On Scene: Nada interesting

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— I have never understood what possesses a band to own - or even borrow - a tour bus.

Sure, you can sleep on them while bouncing from bar to bar on the way to a West Coast tour. If you're traveling with a sizeable entourage or hoards of sound equipment, the extra space can come in handy. And if you're hoping to look intriguing, but out of place, outside a small Steamboat Springs bar, nothing gets that done faster than a bus with a (Prohibition era) rye whiskey logo stamped on the side.

Based on their 7,000-plus MySpace friends, I will buy that Des Moines roots rockers The Nadas are popular dudes. And based on a total lack of familiarity with what kind of music people listen to in the Midwest, I will buy that this band is, in some places, considered very good.

I'll accept that, with close to 15 years playing together, they've got a cohesive sound pretty well down-pat. I'll even throw in that though many of their original songs are sleepy, The Nadas have a knack for writing that standard weary love song.

But based on a wholly uninteresting set Tuesday night at Old Town Pub, I'm not totally convinced that The Nadas need a bus. Rootsy originals and early-'90s covers bled together, flowing out into an empty dance floor/dining room for the first set of the night.

It's not that The Nadas are a bad band - honestly, they write better original songs than most bands you will see in a remote Colorado town, and they play with more polish than most bands you will see at all.

But for a band that's not bad to not be able to capture the attention of a surprisingly large Tuesday night bar crowd, that says something: either that the band is boring (kind of true), or that it's ill-suited to the venue (more true).

- Margaret Hair/4 Points

Comments

Brian Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

Interesting review...I for one, am a Nadas fan, maybe because I am from the Midwest, I understand. As for them playing in a remote Colorado ski town on a Tuesday night, we are lucky to have talent like that come to Steamboat. Just because the Tuesday night crowd (or you) did not appreciate it (I know, they are not a jam band) doesn't mean they are boring. Maybe reviews like yours, are part of the reason our music scene in Steamboat is diminishing. Wonder what you would have thought, if you saw them play to a packed House of Blues in Chicago or a packed Molly Malone's in LA (that's Los Angeles for you, not Lower Alabama)? As for the bus, how would you suggest they travel?

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Brian Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

One last thing...After you left, and the second set started, part of that bar crowd moved to the dance floor until the last song played.

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twostroketerror 6 years, 8 months ago

Also, they were written up in Playboy in '01 or '02 as 'The Best College Band You've Never Heard Of' and try the disc 'En Vivo!' Nadas rock, I was really bummed to miss the show, school night and all...

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Brian Smith 6 years, 8 months ago

twostroke,

Just an FYI, the Playboy write up was in 2001, The Nadas had a large press release ready to go after that article, which was released on 9/11 that year, needless to say, the press release didn't get much attention. You talk to them about it, and they will shuck their shoulders, and say there was more important things happening at that time than them becoming famous. They are simply stand up guys that play because the love to play!! I agree with you, they ROCK!!

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twostroketerror 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on Mags about music, after all, she does recognize Bela Fleck as a bluegrass mandolin player....

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