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Concert Reviews:
- May 26, 1996

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Cracker &
The Cranberries

A Concert Review

August 15, 1996

The New World
Music Theater

Tinley Park, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
David Lowery
David Lowery
Cracker opening up for The Cranberries. This just seemed wrong. Sure, you hear Cracker sometimes on the same station here in Chicago, but the two bands, unless you are a lover of almost all types of music such as myself, just don't attract the same crowd. The Cranberries are a little bit more on the pop side than the alternative side, and Cracker is a little bit more on the, hmmm, how to put it, not really alternative, not really rock, but kinda like if Neil Young sang Pearl Jam. It's hard to explain, I suppose, but I like Cracker, and I kinda liked The Cranberries, so I was looking forward to a good night.

Cracker doesn't have too many major radio hits, a few, but I think they have a lot more potential than probably what is going to happen to them in this one-hit radio world of today. They have a sort-of cult following, but really haven't had the drawing power that is their potential. Anyway. The crowd was just starting to fill in for Cracker, and much of them recognized the couple of hits, but this is a band more about music
Johnny Hickman
Johnny Hickman
that being in front of a large crowd. Some bands are just like that. In a smaller venue I can see this band generating a little bit more personality than they did this time, on this huge stage, in front of a small crowd with a lot of empty seats at the time. But that's not to say they didn't try. Well, at least some of the time.

The lead singer dude, David Lowery, isn't one to run around and spin on the stage, and that's okay sometimes, but this time he just didn't seem into it as the last time I saw them. The guitarist dude, Johnny Hickman I believe, on the other hand, really tried to work the crowd the best he could. He looked for the fans, and made sure they enjoyed themselves. I give them that much for trying.

I wish I could say more about them, and I was kinda bummed I couldn't make their show a week later at a venue a little bit more suited for them, but I still like their music, still think they have a lot more
Johnny Hott
Johnny Hott
potential than the radio stations will probably give them, and about the only thing I can say I keep making the music guys, it may take awhile, but bigger crowds will come.

As for my ever-questioned rating, Cracker tried through some of the show to perk up the crowd, and it was a tough crowd. But, as much as I may like Cracker, sometimes they just went through the motions. I know it's hard to play in front of a non-caring crowd, maybe not a hostile crowd, but one that isn't there to hear you. But you still have to give it all you've got. They did when I saw them at one of the festival shows earlier this year, but this time didn't. ONE THUMB UP!

Now, the crowd was definitely there to see The Cranberries. And it showed. From the opening instrumental jam to the "Zombie" end to the encore complete with a Patsy Cline song, they were on their feet, dancin' and singin' along, and just having a good ol' time.

The Cranberries have this cool sound that bridges that gap between what would be called alternative and pop/adult contemporary. This lets them bring in quite the wide range of fans, from your 16 year-old "Zombie"ites, to the 30-something, your snuggle with your honey "Linger"ers. And sometimes, it's cool seeing this kind of crowd and how they react. And Dolores O'Riordan works this to its best.

She came out in this kinda see-through white dress (with another outfit underneath - young boys, especially you Stu, don't get yourself all in a tizzy!), belting out hit after hit, utilizing a way cool and talented band, and either an off-to-the-side synthesizer or, and I hope not because everyone knows how I hate it, sampled sounds. The Cranberries didn't stop for the couple of hours they played, and even if the sounds were sampled, I guess it was still pretty cool. Some fast songs, some slow songs, but nearly everyone was kept happy. (Stu Gotz here: Hey, Dude on the Right, I was there too, remember? Anyway, Hi readers!
Stu's view in the lawn.
Stu's view in the lawn.
As for me, I wasn't always happy. I'm sitting there and The Dude on the Right, who was sitting on my left, said, with weaning eyes, "Boy…this would be a great concert to bring a date to." Combine that comment with the fact that the show was starting to bore me and you can see why I left the pavilion area to seek out the cuties of the lawn. After about 20 good minutes of gauking, I returned to my seat to find that Dolores had slipped off her dress and was now wearing a really cool, tight, colorful jumpsuit. Oh yeah…. I think she was singing about zombies. Back to you Dude on the Right!)

Anyway, the show was full of a nice light-show, and after Dolores lost the dress-type thing, she started getting down with her bad self in this way colorful outfit (although that knee-brace just didn't match). A lot of classic Cranberries, and even a new song or two, cruising into the encore, and she and the band kept this crowd happy till the end. (Stu here again: Encore. Encore. I'll give you encore! "Show me your ass!" I screamed as the Cranberries returned to the stage. Dolores treated the audience to the old Patsy Cline song "Crazy" and me to what I hope would be a nice beaver shot (I'm such a pig, and I'm proud of it!).
Stu's view from his seat.
Stu's view from his seat.
You see, my little Irish girl was wearing this really short white baby doll and later, while singing "When You're Gone," she sat on a monitor spread eagle. Wow! This is what I was waiting for. I looked really hard and I could see….her white, spandex, bicycle-type shorts underneath. Shit!)

Yea, thanks for the comment Stu. Sometimes I wonder why I ever send him to shows. Well, the crowd had a blast, and that's the most important thing, so it's TWO BIG THUMBS UP for The Cranberries from me. I generally like live shows, they bring out the music more and tend to make me appreciate the stuff I hear on the radio. Seeing Cracker a few months ago got me to appreciate them more, even if their show this time around lacked a little bit, but this show did help me like The Cranberries just a little bit more. I guess there is always a trade-off sometimes.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right. L8R!


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