Many mainstream concerts that hit Milwaukee aren't personalized to the
city or to its fans. However this year's H.O.R.D.E. tour which converged
on the Marcus Amphitheater Saturday, proved quite the opposite. Playing to
the Dairy State, the H.O.R.D.E. tour captivated the spirit of
Saturday's show was like a fine piece of Swiss cheese. A nice substance
and an overall good taste, but dotted with many holes. And just like Swiss
cheese, the holes were the most noticeable part.
For example, the Marcus courtyard was filled with commercial vendors
selling the usual "trendy" clothes, overpriced trinkets and
Grateful Dead stickers in a cheesy attempt to imitate a Grateful Dead
scene. The atmosphere was further diminished by the "sour"
security personnel who snatched and popped the many balloons that were
beginning to float through the air.
The biggest hold of the night was having the Black Crowes headline the
show, when other acts easily could have topped their performance. But just
like Swiss cheese, there was some nice texture and substance to the
H.O.R.D.E. festival as well.
Ziggy Marley, looking and sounding remarkably like his father, pleased
fans with an identical version of "Could You Be Loved."
Blues Traveler took the second spot on Saturday's bill.
Their tenacity wasn't quite the same as in past shows, but their effort
was much appreciated. A straightforward "Run-Around," followed
by a delicate "Crystal Flame" (dedicated to the memory of Jerry
Garcia) capped off the band's set. Their hour on stage wasn't nearly
enough time to generate steam.
Dave Matthews Band broke out of H.O.R.D.E.'s cheesy boundaries as the
cream rose to the top. Dave and the boys played with the spunk and
originality that they are known for. They opened with the eerie "Seek
Up," which made its way into the graceful yet packed with musical
Towards the end of the band's set, Blues Traveler's front man and
harmonica virtuoso, John Popper, joined the band for a stellar version of
the popular "What Would You Say." The only disappointing thing
about the Dave Matthews Band was that they didn't play nearly long