Mr Big - 02 Academy Birmingham - 18/09/11

First up to a sizeable Sunday evening crowd was Kristy Gallacher. No not the Sky Sports presenter a Coventry based singer/songwriter.
She played a 25 minute 6 song set on the acoustic and what a wonderful voice.  Signed to Broken Player Records each song gave her the chance to show off the voice which they did and it was enjoyed by all.
I never thought I would see Mr Big as we missed them supporting Extreme way back but after 2009's wonderful reunion show at Shepherd's Bush here they are on a 6 date UK tour in support of this years quite brilliant "What If" cd.
Over the course of 2 and a quarter hours Eric, Paul, Pat and Billy hit the heights.  Here's what they played:

Daddy Brother Little Boy
Alive and Kickin'
Green Tinted Sixties Mind
American Beauty
Just Take My Heart
One Upon A Time
For You (with extended Paul and Billy jam)
A Little Too Loose
Road To Ruin
Paul Gilbert guitar solo
Still Ain't Enough For Me
Price You Gotta Pay
Take A Walk
Around The World
As Far As I Can See
Billy Sheehan bass solo
Addicted To That Rush
Encores of To Be With You
Colorado Bulldog
Smoke On The Water (all swapped instruments Paul onto drums, Billy onto vocal then guitar ,Eric onto guitar then bass and Pat onto bass the vocals)
Baba O 'Riley (Who cover)

Seeing them in a small club was fantastic and being so close to Paul Gilbert was a joy. Being close you could see all the little extra bits he adds to all the songs and what a guitarist - Wow. On the other side was Billy Sheehan on lead bass and again - Wow. No normal bass runs for him.
Yes they overplay but when you are that good show off a bit. Considering they never spoke for over 15 years the interplay between the 2 of them is magical and both seem to be really enjoying being back together. Whereas before the ego's got in the way now they can't stop smiling.
Pat Torpey on drums keeps time letting the others go off on their way but never sweats even when the walls were in the club!!
Eric Martin is the perfect engaging host and what a voice. And the backing vocals were spot on too. 
In comparison to the last tour we got 6 off the new cd with "Undertow" the first single being greeted like an old favourite and 2 older tracks off "Lean To It" "A Little Too Loose" and "Road to Ruin" being played too.
A quite brilliant evening and with all the love on stage and off we can only hope we get more music from this much loved band.



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