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Non-Prog Concert Reviews


Live In Dekalb, IL, June 23rd, 2001

Review by Gary Hill

Cracker is a very difficult band to categorize. The first label that would probably spring into mind is that of a clever and somewhat humorous alternative rock band. However, that is not the whole picture. In order to get closer to the truth you really would need to add that they seem at times to strive towards creating a classic Motown sort of R & B texture. We are getting warmer, but the whole vision has still not been captured. It is impossible to describe this band without mentioning that they have a very strong country influence and feel to much of their music. Well, if we were to add in a quirky, "weird" texture and great retro stylings, this definition would be very close to describing the music of Cracker.

The group brought their unusual blend of sounds to this small Illinois college town and pleased the crowd at Otto's. They truly represented all of those aforementioned elements and did it with class and a rather schmaltzy charm. The group tore through cuts from various sections of their career. Of course the set included such Cracker must-plays as "Low", but there were plenty of more obscure pieces thrown in, as well. If you were in the audience and not familiar with this group, parts of the show would most likely have had you asking where you were. However, any fans of Cracker were definitely pleased, and that apparently was the majority of the audience. They were on their feet and dancing through most of the duration of the show.
We even got treated to a bit of a special performance. Since it was the drummer's birthday that night, the group pushed him out to the front of the stage to perform for a time out there. If you have never seen this group, and are game for something a little out of the ordinary, check them out next time around. You won't be disappointed.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 4 at
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