Eric Martin - vocals / Paul Gilbert - guitar / Billy Sheehan - bass / Pat Torpey - drums
It was nice that Mr. Big decided to play a gig in Munich during my vacation in town. It was a very warm day in Munich but inside the club it felt like sauna. Everyone seemed to go inside for a while – to grab a beer – and then come and hang around outside, until it was show time.
There was a warm-up-band before Mr. Big. They were a duo singing in German, unfortunately I didn’t catch their name. I do not have much to say about them, I tried to stay out as long as possible, due to the steamy conditions inside.
Finally it was show time. There was a photo pit, which was big enough. Three first songs we were able to shoot, and then suddenly all the media people were guided outside, I was like what the f***. No-one did explain anything. I packed my camera and went to the other side of the building. Then I noticed that some media people were coming back to the gig – without cameras, maybe they took the cameras to their cars, but where in earth should I put my camera??? After a phone call to Finland I was encouraged to go and ask the door men what I should do. And maybe I looked so innocent that they let me in again - but I had to promise that I would not take ANY photos inside.
The show was kicked off with the new album stuff: “Undertow” and followed with “American Beauty”. The audience, which I estimated to be around a couple of hundred people, got what they had been awaiting.
Mr. Big is a group of 4 highly talented musicians. The third song was “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)” and the audience was able to see Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan playing their instruments with electric drills. It is not very common that all the instrument players are singing backing vocals simultaneously, but Mr. Big does it and their vocals sound great together.
The two next songs (“Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” and “Take Cover” ) I heard only from outside due to the reason that I was kicked out from the show. When I got back inside it was time for their latest album again: “I Won’t Get In My Way” , “Stranger In My Life” and “Once Upon A Time” . All these three new songs were quite well received but when it was time for “A Little Too Loose” it was kind of a turning point for the show. “Road To Ruin” also got big cheering.
Next three songs are pretty much my favorites of this band. First of those was “Price You Gotta Pay”. The funny thing happened during this song: a guy from backstage came to play Billy Sheehan’s bass behind him, while Billy himself was playing harmonica. Next one was “Just Take My Heart” which is most probably my favorite song of this band. And the third one was “Merciless”, followed by Mr. Gilbert’s guitar solo. He really proved his talent by playing guitar in many ways, the funniest way to play the guitar was when he used his mouth.
Next ones were again from the latest album: “Still Ain’t Enough For Me” and “Around The World” and “As Far As I Can See”. Billy Sheehan proved in his bass solo that even though he is getting older, he still is very limber. He was playing bass in very challenging positions. He really put 100% into the gig, and his shirt was soaking wet when the show was over. The gig’s Part 1 ended to “Addicted To That Rush”.
The encore started with “To Be With You”, which I found even cooler as LIVE version than recorded one. Second song in encore was “Colorado Bulldog”. A cover of Humble Pie’s “Thirty Days in the Hole” was played next. Encore ended up with “Shyboy”. It looked like people were still waiting to hear “Smoke On The Water” as it had been on recent setlists, but it did not happen.
Eric Martin had injured his right arm somehow because he had his hand plastered. I do not know whether it had something to do with my standing point (I was leaning to a wall trying to get some fresh air from a ventilation hatch), but I felt like Eric’s voice was swamped with echo too much, maybe it was due to acoustics, it is hard to say…
Review & photos by Mira Suutari-Toivonen