Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan: Buffalo gets the big boys

Mr Big - Town Ball Room - Buffalo, NY - Aug 19,2011

Review by Mike Suicide Photos by Jenipher Nyari
Friday the 19th, Mr. Big rolled into downtown Buffalo, at the famed Town Ballroom. I was looking forward to seeing this band, since I really liked them back in the 80's. They were dubbed a 'super group' back then, since they had some notable names in rock. Billy Sheehan (of Buffalo's own Talas) has worked with David Lee Roth, Steve Vai, UFO and many, many more. He has established himself as true bassist, one with a distinctive style, and a memorable stage performance. Paul Gilbert (of Racer X) started out as a 15 year old guitar prodigy, who attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in L.A. Pat Torpey (former drummer of The Knack) and singer Eric Martin, have also been involved with many projects, featuring prominent musicians. Mr. Big reached multi-platinum success with their second album, "Lean Into It." I gravitated to them in the late 80's and early 90's, due to their blues driven rock and power ballads, all of which had a very catchy style. They arrived at the end of the glam scene and got lumped in to that genre, but transcended glam in so many ways.

Mr. Big hit the stage and opened with "Daddy,Brother, Lover, Little Boy" to a nicely filled venue. They powered through many of their hits and also played several new songs off of their latest album. One of the highlights of the night was Billy's bass solo, which showcased his finger picking style and fret tapping. He plays the bass like a lead guitar, and it's really amazing to watch. The other highlight was when each band member swapped positions - Paul jumping behind the drums, Pat playing the bass, Eric grabbing the guitar, and Billy in front of the mic. As the night wore on, the crowd (many of which had watched Talas play in the 70's and 80's) eagerly waited to see if a Talas song would be played, since all three final members of the band (drummer Paul Varga was standing next to me throughout the night, and guitarist Dave Constantino's band opened the show) were in attendance. Talas didn't have a reunion performance, but Mr. Big gave them a taste of Talas, playing "Shy Boy" during the encore. All in all, it was a great nostalgic night and a nice homecoming gig for Buffalonian, Billy Sheehan. Mr. Big proved once again, that they are a solid blues rock band, with more than capable musicians, that know how to get the job done.
Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
Alive and Kickin'
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
American Beauty
Take Cover
Just Take My Heart
Once Upon a Time
A Little Too Loose
Road To Ruin
Guitar Solo
Still Ain't Enough for Me
Price You Gotta Pay
Take A Walk
Around the World
As Far As I Can See
Bass Solo
Addicted To That Rush

To Be With You
Colorado Bulldog
Smoke on the Water
Shy Boy

Mr Big has an amazing new CD out called "What if..." Please support music and buy the CD. For more on Mr. Big go to