen.

After a couple beers it was off to the game. To make a short story shorter, the Cubs lost. It was now about 5:30 and we still had a few hours to kill until the show. That being the case it was off to our first stop, dinner at The Raw Bar which is on Clark just north of Wrigley. They have a nice selection of fresh seafood (for the Midwest anyway); the steamed clams in white wine sauce are a good appetizer, and the chocolate mousse cake was a killer, I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

After dinner it was over to Sluggers for some post game drinking and dancing. Sluggers is a larger bar consisting of about three separate bars on the lower level and a game room upstairs, as well as a sidewalk patio. This is the place to go after games if you want to get down with your bad self! After games the DJ plays a good mix of classic dace music from "Greased Lightning" to "Paradise By the Dashboard Lights." Here we ran into a Cub legend, Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wicks. For those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about, he isn't the Cubs newest pitching sensation, but the way thing are going he couldn't do worse than Bullenger. Ronnie is an older guy who walks through the bleachers in a full Cubs uniform yelling "Woo" and the name of a Cubs player, as in "Woo Ryno!! Woo Sammy!!." I guess you kinda have to be there, but he can really get the crowd fired up. After a few more beers, we headed up to the game room which consists of batting cages, some arcade games and two Hi-Ball games. Hi-Ball is played on a trampoline which is divided into four sections by a seven foot mesh wall. In each section there is a goal which is a hole about one foot around about a foot above the wall. The object of the game is to jump up and throw a ball into an opponents goal. Watching four drunks on a trampoline is hours of entertainment. Well, after I crushed a few balls in the batting cages we were off to Cubby Bear for the show.

We watched the opening act, whose name escapes me, from the annex which is a separate room from where the stage is located, but unlike the main room, there were tables and chairs and the band could be seen on closed-circuit TV throughout the bar.

Now it was time for the real reason we were supposed to be here, The Iguanas. I knew very little about The Iguanas going into the show. I knew they were on Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville record label, that they had opened for him in the past, and that he joined them on stage occasionally, but I never new what kind of sound they had. Now for the hard part, (this is the reason it took so long to finish this review) trying to describe the show.

The Iguanas are a five piece band from New Orleans, and there is a hint of that in their music, but it is far from a Cajun or zydico. Just a listen to their new CD, Super Ball, will show their musical diversity. The first track, "Rock Star," sounds a little like the Dead meet the Beach Boys where as "I Moved Too Slow" sounds more like the Bodeans. "Don't Blame Me" has a country twang to it, and "So Tired" is very bluesy. They even use a mix of different instruments, ranging from a basic power trio with dual saxophones and the occasional accordion.

This is a band that is impossible to classify, which is what makes them so cool to see. Even if you don't like one song, the next one will be totally different. The show itself was a great time. You didn't really need to know the songs to have fun. Everyone was dancing from the first song and one couple was even trying to do the Lombada. In a nutshell, The Iguanas rocked. They are great musicians who can play a whole host of different types of music, all of which can get a room jumping. The Iguanas get TWO THUMBS UP from me. I plan on seeing them again, and maybe Jimmy will show up, you just never do know.

Till later Peace Out and Hang Loose.

 

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