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A Concert Review

February 14, 1999

The Aragon Ballroom

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
One of the hardest things a band probably has to do is open for another band. More often than not, the crowd will have no clue who you are, sometimes only be familiar with one of your songs, and just not give a damn about what you're going to play. Worse yet can be when you're a new band, your latest CD hasn't even been released yet, and most of your music hasn't been played on radio in the United States. The band in that situation this time around was called Moke.

Moke is a band that unless you've been to England lately, well, odds are you've never heard of them. And, they had the challenge of opening for the Black Crowes on their current tour. The band was up to the challenge.

Led by John Hogg on vocals, Moke showed that they weren't amateurs to the concert scene, and were able to take the crowd, who had no clue who they were, and garner applause that surprised me for them being an opening band, but the applause was well deserved.

Me, I was in the same boat as most of the rest of the people in the crowd, however, I at least had some idea of what to expect when it was explained to me a few days earlier that their sound was kind of a Rage Against the Machine meets Lenny Kravitz. And yes, I would have to say more Lenny Kravitz than Rage, but they also had a Black Crowes feel to them, and, in a weird way, Moke also reminded me a little of Billy Thorpe, the "Children of the Sun" guy. They have a bluesy sound that sometimes goes into a rap, and can take a song like "Another Weekend," start it out very slow, very groovy, and then surprise the shit out of the crowd when the guitars start blasting and John takes a song into a section were you can understand the Rage Against the Machine attitude.

This review will be kinda short, because, well, they only played for 30 minutes. But I will say this, I was pretty impressed at their ability to get the crowd into them and the response they received. I look forward to seeing a full-blown show from Moke, but kind of worry because their music doesn't seem to fit into the sort of bland air-play out there today. But, if they continue to put on live shows like they did opening for the Black Crowes, I think they have the chance to develop their following without the air play, just by putting on a good live show.

So that's it for this one, Moke gets Two "Who are they?" Thumbs Up. Kinda bluesy yet every now and then over the top. It will be interesting to see if this band from Britain will be given the time to develop a following over here in the states.

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


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