I went down to see Three Dog Night at the Taste of Blue Ash on Friday night. It took me 47 minutes to find a parking space. Even then I had to run a half mile to make it to the Blue Ash Towne Square on time. Of course, once I got there, I realized I’d left my wallet in the car. I was not able to taste the tastes of Blue Ash. Oh well, at least I got a great seat to see the show. Except that I didn’t. The park was packed and every single person except me had brought one of those gigantic lawnchairs with the cup holders on the side. Those things take up about eight square feet each. I ended up standing behind a stupid van with advertisements painted on the side. I was grumpy and hungry.
But then the music started and the grumpiness and the hunger sort of dissipated. Three Dog Night have been around for forty years and the version touring these days features most of the original members. Their voices were rough in places, but the music sounded good and it was fun to hear the hits. They didn’t play “Eli’s Coming”, but the band played just about all their other famous songs. They played for 75 minutes. It was enjoyable.
Except there was one song that wasn’t enjoyable. There was one song that was awful. There was one song that was so bad that I wanted to stick my red ink pen in my ears and pop my eardrums. Three Dog Night murdered the hell out of “Mama Told Me Not to Come”. For some unknown reason, they felt the need to update it for the 21st century. Even more confusing, their 21st century update featured references to KC & the Sunshine Band, Ricky Martin, and something called “Poop Dog”. It was, hands-down, the worst individual song performance I’ve ever witnessed in my entire concert-going career. (I’ve seen Hank Williams Jr., so that’s really saying something.) Making it even worse is the fact that the song was written by Randy Newman, one of the greatest songwriters of the last fifty years. He’s a true genius and Three Dog Night should be ashamed of themselves for desecrating one of his songs. Oh my god, it was bad.
As always, here’s the setlist:
Setlist: The Family of Man/One Man Band/Black & White/Never Been to Spain/Shambala/Out in the Country/Easy to Be Hard/An Old Fashioned Love Song/You Can Leave Your Hat On/One/It Ain’t Easy/Heart of Blues/Liar/Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here/Mama Told Me Not to Come/Celebrate/Joy to the World
[NOTE: For you locals out there, Kansas will be playing the Taste of Blue Ash on Saturday night. I’m tempted to go just to see how they fill up their set after they’ve played “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son”. As far as I know, they only have those two songs.]