JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

April 8, 2017
Billy Bob's Texas
Fort Worth, TX USA
Review by Nolan Smith
Photos by Nolan Smith

Blues Traveler

Traveling Blues Stops @ Billy Bob's

Blues Traveler put on a blues show at Billy Bob's known at the world's largest honky-tonk. The venue brings music legends the likes of George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Willie Nelson to the always crowded venue in Cowtown-Fort Worth, Texas. The alternate music band brought in a very eclectic crowd on a Saturday night. Cowboys of all ages, teens and weekend warriors there for libations, billiards, bull riding and live music, and adults who have followed Blues Traveler from the very beginning.

Blues Traveler front man John Popper, proved he still has the unique voice and ability to sing with the best of them. The 4 piece band (bass, lead guitar, drums and lead singer/harmonica) played music from their albums as well as mixed in several covers of songs which brought together everyone in the venue from all walks of life so that the attention was solely focused on the band. It was a really smart move given the environment. One of the songs they played was "Devils Goes Down to Georgia," in which Popper played the violin part with his harmonica. It was extremely well done and the seated crowd stood for the whole song, and gave a huge ovation at the end. The band also played Guns N'Roses and ZZ Top covers which met with similar approval.

The highlight of the evening for all in attendance was certainly when the band played their 3 big hit songs that everyone knew and sang along ("Hook," "Runaround," "But Anyway"). Popper sang them exactly as they sounded on CD however with more energy and excitement as if it were the first time they'd ever played. The show may have been even better with a set backdrop and lighting, as the house lights and Billy Bob's Texas backdrop left a stale feel to the show. The acoustics at Billy Bob's are notoriously not the best and that proved true as I walked through the venue, however for those that paid top dollar for the front seats would never have known or had anything to complain about. In addition to that, John throughout the song went through 8 harmonicas, in which he threw out stage used souvenirs to front row fans. One heck of a keep-sake and display piece for any collector!

All in all the venue and the band made for a fun night out in which everyone who came to see the show, when it ended, continued to enjoy all the facilities and things to do within the venue which continued to get busier long into the night hours. No doubt everyone there got their money's worth and the venue made it for a great night out on the town for all.