Saturday, October 24, 2009

From Good Homes - June 12, 1998

I only had the pleasure of seeing From Good Homes perform live once. They had just released their latest (and greatest) album, the self-titled, From Good Homes and were hitting the road in support. Since they were from New Jersey, they launched their tour at the Waterloo Tent in Stanhope, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, Waterloo does not host concerts anymore since nearby citizens complained about all of the noise, traffic, and interference it gave their lives. However, I was fortunate enough to catch a concert there while it was still around, and From Good Homes is the band that I got to see.

I got into the band because they were local. I had purchased their previous release and loved it. I remember guys that I worked with years ago telling me how this was going to be one of the biggest bands around one day. I honestly believed that if From Good Homes had stayed together and continued touring, they would be as big as Dave Matthews Band is now.

Waterloo Village was a great place to see a concert. An outdoor venue in the vein of an ampitheater, Waterloo Village was a bit smaller in size and had a tent that would shelter those who got close enough to the stage. The tent was rather large and hundreds of people could fit beneath it easily.

The concert took place on a warm June evening, just days after my birthday and only a week after the new CD was released. I hadn’t had enough time to really get into the songs, but I knew them and I knew they were good. I was very excited to see From Good Homes live for the first time. What I didn’t know then is that it would be the last time that I would see them live as well.

I don’t remember many specifics about the concert itself. I do know that I was amazed with the musical arrangement. Todd Shaffer played acoustic guitar and handled all of the lead vocals. There was a saxophone player, a violinist, a bass player and a drummer. All of these members were incredibly talented at their instruments and the music they made was amazing. A blend of classic, jazz, blues, and good old fashioned rock and roll, From Good Homes knew how to make music that made you happy (or music for the hippies as some critics called it). However you described it, there was no doubting their ability.

From the opening notes of their first song, to the final chimes of their last, the concert was truly breath taking. The music was melodic and hypnotizing. Todd’s ability to work the crowd, speak to them, and truly reach them was second to none. He has a gift as an entertainer, and on that evening, he made me a believer. The highlights of the night included an excellent version of Head, I Only Want, a killer cover of Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic, and an amazing, extended version of Rain Dance, which was the best performance of the night.

At the end of the show, I swore that I was going to see these guys again, but alas, I never did get the chance. They announced that they were splitting up later that year and they performed a final concert back at Waterloo, but the tickets sold out fast. I am thankful that I did get to experience them live for that one wonderful June night, and I will always look back on it fondly. From Good Homes could have been the biggest band in the world, now they will always be remembered as the greatest band that most people never heard of.

Cold Mountain
Bang That Drum
The Butterfly and the Tree
Where The Songs Begin
Ride All Night
2nd Red Barn On The Right
The Giving Tree
Way Down Inside
I Only Want
Ferris Wheel Waltz
Into The Mystic
All I Can Do
Rain Dance
I’m Your Man
Kick It On
I Am A Mess
Broken Road
If The Wind Blows
Maybe We Will

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