Three Dog Night @ the Taste of Blue Ash (8/28/09)

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.]

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7 Responses to Three Dog Night @ the Taste of Blue Ash (8/28/09)

  1. Scott says:

    Three Dog Night was in Blue Ash last night? Arrgh! I gotta pay better attention. "Shambala" is one of my favorites.
    Kansas had some material I really liked way back when (in particular Point of Know Return). Surprisingly, it sounds as though they're toting around heyday personnel, including familiar vocalist Steve Walsh. But they don't have Kerry Livgren, since he went all religious and whatnot. Nor do they have guitar-megawhiz Steve Morse (who I am shocked to report is from Hamilton, according to Wikipedia).

  2. crankypants says:

    So what does Blue Ash taste like?
    What was that Kansas song from the early 80s with the new singer, Fight Fire With Fire? That's the only other one I can think of off the top of my head.

  3. M-----l says:

    You've got to keep up on the Taste of Blue Ash. They brought in 70s lite-rock favorites America a couple years back. I didn't hear about it until the next day and I was so angry. I love America. I'm still pissed at that one.Isn't Wikipedia fantastic? I just found out that the missing Three Dog Night vocalist, Chuck Negron, had a child with Kate Vernon. She played Ellen Tigh on Battlestar Galactica. And she was in Pretty In Pink. It's all coming together now.(Scott Walker is also from Hamilton.)

  4. M-----l says:

    So what does Blue Ash taste like?I never did get to find out. I can tell you what it smells like, though…drunk white people and hot dogs.That third Kansas hit sounds vaguely familiar. Research shows they also had a hit with something called "Play the Game Tonight". I think that's one I'd probably recognize if I heard it.

  5. Scott says:

    One night a few years ago I had the odd experience of standing on our front porch and hearing Blue Öyster Cult playing "Don't Fear the Reaper." Like, the actual band, playing live, about a mile away. We didn't catch much live music on the wind around there, so it was particularly surreal.

  6. M-----l says:

    Oooh, that would be spooky.Also spooky is this: As a result of hearing Three Dog Night butcher the Randy Newman song, I began thinking of the best covers I've ever heard performed live. I wrote a bunch of them down for a potential list post. One of the songs on the list? "Don't Fear the Reaper"It's so awesome that you took the time to find the O with the dots over it.

  7. : ) Did you wash your hands at work that day Scott? Sorry I could not resist. I am just bored and playing on the internet! Cooking a roast for the family and cleaning up for family that will come in from out of town. Why is it that I never have surreal moments? Perhaps not taking enough Nyquil at night for this last cold. lol must up the dose!

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