Winter Band, Edgar (January 2009)

Date of Performance: August 28, 2008
Venue: On The Front Music Festival, Davis Park, Rockford, IL, US

My feelings about this band are about as mixed as a spilloff from an oil tanker. Some songs really clicked, but by the end of the show I was wishing that they'd get off the stage ASAP. [They were opening for Styx, previously reviewed here -ed.]

When they clicked, the groove was mesmerizing. However, the hackneyed stories and tired antics got old really fast. The worst of the instances: Winter hummed a tune while the guitarist incessantly played Simon Says. The problem was that it went on for nearly 15 minutes. In truth it lost its charm after a couple iterations. Winter repeatedly thanked the crowd and re-introduced the same band members. When his time was up, he didn't want to leave. I kid you not; the house lights adamantly flashed more than once.

Less was certainly more in the case of the Edgar Winter Band, because they had me at hello. But like that overbearing cousin who asks about accent walls and crown molding long after everyone has left, Winter overstayed his welcome with extraneous activity, nagging remarks, and redundant commentary.

Early on, I was wowed by his eclectic mix of rock, blues, big band, and jazz. Winter sang, played the keyboards and sax. He was an esteemed man who has obviously taken very good care of his tender voice -- as he was able to hit high notes and effortlessly croon without showing a single crack. When "Frankenstein" made an appearance, Winter skillfully shared his voice with a synth slung around his neck. He certainly has talent but the underwhelming compositions and super-"silly"-ous behavior took away from everything he gained. Word of advice: Quit while you're ahead!

All that aside, his bassist was solid and his drummer was outstanding. It turns out the couple next to me was hooting and hollering every time this dude did a drum roll. I had a hunch it was their kid and it turns out I was right. Like Mike Portnoy, Winter's drummer, Jason Carpenter, is a graduate of Berklee, and he's even played with Parliament. Speaking of which, Winter played percussionist during Carpenter's drum solo. This was one of many highlights. Now if only he could be punctual, stick to the set schedule, and cease all operations on time.

Added: January 13th 2009
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 6725
Language: english

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