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Saliva at Hipps

I really couldn't believe Facebook when I first saw the listing.  Saliva is coming to Eau Claire?  No, this had to be a different band.  This couldn't be the nationally touring group, it had to be some local band that had unfortunately chosen the same name, right?  Right?  It took a trip to google to get me to the official Saliva web site and discover in fact it was the real deal coming to our small town.  My understanding, garnered from a couple of parking attendants is the owner of Hipps Pub was friends with someone on the tour and when he asked, they delivered.

Last time I saw this band was eight or nine years ago.  They were playing at one of the big downtown night clubs in Minnneapolis.  It was a huge crowd because they were back to back touring their _Every Six Seconds_ CD and had a just released _Back into Your System_, arguably the high point for the band so far.  So the place was packed.  The mosh pit was huge and we had struggled our way nearly to the front of the crowd to watch then lead singer Josey Scott, and guitar player Chris D'Abaldo lay it down.  It was a great show

So nearly a decade has passed.  The band has a new drummer, is down one guitar player and has a new lead singer.  At a certain point you have to ask yourself, at what point is it that I am seeing Saliva as opposed to a really good Saliva tribute band?

Vocally the new lead singer, Bobby Amaru, doesn't have the range or depth that  former singer Josey Scott had.  But within his comfort zone, I thought  he did good.

They did a couple of covers.  Both of which I sort of had issues with.  First off Bobby, the lead singer asked the crowd if they had ever heard of Alice in Chains, then asked if they knew the name Kurt Cobain and proceeded to dedicate an AIC song to Cobain for his birthday.  I was a little confused by this.  From what I have read Cobain was no fan of AIC claiming they were riding the coat tails of Nirvana.  So that was all kind of strange but he did do a great job on the song.  The second was an AC/DC song, TNT maybe, I can't remember for sure.  I did however remember it well enough at the time to be singing along and immediately I knew where Saliva forgot a verse.  But again, really good job on the song, so it is a minor bitch.  

Touching upon that original vs tribute band question there was also a lyrical change in the Saliva song Always.  But I suppose we have to cut them slack and not call this an error since it is their song and they can sing it however they want.  But frankly it seem like this song in particular, but along with some of the other real classic Saliva songs were different than the originals.  And why is it we go to shows like this?  We go to sing along.  Change the words and that reason falls apart.

It was a city arena length show.  The band walked onto the stage at three minutes to ten and walked off at four minutes to eleven.  No encore.  A bit disappointing to a wisconsin bar room crowd who are used to music running until 2:15am.  I didn't gripe too much since I had to work the next day, a drive to the cities for a meeting (that got cancelled during the time of my drive. Grrrr..) so though I would have liked a couple of additional songs

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It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. 

Hunter S. Thompson