THE MELONS IN BARCELONA

It was half year ago when Blind Melon tour dates calling Spanish cities were confirmed. I didn’t stop and think twice and purchased the ticket as soon as they were available thinking of the possibility of being sold quickly out after the amazing and emotive show many of us lived at Azkena Rock Festival in 2008.

Unfortunately I was wrong. I didn’t have in mind on one hand that we’re not in the 1990’s anymore and many of their former fans are in many cases pater familiae or just forgot about their rock past, and on the other that people get very passionate in festivals, but in real life with just one time in their music curriculum is enough of the experience, and considering the wide offer of shows in Barcelona this month, the economy tightness affecting everybody and many other circumstances, Apolo theatre was at barely 2/3 of its capacity. Pity!

I have to admit I almost sold my ticket, fearing this show wouldn’t be as special as the previous one, and because wasn’t ready for disappointment of any sort coming from a band I’ve loved so much. I told you in my previous post that I was more excited for seeing Abandon Jalopy, and this was the main reason, FEAR. I had a buyer already and almost sold it, also for the money to allow me to buy another ticket for another show, but at the end of the day someone convinced me not to make such a terrible mistake I’d probably would regret for the rest of my life.

The previous night I had attended Jim Wilson’s and mighty Dan Baird’s show after being invited by Manny, their European tour manager. It was completely unexpected and I really enjoyed the show, especially Baird’s. My soul brother Gonzalo is a diehard fan and I just had seen Baird with The Georgia Satellites many years ago, and his solo project also long ago, thus it was a great surprise and I loved the performance from top to bottom. Very powerful show, pure rock and balls.

After the show I was having a beer and something to eat at our meeting point, a bar named Can Eusebio, which has Budweiser and bravas (Spanish potatoes in mayo and spicy sauce) on special offer. Jonny Kaplan, Brad Smith and Kevin Haaland were having tapas like craze, and both Jonny and Brad stood up to greet me and they introduced me to Chris (Thorn!). They told me about their day off, changing hotels and taking it easy before the Big Night.

As I’ve always been a bit cheeky, in a good sense, and was a great opportunity, I threw this question to Brad: What were we to expect from Blind Melon on Wednesday?

The answer was that we wouldn’t get disappointed, and they had decided an hour and fifteen-twenty minutes set. “Make it one thirty”, I said, making him laugh. It was going to make us enjoy and travel back in time, thus I read For My Friends album wasn’t to be much present.

Wednesday arrived and I was nervous anyway, very optimistic after my chat with Brad. I knew for sure i was going to enjoy, still I was afraid to lose the emotion I experienced years back. Nah! Unnecessary worries which diminish thanks to Jonny Kaplan’s songs during his opening act. The rhythm, the set list, the vibe, the attitude of Blind Melon and the atmosphere were perfect, surrounded by the regular troop I’m usually joining for the shows, I couldn’t ask for more.

The band chose Soup’s 2 X 4 to open the night, however the set list was mostly based on their debut album, Blind Melon including 9 songs, from Change and Sleepy House, to Soak The Sin, No Rain or Paper Scratcher. The absence of songs from Nico, with only Soup, and For My Friends, was balanced with 6 songs from Soup. Mouthful of Cavities really gave me the creeps, Skinned sounded awesome, and closing the show with Galaxie, in my humble opinion, was the best decision ever. It’s great to see the band supports Brad Smith’s project, who invited his pal Kevin to come up on stage to play the beautiful I Won’t Be The Same as the first encore song. I have to say this songs really moves me, and I can’t keep it out of my head these days. I’d say it’s in my top #3 singles of the year. Honest.

I don’t have many complaints about Travis Warren’s performance even though I must admit I tried to avoid looking at him. Sorry but I can’t. I know it has to be way too hard to stand overshadowed by Shannon Hoon’s eternal presence, and due to the general not so enthusiastic response of people to For My Friends, he had this, we could say, emotional outburst, which led him to leave the band some years ago. I can understand what he did in some way, but Hey! He knew the story of Blind Melon, he’s the personification of Hoon from voice and  melodic style to tattoos in his body, so justification for his actions is not acceptable. Probably this has to do with the feeling I’ve had, reading many comments posted these days in different sites and forums, killed the possibility of the band going on with Blind Melon and record more albums. Hope I’m mistaken, but apart from nostalgic tours, I can’t see further actions. And I don’t blame them. In fact, I’m very proud and excited with Abandon Jalopy, and as I’ve heard, there are already many tracks ready for a second album. Crossing my fingers wishing to have it delivered to my Hellhouse really soon.

Anyway, after a perfect show with souvenir included (Thorn‘s pick), the night went on to be perfect in booze and fun, and to take it to the top, I crossed Brad, Chris and Kevin on my way home, so I could thanks them for coming, congratulate them for the incredible show they offered, and warmly wish them the best in the most appropriate manner…with the feeling of saying goodbye to good friends.

These 3 days with the Melons around have been unforgettable. I could get used to have them around in the city as neighbors. How cool would that be, huh?

Thank you guys! Come back soon!

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