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Soul Asylum
A Concert Review

October 29, 1998

The Metro

Chicago, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
I wrote this about Soul Asylum the last time I saw them: " they sounded great, and as intense as the band was, it just didn't reach into the audience. I'll give them A SHRUG this time around, but even with that, I'm looking forward to seeing them in a smaller venue, with their fans to maybe help them along a little more." That was from a show earlier in the year where they were playing at a radio festival. At that show I really couldn't figure out how a band that could be so great on stage couldn't get the crowd into it, and you know what, I still can't figure it out. But it was with anticipation of a great show that I made my way through a driving thunderstorm in late October. I hoped I wouldn't be disappointed, and I wasn't.

I got to the Metro in Chicago about 30 minutes before showtime, and as I got in the venue I was a little worried for the boys of Soul Asylum because the place was basically empty. It was an 18 and over show, and I was thinking maybe they should have let the youngin's in, but it was still early, just time for the opening band, and as they wrapped up their 30ish minutes of playing another thought came to my head, "When did all of these people show up?" All of a sudden the place was pretty crowded - not packed but at least a better crowd than I thought would fill the place. And now, it was showtime.

I got a peak at the set-list just before the show, and was pretty pleased at the mix-up of songs they were scheduled to play. They were supposed to play a few songs from their new CD, "Candy From a Stranger," as well as hit their more known radio hits and some things from the obscure bin, but in any case it looked to be a pretty cool night.

Opening with "I Will Still Be Laughing," it was good to see a band that loves to play, and unlike the last time, this show had a roomful of fans that definitely didn't seem of the "I hope they play 'Runaway Train'" variety. And if that fan was there, well, they didn't play it even though it was on that set-list I saw. Dave Pirner sounded great, well, except when he blew out the mike on ".. Laughing," and the band seemed to be having just as much fun as Dave. They went from the hard rocking "Lies of Hate" to the soft ballad of "Close," from grungy alternative of "Somebody to Shove" to acoustical duet of a way-cool version of "String of Pearls", and tossed in some sing-a-long action during "Misery." And, oh yea, some excellent covers of TLC's "Waterfalls" and Alice Cooper's "School's Out." This time it wasn't just the band on stage putting out the energy, this time the crowd joined in and it made for a much better concert experience.

Yep, I was singing along with everyone else (although I swear Dave changed the last line of "New York Blackout" to "wake up in a taxi at your door", but I could have been wrong), dancing along, bouncing up and down, and having a good old time. But who gives a shit if I had a good time, I'm just a reviewer - did the crowd like the show? They sure seemed to, maybe even more so than me at times, and no one seemed to miss "Runaway Train."

This time no shrug, but TWO "should be getting a lot more airplay than they are" THUMBS UP!!! I was told before I went to the show to "have fun." That was definitely not a problem - I did.

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


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