Review and Photos by Michelle Barron of Morphine Shots Photography
A packed parking lot is a crystal clear indication of the love that is transpiring inside Scout Bar. Rather small in stature yet ginormous in it’s rock and roll attitude, this club is about to have its capacity limits tested.
Houston has a highly passionate music scene with local bands drawing hefty crowds on their own, however, tonight is no ordinary night. A select few of our bona fide rockers are priming the masses for Mr. Big. As each band finished up their set, the crowd inched a little closer to the stage.
There is no pit or barricade this evening. Sometimes there is, but fortunately for those who arrived by 4:30 p.m. this means they will literally be close enough to feel the music on their faces.
Lights dimming at 10:30 p.m. prompted the crowd to cheer in unison, the energy palpable.
To the tune “I Can’t Stand Myself”, by James Brown and The Famous Flames, this iconic band entered sidestage one by one.
Singer Eric Martin danced his way across the stage looking as happy to be there as we were to see him. Making his way to the far left stage, Billy Sheehan is arguably one of the greatest rock bassist of all time. Taking ownership right stage to feed us a massive helping of his guitar mastery, Paul Gilbert. Drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) is currently filling in for the fantastic Pat Torpey as most of the night Torpey played tambourines and also a small stand up drum kit at times. It was a gift to see his smiling face behind those tambourines.
Gilbert and Sheehan’s tandem use of electric drills on opening tune “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” set the pace for things to come. While using a drill to play an instrument may sound a bit gimmicky, it’s nothing short of stupendous to witness.
One of my personal favorite moments was “Addicted To That Rush”, Mr. Big’s hit from their 1989 self entitled “Mr.Big” album. Billy’s solo was utopian and lead directly to he and Paul trading rapid fire lick for lick. The comradery ,brotherhood and history this band shares is palpable.
In what seemed to be an eye blink, 100 minutes of powerful musicianship was over. Waving and thanking their audience, they exited the stage.
Not be be denied “To Be With You”, we Houstonians made our voices heard for an encore. And encore we received. Scout Bar was filled with familiar lyrics sung in unison by hundreds of voices sharing a moment of nostalgia and genuine unity.
All too soon, the true finale came in the form of “Baba O’Riley”. This cover of The Who classic widely known as “Teenage Wasteland”, left us all on a high of our own. Wanting more.
Mr. Big’s ninth original studio album, titled “Defying Gravity”, is set for release on July 7, 2017 and I for one cannot wait to purchase it.
Come back soon. To Be With You again would be remarkable.