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Unified Theory
October 10, 2000
At The Hard Rock Cafe
Houston, TX

by Samuel Barker
October 13, 2000


File Under: Alt Rock
setlist included
1. Cessna
2. Wither 
3. Full Flavor
4. Breathe In The Air
5. California
and various others!!!
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  • If you want an example of going to a show with low expectations, here's the review for you. If you've ever been to a show you knew would be terrible and left feeling you had seen a special band, here's the review for you. Sometimes the initial impression you get about something can be completely wrong, and this was a prime example.

    First off the show was at the Hard Rock Cafe, which right off the bat tells you this is going to be a bad show. When we arrived my first item of business was to find the band for an interview. At this time the only thing I knew about the band was that the lead guitarist and bass player were formerly of Blind Melon, which was the only plus for the band heading in. I saw Blind Melon's last show which is one of the best shows I've ever seen. After getting a beer from the bar, I made my way over to the road crew and told them we were there. We then proceeded to sit down with the band and do an interview. Chris Shinn, Christopher Thorn, and Brad Smith sat down with us at a table to do the interview. They were 3 of the coolest guys I have interviewed. They were pleasant, talkative, and they got a kick out of looking through their promo package. So the night was off to a good start.

    About an hour after the interview the guys took the stage completing the quartet with former Pearl Jam drummer, Dave Krussen. I was impressed to see all the instruments onstage. Besides the basics there was an organ and a lap steel which Christopher Thorn played very well. The set opened with "Cessna". Chris Shinn's vocals were amazing. He brought the songs to life and his guitar playing added to the sound. The best musical part of the song was Christopher Thorn's lap steel, it added a nice feel to the song. Combine the shear playing ability of the band with the nice usage of effects and you had a sound that illustrated the songs perfectly. The sound this 4-piece provided was amazing. I have seen larger bands who couldn't come produce nearly the amount of sound this band did. Later rockers such as "Full Flavor" and "Wither" got the fans totally into the set. I was suprised by all the fans that actually made it out to the show. It was impressive to see a strong following for the band. These song also saw Thorn jump between guitars every song and throw out some sweet lead riffs.

    The show wound down with a stellar cover of Pink Floyd's "Breathe In The Air" which made me fall totally in love with this band. Shinn's vocals and rhythm guitar along with Thorn's leads on the lap steel made the song come off perfectly. The final song of the night was "California" which is a great song about moving out to CA to make it as a musician and the struggles of trying to make a name for youself. The song has a nice strong rock riff that gets the groove going and then kicks into some nice melodics for the chorus. It was a great closer to a great set.

    If you see this band in your area, I strongly urge you to make it out and see them. I walked away from this show with a new found respect and a feeling I haven't gotten from a rock show in a long time, a feeling that there are still people trying to make quality music, and even better, there are people succeeding.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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