The legendary Blues Traveler opened to a sold-out crowd, at the San Diego House of Blues and the BackStage360 team showed up early to question the empty sidewalks outside the downtown 6th Avenue concert venue…but in a blink of an eye the restaurant was unable to seat walk-ins for hours, the bar was merely a distant visual among the throngs of fans looking for a pre-concert libation and suddenly the line of ticket holders grew to no end in sight. As the multi-level venue filled to a full capacity, standing-room only crowd, I quickly realized that the safest place for me to effectively enjoy this show was the lower level, safely sitting at the bar and watching the live feed. Many people would have argued that decision, because it was Blues Traveler! However, my empty space above gave way to another fan and I was happy to oblige.
Opening for Blues Traveler was Los Colognes. A set of young guns, based in Nashville, TN, they set the tone for the evening’s entertainment. This all-original rock ensemble, formed in 2012, already has three album releases and is currently touring throughout the United States as part of Blues Traveler 30-year anniversary tour. With a sound all their own, graced with beautiful and haunting harmonies, along with heavy handed guitar skills, well deserved, their third album, The Wave, is catching the attention of some heavy hitters in the music industry. If you are lucky enough to grab tickets when the Blues Traveler tour comes through your hometown, make sure you are there early enough to catch Los Colognes in action.
Formed in Princeton, New Jersey, Blues Traveler, has been making music together and entertaining fans since 1987. They are considered a cross-over band that spans such music genres, as noted on their website, blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and southern rock. The roots of Blues Traveler, were planted in a garage by then high school students, John Popper and Brendan Hill. They called the band The Establishment. Later adding Brendan’s brother, Tad Kinchla, on bass, they changed the name to, Blues Band, which eventually evolved into Blues Traveler, with a nod to the demon in the, 1984, film Ghostbusters, Gozer the Traveler.
Best known for their Top 40 hits, “Run Around”, peaking at #2 (1995), “Hook”, peaking at #22 (1996) and “Most Precarious”, peaking at 33 (1997); and founders of H.O.R.D.E (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere), a summer-long touring rock festival in 1992, the Blues Traveler history is steeped in success, disappointment, heartbreak and personal struggles. They endured the huge loss of fellow bandmate, Bobby, Sheehan, in 1999, John Poppers ongoing injury and health problems and a major recording label dropping them from contract in 2002; but they have proven that the strong and determined will survive.
The band’s mainstream resume lists dozens of televisions appearances, movie scores, featured players, headlining and supporting act tours and festivals. They have recorded 12 albums since 1990, are currently touring across the United States in celebration of the band’s 30-year history and are taking it into the studio with plans to release album number 13.
John Popper’s signature sound and harmonica skills are as strong as ever and the band captures their audience and keeps them rockin’ throughout the night and asking for more. The temperature in the room was hot with the taste of alcohol and good ole’ rock and roll, the space between one body and the other was non-existent and the energy was likened to New Year’s Eve at midnight. They stood in line for a drink, they stood in line for the restroom, they stood shoulder to shoulder in celebration of 30 years of entertainment, music, lifetime highs and lifetime lows. They stood in line for a show and what a show it was!
I spoke to several fans, while down in the safe haven of the bar with seats, live feed monitors and a more ambient noise level and asked, “Why are you here, tonight?”; some of them were from out of town, some were locals, some old enough to have been there when history began, some so young, they were escorted by parents, siblings or a guardian and the answer was always the same, “Because it is Blues Traveler!” Their music and message transcend time. Here’s to Blues Traveler entertaining their fans and discovering new ones for decades to come.
Blues Traveler can be found on most popular social network and music service sites and you can keep up with breaking news and find their current dates on their website: www.bluestraveler.com. You can purchase their music in reputable music retailers and online stores.
Los Colognes can also be found on most social network and music service site. You can keep up with them, their tour and purchase their music through their website: www.loscolognes.net .
Blues Traveler is:
John Popper: Lead vocals, harmonica, guitar
Chan Kinchla: Lead guitar
Tad Kinchla: Bass
Brendan Hill: Drums
Ben Wilson: Keyboards
Los Colognes is:
Jay Rutherford: Lead vocals, guitar
Aaron Mortenson: Drums, vocals
Gordon Persha: Bass
Micah Hulscher: Keyboards
Chuck Foster: Keyboards
By: Siege / BackStage360