“This is about the exact opposite of last night,” Soulive’s Alan Evans drily observed, looking up at the crowd that packed the Massry Center for the band’s return to the Capital Region. Uhh, Alan? About that “exact opposite” thing? The feeling’s kinda-sorta mutual. But don’t worry, I understand… kinda-sorta.
It hadn’t been a great day for the group, when you get right down to it. Between driving through the snowstorm that smacked downstate and getting a flat tire on their Penske van, Soulive arrived a half-hour later than expected. Apparently, this necessitated that the announced 7:30pm start time be pushed back a half-hour. No biggie: Massry staffers put up notices all over the entrance area, and people seemed perfectly happy to sit in their chairs and hang out. The band’s latest disc “Rubber Soulive” (Royal Family Records) was supposed to be a blistering examination of the Fab Four’s legendary discography, and everyone wanted to see it in concert – me especially, after suffering through David Lanz’ calculated desecration of “the Lads” a couple of weeks before. (Read review here.)
But when 30 minutes stretched to 40, and the only people coming onstage were duct-tape-wielding technicians, I began wondering if the tribute subject had switched from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones. Fortunately, this did not turn into “the breakfast show.” Soulive came out single-file at the 45-minute mark, all wearing thin-lapeled black suits and skinny ties in the tradition of the “Hard Day’s Night”-era Beatles; the only differentiation came from the color of the soles of the band’s black sneakers and guitarist Eric Krasno’s purple tie. Then they kicked into a completely nasty version of “Drive My Car”, and that was that – all delays forgotten, all sins forgiven.