It’s nights like last night that I am thankful to God for blessing me with being here on this earth and allowing me to experience a great night of beautiful weather, magical atmosphere and kick-butt music. And from what I saw, there were plenty that shared that thanks with me last night.
I also thank the Peace Center for bringing Greenville the Summer Nights Concert Series at the TD Stage Amphitheater. I’ve been to a few of the shows this season, and have thoroughly enjoyed every one. Last night’s concert was a perfect way to close out the series for this year.
I have been a fan of the BoDeans from the day I heard their debut album “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” in 1986. I listened to them often during my early, rockin’, party college years, and well after, right up to today. They have represented to me all that music is built on—great writing, talented musicians, strong and harmonious vocals and just a great all-American, down home Americana rock and roll. Roots Rock—blues, rock, country and soul all slammed together into one sound. They are the authentic blue-collar guys straight out of America’s heartland.
Listening to them last night was as good as listening to them 27 years ago. They were as perfect as they were when I first listened to “Fadeaway”, one of my favorites of their songs. And it amazed me that even though they had very minimal exposure in the mainstream music scene—other than a few hits that were pretty well known like “Closer to Free”, which was featured on the TV show Party of Five, Fadeaway, Good Things and Stay—they have been cranking out great music all along, right up to last year’s release “American Made”.
And though the crowd was a bit on the older side, it was good to see that there were some younger fans with an appreciation for great music. All fans, all ages, moved and danced and swayed and sang and clapped. Many eventually moved down to the front of the stage to sing and dance, and even fist-bump members of the band during the encore closer “Closer To Free”. You could tell the band was having as good a time as the fans as they happily jammed, laughed and moved along the edge of the stage to interact with the crowd. A true sign of a band that has no ego, but just a deep-souled need to play great music and entertain the fans they know love them.
If have haven’t had the pleasure of listening to the BoDeans, do yourself a favor and start listening to them. Start with “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams”. Then keep listening right through to “American Made”. I guarantee you’ll become a fan. My girlfriend had heard of the BoDeans, but didn’t really know anything by them. She left as thoroughly happy with the show as I was, and is now a fan of the band too.
Well, summer’s coming to an end. Kids are back at school. Football’s starting. The Peace Center’s Summer Nights Concert Series has ended. But ended in grand style. And after such a great lineup of bands and music, with a mostly cooperative Mother Nature, I’m really gonna miss those great outdoor Summer night concerts at this beautiful venue. My comfort comes in knowing that the Peace Center never lets Greenville down with great shows and concerts, many of which I will excitedly attend. And I have all the belief that next year’s Summer Nights Concert Series will be every bit as good as this year’s.