The lights faded and the 1987 White Snake’s hit Here I Go Again started to play. Just as it was hitting its crescendo Stephen Kellogg stepped on the stage dressed in a turned up fedora, a bandana around his bushy beard, and a jacket with his initials on the lapel (I guess incase someone tried to steal it). The Massachusetts musician played Satisfied Man (Kellogg sang it during his Ted Talk a few years ago). – “Yeah if heaven and family and children/Are what’s left of the race that I ran/Then I’ll quietly slip to the slumbering peace of a satisfied man/Yeah the sleep of a satisfied man.” Pictures of the band’s families in back of the stage further illustrated the theme.
Kellogg informed the crowd that the band was going to play a large portion of material from his recently release album Objects in the Mirror and will take requests during the second half of the show. Nobody in the audience seemed disappointed. The title track is a tearjerker musical journal about the past and living in the present. Kellogg stated, it was the opposite of what his past record labels wanted and why he is now releasing music independently. He introduced High Highs, Low Lows as his attempt to write his version of an AC/DC song… coming from a middle-aged man …who plays Americana music.
Kellogg was informed that one of his four daughters was dating a boy before he left for this tour. This lead to Kellogg sharing with his one wish for his children is to never marry someone who doesn’t dance. This was his introduction to Symphony of Joy – “Never turn your back on a second chance/Never trust a guy that says he doesn’t dance/ Dance like a symphony of joy.”
During the second part of the set, Kellogg performed crowd favorites 4th of July, Gravity, and Last Man Standing that had everyone around me singing along. The band came back for the encore to play Diamond for the man that was demanding it since the beginning of the show. When a rude drunk dude started to shout during the song, Kellogg laughed and informed the requester “that guy is talking over your song.” The next song Big Easy had the audience dancing around in circles to the chorus, “It goes around and around and around and around.” The band marched through the crowd to end the show with See You Later, See You Soon to the delight of the crowd in the back. Kellogg proudly announced he will be at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival this summer. As the band left, Lindsey Buckingham’s Holiday Road played over the house speakers.
I was surprised to find out that opener Pete Muller is one of the world’s top-earning hedge fund managers. He is about to release his fourth album entitled Dissolve. Muller asked the crowd if anyone was still with their first love. Two couples bragged about being with their partners for over thirty-years. After Muller congratulated them on the tremendous achievement, he said this next song isn’t about you. The barefooted singer/keyboardist led his band through songs about moving to San Diego (he changed the lyrics to Denver for some cheap applauds) , surfing, and lost loves. Unfortunately no stock tips were given. Muller’s regular violin player Katie Jacoby couldn’t make it for the current tour since she is playing with the rock legends The Who. Martha McDonnell filled in nicely and also adding backing vocals. Like the old saying goes … Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can make it possible to hire another talented violin player.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one with my initials on my lapel wondering if I should manage a hedge fund.