Friday, February 16, 2007

Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker at Safari Sam's 2/14/07

I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day after Valentine's than to celebrate my love of Camper Van Beethoven and its extended family.

Hailing from Santa Cruz, Camper Van Beethoven formed in 1983 and quickly gained a large cult following with their violin-infused blend of pop, acid rock, ska, punk, folk and country. After disbanding in 1990, singer David Lowery founded Cracker, best known for their massive radio hit, "Low."

Last night Matt and I arrived at Safari Sam's having just missed the openers (sorry, Kind Hearts & Coronets). Cracker took the stage first, and I - a devout CVB fan - patiently waited through their hour-plus-long set to hear my beloved Camper tunes (although hearing longtime favorite "Low" live was a treat).

After a short intermission, David Lowery (guitar, lead vox), Frank Funaro (drums) and Victor Krummenacher (bass) again took the stage, this time alongside Jonathan Segel (violin) and with Greg Lisher replacing John Hickman on lead guitar. Each member a master of his instrument, the band was even more phenomenal than anticipated. Hearing CVB's exquisite cover of "Pictures of Matchstick Men" was the absolute highlight of the evening.

The band ended an amazing set complete with double encores, and upon leaving I was shocked to see that it was already 1 am! Though the bands had played for over three hours, we left wanting more. I'm definitely going to do my best to make it to this year's Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout.

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