Last Thursday, Colleen and I went to see the Robert Cray Band at the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis. I believe this was the fifth time we’ve seen him, but this was the first time I’ve ever been to the Pantages. The Twin Cities truly have a plethora of beautiful theaters to watch live music and I really liked this one.
We had seats in the third row and Mr. Cray’s guitar amplifier was pointed directly at us, which was awesome. Our favorite keyboardist, Jim Pugh, was also right in front of us the entire show. I’ve written it before, but that guy is just so fun to watch play – especially on the Hammond organ. Richard Cousins was back on bass and Tony Braunagel played drums.
The show was scheduled to start at 7:30PM and we even received a “courtesy email” that said there would be no opener, so make sure to get there on time. Once we got to the theater, though, the friendly ushers said they were told the show would be delayed until 8:00. It did start right after that, but we were surprised when the main set was over after about 70 minutes and the encore consisted of just two songs (Chicken in the Kitchen and Time Makes Two). I don’t think the whole thing made it to the 90-minute mark, which was disappointing for a show with $45 tickets (plus fees).
I normally like to post set lists after I confirm them from other reviews, but I couldn’t find any other reviews of this show online. I know it’s hard (and expensive) to cover every show in town, but usually somebody posts something. Plus we are talking about a guy who was just inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame a few weeks ago in Memphis, Tennessee.
Just from memory, they played a few songs from the new album (This Time) and a mix of favorites such as Poor Johnny, Smoking Gun, Right Next Door and Phone Booth. I was hoping for Back Door Slam and The One in the Middle, but with such a short show, we were lucky to get what we did. I also don’t really remember any long Jim Pugh organ jams (there is usually one per show), but we were treated to several cool guitar solos by Robert (which were made even better by the amp placement – especially for the quiet parts).
The prices at the souvenir stand were reasonable, so I picked up a black hoodie on the way out ($40). They also had several CDs for sale, but nothing that we didn’t already own.
Ah, the trials and tribulations of a spoiled fan…Originally published by DK on May 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm