Sunday, June 21, 2015

Steve Miller Band Jams At Oakdale

The Steve Miller Band sailed into the Oakdale Theatre Saturday night for a rousing show consisting of a slew of hits & old favorites. After a terrific opening set by singer-guitarist Eric Herbst (a member of the well-regarded local band Dizzyfish) which featured some fine versions of classic rock favorites such as The Beatles "Norwegian Wood" & Led Zeppelin's "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" as well as a couple of original tunes, Miller & his band took the stage, and jammed. From classics like “Take The Money & Run,” and “Abracadabra” to album cuts like “Lovin’ Cup,” the band deftly rocked & powered its way through the almost two hour set. Miller was in fine form vocally, and the magnificent band ably backed him every step of the way. The group has a loyal following that spans several generations & the crowd was very enthusiastic. In one case, an audience member even joined Miller on stage – at the artist’s request - to help sing “The Joker.”

photo by John V
Miller also performed a mini acoustic set in the middle of the show that featured “Wild Mountain Honey” and the Johnny “Guitar” Watson song “Gangster of Love,” which he played after telling a story about being in a band called The Marksmen with Boz Scaggs in his younger days. Since he was only 12 years old at the time, his Mom had to drive him to their gigs! After the brief unplugged set, the band returned for some more all out rock & roll. The musical artistry of the entire group was phenomenal. Miller gave everyone a chance to shine during the evening; they obviously enjoyed playing together and were having a grand time on stage. Kenny Lee Lewis' spectacular bass & Gordy Knudtson's excellent drums were matched by Joseph Wooten's vibrant keyboards & Jacob Petersen's fluid, masterful guitar work.

Its’s always a pleasure to see one of our long-time classic rock heroes continue to perform, as they (and we) get older. Miller (who's 71, believe it or not) played some sizzling guitar, and his positive energy radiated out into the audience. What rock fan doesn’t want to hear amazing live versions of Steve Miller Band standards like “Dance Dance Dance” and “Space Cowboy?” Another highlight was a fantastic take on the old R&B song “One Mint Julep,” which has been recorded by Ray Charles, among others. Of course, there were also wonderful versions of classics like “Fly Like An Eagle” and “Serenade. By the time the band got to the double-barreled encore, which consisted of “Rock N’ Me” & “Jet Airliner” most of the audience had been on its feet for the entire final third of the concert. The Steve Miller Band is on the road throughout the summer; check them out if they’re playing in your area. From a previous tour, here are links to live performances of “Serenade,” and "Jet Airliner,"

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