BolinFest 2004 - July 30th+31st

  • C'mon, reviews pleaaaaase...can't wait to hear what Glenn played! How was the show? How George, Gary and Ed did etc. all the details - thank you.....


  • Hi Everybody.
    The show last night was pretty good. Had a very large crowd...a very young crowd. Tesla fans no doubt. This old man hung with those youngsters right up front though!!
    I'll leave the actual reveiwing of the show for Todd to do later, but here are a few tid bits of info.
    Setlist as I remember it, in no particular order...Stormbringer, Can't Stop The Flood, Might Just Take Your Life, Mistreated, Muscle & Blood, First Step Of Love, Burn...maybe a couple of others that escape me at the moment.
    Glenn was playing a new bass and was having problems with the strap coming off several times. He was clearly upset about that. The band didn't seem to be as tight last night as they are capable of. I have a feeling the set was cut short. I noticed Glenn telling each band member Burn would be next and made a slashing motion across his neck indicating that would be it....and it was....the last note rung out and off the stage they went. Still...not a bad show, everyone I talked to enjoyed it. Even the young kids were headbanging. Looking forward to tonight's show.
    I will try and post some info on tonight's show early tomorrow morning before we start to head home. I'm sure Todd will give a more detailed account of the weekend as he always does.


  • Both nights were great! Saturday night was awesome! A shame there weren't more people there, though. The band was tight - sounded incredible. Saturday's setlist was Might Just Take Your Life, Medusa, Muscle & Blood, First Step of Love, Coast to Coast, Can't Stop the Flood, Whiter Shade of Pale (AWESOME!!!), Mistreated, Gettin' Tighter, You Keep on Movin' and for the encore, "Superstition." Wonderful show! Glenn took time to meet and greet earlier in the day. Took a "new" fan with to the shows this weekend - he's been to plenty of concerts throught the years, and he said (after the Saturday night show) "This was easily the best show I've ever seen!" I second that!


  • Hmm, I'm getting the impression I'm viewed as the longer-winded of us.

    Where to begin? I guess I'll start by saying that Bolin Fest has become like a huge summer holiday to me. Lots of friends, old and new, and some great moments. And just like Christmas, you never know what you're gonna get. This year was no exception.

    Friday and Saturday's setlist was almost the same, give or take a couple. Friday's show was harder than Saturday's (these are not in order): Burn, Might Just Take Your Life, Medusa, Muscle & Blood, First Step of Love, Coast to Coast, Can't Stop the Flood, Whiter Shade of Pale, Mistreated, Gettin' Tighter, You Keep on Movin' and Saturday's encore of Superstition.

    As far as the crowd goes, the difference between Friday and Saturday was night and day. Friday night's show took place before a crowd of almost two thousand. Saturday's show took place in front of several dozen. Shameful. Just goes to show what a little promotion can do. And what VERY little promotion WILL do.

    Chip, my wife Angie and I flew from Vegas, then drove four hours or so from Omaha to Clear Lake. We met up with my Fuze partner Linda and her husband Jeff, then headed out to dinner to meet up with the first few of the usual suspects to arrive in town. Friday morning Chip and I dropped several hundred dollars at CDGB's, one of the most impressive CD stores this side of anywhere. Since we were all lending a hand with organizing the Bolin Foundation booth, we arrived at the venue around 4pm on Friday as Tesla was doing their soundcheck. They were kind enough to stop and chat for a few minutes with us and they also signed a guitar being raffled off by the Bolin Foundation. Glenn did his soundcheck later, and pushed back the opening of the doors by at least a half hour as he ran the soundman through the usual "more reverb" drill.

    When the doors opened, people practically ran through the corridor to the showroom floor, to the front of the stage barricade, and posted themselves there for the remainder of the evening. When Glenn and the band came out, they received a very warm response. Glenn stuck to a very rocking set, and for the most part it went over well. Glenn did have problems with his bass, which seems to be a tradition for the guy. George seemed to be having a bit of an off night as well, missing a few cues. I doubt many people other than Glenn Hughes fans would have noticed, if Glenn hadn't pursed his lips and shot George a dirty look or two. Tesla came onstage with the song "Into the Now", taken from their new album of the same name. Tesla has never been lumped in with the hair bands of the 80's, and with good reason. They didn't write songs like "Cherry Pie" or "The Final Countdown". Tesla has always been meat-and-potatoes rock, laced with a bluesiness. Their music has aged very well. They're not an image band. And they sounded spot on! During Tesla's set, Linda pointed out to me that Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, Teddy Rondinelli and Bill Pascali - all of Vanilla Fudge - had arrived, and were standing nearby. I have to tell you that seeing Carmine Appice from mere feet away is a surreal experience. The guy has done EVERYTHING, and he's instantly recognizable. His resume alone would fill a book. Anyway, Linda and I introduced ourselves and had Vanilla Fudge sign the aforementioned guitar for the Foundation. Carmine stood around with us chatting, stealing handfuls of my wife's popcorn with the disclaimer "I need to have some of your popcorn". Later, Chip and I found ourselves outside on the smoking patio engaged in conversation with Tim Bogert for about a half hour. What a trip.

    The evening ended late, and our small core group headed out for a late breakfast at Perkins. George Nastos and Ed Roth apparently had the same idea, as they showed up later and ended up a few tables away.

    Saturday morning, my Fuze partner Linda and I drove - after a refreshing three or four hours sleep - to Minneapolis to pick up Derek St. Holmes. Derek and his wife turned out to be long lost friends we didn't even know we had, and the ride back to Clear Lake was filled with laughter and some great stories. When we walked into the Surf Ballroom with our guest in tow on Saturday, Carmine Appice yelled across the showroom "If I see that Derek St. Holmes son-of-a-bitch, I'm gonna kick his ass!" The two men laughed, embraced and almost became teenagers again, telling jokes, showing off and enjoying each others' company. When they strode onstage to check out the setup, I noticed how much history was suddenly in the room. I could see Tim Bogert and Glenn Hughes comparing notes, while ex-Bolin / Frampton bassist Stanley Sheldon looked on. And half of Ted Nugent's band was reunited in Carmine and Derek. When Glenn was free, we snagged him for a moment to autograph the signature-filled Bolin Foundation guitar.

    Glenn's soundcheck on Saturday pushed back Vanilla Fudge's soundcheck and the opening of the venue doors, which didn't end up being of much concern as there was only about a dozen people waiting to get in. Derek wasn't going to get a soundcheck, so he rode with Linda and I to the hotel to freshen up for the show. When we returned to the Surf, Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas was doing a few Tommy Bolin songs with Stanley Sheldon and Johnnie Bolin. Regional guitar sensation Billy Lee Janey was on next, and while he was certainly good he was also boring. The most interesting thing about him was that he played a combination bass & guitar, with angled frets. I've never seen one of those, and neither had George Nastos when Chip and I asked him to have a look.

    It was about now that Glenn made himself available for autographs and photos at his merchandise booth, the merchandise in question being a new t-shirt. And it was about this time that there suddenly arose the urgent need to find Johnnie Bolin. A last-minute change had been made to the running order of bands, and Derek St. Holmes was going to need to go on before Vanilla Fudge, contrary to what had been decided earlier. When Johnnie could not be located, and with promoter Kevin Schoneman breathing down everyone's neck, Derek St. Holmes pulled off the unthinkable - after having been pushed out of even getting a sound check, and armed with Craig Erickson's bassist Al Robinson, Derek St. Holmes took to the stage with Bolin Foundation friend Wally Z - a fan who happens to be a drummer. Linda was in tears at first, but her dread, along with my own, was quickly replaced with wonder. What happened next was pure magic. Derek couldn't pull from his set list, so he did unplanned versions of "All Along the Watchtower", "Red House", "Some Kind of Wonderful" and ventured an original ballad called "Surrounded". By the time Johnnie Bolin rushed in to take over the drum seat, Derek had to drop certain songs from the set due to time limitations. So Bolin ended up playing about four songs with Derek, including "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Sheila", before Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert strode on for powerful versions of "Stranglehold" and "Hey Baby". Derek St. Holmes left that stage with everyone chanting his name, and pounding on the floor. He smiled, played with the crowd, joked with the band, sang his heart out and his guitar playing was sublime. The man is unshakeable, and showed that he could rise above whatever was thrown at him. A true example of grace under pressure. Other artists could learn a thing or two from Derek St. Holmes - he truly came for the cause.

    It's also worth noting that soon-to-be-sixty (!) bassist Tim Bogert is an absolute monster. His gut-rattling first bass chord during "Stranglehold" shook the rafters, and I left thinking a guy like Billy Sheehan's got nothing on Tim Bogert.

    Vanilla Fudge came on next, and did killer versions of "Shotgun", a gorgeous "People Get Ready", "You Keep Me Hanging On", "Tearing Out My Heart", and a very cleverly-dedicated "Season of the Witch". The rest of their set escapes me, but even with the small crowd Carmine and company gave it their all. Carmine wowed us all with a very original solo spot. As the Fudge finished their set, the evening had an air of finality about it, but Glenn's set was left to go.

    Glenn came on in a better mood than on Friday, amazingly enough, and blew everyone away with hearfelt renditions of largely the same set as on Friday. It struck me that Gary Ferguson didn't really seem to fit the funkier songs. Maybe that comes from having seen Chad Smith do them in LA and Orlando? Anyway, Glenn finished out the evening in style. By now we were all beat.

    For a variety of reasons, the weekend was a series of emotional highs and, yes, even lows. Who knew that rock could be so political? I guess a lot of us have known it for some time, it just sucks to admit it.

    Derek St. Holmes comes away with my award for Most Valuable Player. He defines class, and outshone everyone.

    All things considered, it was another great weekend. I want to thank my buddy Chip for making the trip again. Angie and I always enjoy your company. And Linda and Jeff are glad to know you better. Just a few more weeks til Jeff Scott Soto in L.A., my friend!

    Thanks also to Jay, Linda and the Bolin Foundation for putting together a stellar show. Once the ball gets rolling, momentum takes over and what happens, happens. I'm glad I could be a part of it all with you.

    My God, I just looked - this post is LOONG. If you've made it to this point, give yourself a pat on the back.


  • Hey John,
    Thanks for the link to that purple forum.
    I was standing directly next to the drunk guy that the poster was referring to. Their confrontation was hilarious. They kissed and made up after Glenn's set. It's a shame the guy who wrote that post wasn't there for Saturday's show...he missed a good one!!


  • Hey Toadsterama---

    Always a great review, long, yes... but always honest as well as colorful...Wish we coulda been there. Always a great time amongst gh'ers. Sounds like a good show. Sound must not have pleased Papa, we've seen that before.. Curious as to the "heated" discussion. Glad you had a great time. Hope to see y'all again in the near future. You can email us at Cheers from Kenny &Carolyn

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