Soul Asylum at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA.
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Photos by Lori Lea Photography
Soul Asylum, who are most known for their hit ‘Runaway Train’ from the 1992 triple platinum release “Grave Dancers Union,” are currently on the ‘The LP Tour’ with Matthew Sweet, The Whailers, and Big Head Todd & the Monsters. I am a long-term Soul Asylum fan and have seen them many times throughout their career. Last time was back in 2006 when they were on “The Silver Lining” tour, so I was really looking forward to this show.
I took my place at the front of the stage just in time to rock out to the first song of the night, ‘Somebody to Shove.’ From there, the set escalated as they went immediately into ‘Black Gold’ and ‘Runaway Train!’ I was surprised they played ‘Runaway Train’ so early in the set, instead of waiting until the end of the night, but that only made it more intriguing.
I really expected the band to showcase some songs from their July 2012 release “Delayed Response,” including the CD single ‘Let’s All Kill Each Other.’ I even listened to the CD a few times that day while I was getting ready for the show. Instead, they did quite the opposite; giving us just over an hour of songs we all know and love. They even played a couple cover songs at the end. Funny, I actually heard two guys in the crowd yelling out ‘Homesick’ and then the band played it next. Before ‘Get on Out,’ Dave Pirner told us that it was a true story. I’m sure everyone can relate to that song at some point in their lives.
Throughout the set, Pirner switched back and forth from acoustic to electric guitar, rocked out with the band and the audience, and even got down on his knees several times. The only time he was without a guitar was when the entire band stopped playing and Dave sang Janis Joplin’s ‘Mercedez Benz’ a cappella as we all clapped along with the beat!
They flipped things right back into high gear with ‘Just Like Anyone,’ one of my all time favorite Soul Asylum songs. The band finished their set with a heartfelt and passionate rendition of Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy.’ I made a point to get the set list (as I always do) and noticed that they had changed the set around quite a bit. However, the only thing on there I really ‘missed’ was ‘Misery.’
The chemistry of the band was definitely apparent. Although, I wouldn’t feel right unless I paid tribute to their late bass player Karl Mueller, who lost his battle to throat cancer on June 17th 2005. Soul Asylum put on a fun, high-energy rock n’ roll show with a great set list. I just love Dave Pirner’s charisma, his deep seeded passion for what he does, and how he puts everything he has into each performance. Hopefully it won’t be so long before I see them next time! Before heading out, I watched a couple songs by Big Head Todd & the Monsters, and I even recognized the first one: ‘Broken Hearted Savior.’
Soul Asylum’s Set list:
Somebody to Shove
Keep it Up
Get on Out
To My Own Devices
Without a Trace
Get on Out
The Sun Maid
Just Like Anyone