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It's Almost Summer Already?
Q101 Jamboree 1998
Harvey Danger

A Concert Review
Next Up: Creed
In Reverse:
Ben Fold Five
Or: From the Beginning

May 23, 1998

The New World
Music Theatre

Tinley Park, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right

More Photos of
Harvey Danger
Leaving Ben Folds Five, I was able to grab a quick bite, chug down a soda-pop, and wonder to myself why I never took piano lessons like I always wanted to, all of this on my way back to stage two for the likes of Harvey Danger.  The skies were still sunny, with a nice breeze in the air, and it was actually warm enough for shorts, but I still kept my eyes on the line of clouds to the south, and wondered just when they were going to make their way over to ruin the day.  But I had little time to worry, it was time for Harvey Danger, one of the bands that, sadly to say, might wind up in the ďbands weíve never heard from againĒ category.  (I can hear the Harvey Danger fans screaming now, but I have my reasons).

So, there I am, really looking forward to seeing Harvey Danger, based on my liking their current radio hit, ďFlagpole Sitta.Ē  It seemed like a really fun song, and should lend itself to being from a fun band, but the Harvey Danger boys just let me down, but I will say this, there is potential.

Maybe it was just me, because the mosh pit people did seem to be in full swing (although I doubt that would take much this day), but although Harvey Danger did have potential to get the crowd into a frenzy, it just didnít seem to get anywhere.  The songs didnít seem to have nearly the energy of their radio hit, and it seemed that the boys of the band couldnít decide whether to do generic posing and jumping, or just go through the motions, although at times there were sparks, like when Sean Nelson, the lead singer dude, jumped down from the stage to the front of the crowd.  But, based on the following two things, I will cut the band a little slack.

First, I did read their little bio that was given to me as I entered the World Theatre at the beginning of the day.  It said how they really never toured, but instead have been working on songwriting and material for the last five years.  Alright, I give them credit for working on writing songs, but if you canít bring them to life at a live show, well, youíre only winning half the battle.  But, Iíll cut them a break on not having the stage presence based on their self-proclaimed lack of experience.

Second, Iíll cut the boys of Harvey Danger another break based on the genuine looking concern that Sean exhibited two songs into the set.  As mosh pits will go, they sometimes get dangerous, sometimes people get over-exhausted, and you sometimes see things you donít really expect, like a kid being pulled from the pit, into the open area in front of the stage, and having to be carried out, looking unconscious.  As a bystander you have no idea what is wrong, but hope itís just exhaustion.  In any case, thatís just what happened during song two of Harvey Dangerís set.  As sometimes scary as it is to see someone being carried from a mosh pit, what caught my eye was that even though Sean kept singing, he watched as this kid was carried around the stage, and was still singing as he  turned from the audience, trying to see if the kid was alright.  For a change from some singers Iíve seen, he seemed to care.

Now, yes, I was really disappointed in Harvey Danger, and will cut them some of those breaks, but performance is the name of my game, and Iím giving Harvey Danger A SHRUG.  Now, before all of you Harvey Danger fans start sending me all kinds of hate e-mail, I will say this Ė they deserve another chance, and I hope to give it to them next time they make it through Chicago.  Iím fair like that, but this time itís a Shrug.  It would have been less had Sean just had the attitude of ďanother one bites the dust,Ē but I think it that personality of caring for the audience that after they get a little more stage time, well, they might be able to get to the next level.

The Bands

The Main Stage The Second Stage
Ben Folds Five
Scott Weiland
Barenaked Ladies
Soul Asylum
Foo Fighters
Eve 6
Harvey Danger
They Might Be Giants
The Specials


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