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HORDE Festival,Oklahoma City
July 15, 1998

The long awaited HORDE festival with Barenaked Ladies hasstarted and I was lucky enough to pop up to Oklahoma City to take in one of the showsduring the first week.  HORDE stands for "Horizons of Rock DevelopingEverywhere" and is headlined by Blues Traveler, Ben Harper, and BNL with appearancesthroughout the tour from artists like Fastball, Smashing Pumpkins, Alana Davis, PaulaCole, and a second stage that highlights local and secondary acts.  In Oklahoma City,BNL were the second act on the main stage after Alana Davis,whose performance was unmemorable except for the hit 32 Flavors.  My friend and Itook the opportunity to scoot up to the front row while a band called Bare Jr. took thesecond stage. BNL went on about 4:30 in the blazing 100 degree Oklahoma summer heat.  They opened with "Old Apartment" and treated the crowd to several of thesongs off of the new release Stunt including "It's All Been Done","Never is Enough", the ironic "Alcohol", and the new single "OneWeek" which combines a peppy pop feel with a light hearted rap of obscure references.  In between songs, the banter included references to the blazing heat with a songabout Ed being "Freezer Man" and Steve breaking into song about a sign in theAll Sport Stadium that said "I Love Sno-balls", complete with shaved ice andother areas.  Ed and Steve shared a kiss when Steve recommended that people neckinstead of crowd surf, which caused quite a bit of shock and giggles from the Oklahomacrowd that had never been treated to a BNL show before. Even so, there were lots of peoplewho knew words to songs, including a group of girls that screamed out the lyrics to Jane,Brian Wilson, and $1M.  People were screaming out the names of songs for requests, towhich Ed replied, "we'll be playing all your favorite numbers including 2, 5, and10."  "What a Good Boy" and "Straw Hat" were also includedin the set, which ended with the rap which now includes Celine Dion, Fastball, and SesameStreet references.  The Oklahoma crowd of BNL virgins had been broken in right!!!

After BNL, Smashing Pumpkins took the stage and played mostly from Ava Adore with acouple of earlier tracks like "Tonight, Tonight".  Blues Traveler finished up the evening to apacked capacity crowd and handled their hits like "Run Around" which reallypleased the crowd.  John Popper was in rare form on the harmonica and they deliveredan all around tight set.  Chris Brown, substitute keyboard player for BNL even got tojam with BT for one of their interminably long songs, but I enjoyed watching how theyplayed off each other in an improvisational mode.  I apologize for not having more onthe other bands but I was really there for BNL.  I did catch part of the Gov't Muleset.  They are a really great group of three with a strong southern rock sound,reminding me of Allman Bros. and Bad Company.  The lead guitarist had an outstandingstyle and I particularly loved their last song, obviously an ode to their name in whichthey sing "where's my 40 acres, where's my mule". 

BNL will be out on HORDE all summer.  They hit TX at the end of August (yeah!) andthen will do a solo tour in the fall.

On That Note, I'm outta here......


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