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Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Show Time: 7:00 PM / Doors Open: 6:00pm
Early Entry @ 5:00p (100 tickets)
Minors under 21 must be accompanied by Parent or Legal Guardian
The real story often comes through in the music. That’s definitely the case for Mr. Big. In fact, their seventh full-length album, the appropriately titled …The Stories We Could Tell [Frontiers Records], offers an unfiltered glimpse into the journey of these multi-platinum hard rock icons—Eric Martin [vocals], Paul Gilbert [guitar], Billy Sheehan [bass], and Pat Torpey [drums].
“Fans think they know their favorite band from the press, but there’s a lot they never realize,” explains Eric. “There’s always more than meets the eye. Most folks don’t know the trials and tribulations that went into the making of, survival of, demise of, and resurrection of our rock ‘n’ roll band. We want to tell them.”
It’s quite a tale too. After a highly successful ten-month tour behind 2011’s What If…, the members took a short break to pursue various endeavors. Billy rocked with The Winery Dogs, Paul released his twelfth solo album Vibrato, and Eric engaged in a “never-ending”, as he affectionately refers to it, solo acoustic tour.
In 2013, the vocalist began developing some ideas in the group’s collective Dropbox aka “rock vault”. He regrouped with producer Pat Regan [Kiss, Deep Purple] and Torpey at the latter’s home studio in North Hollywood. As they began to flesh out song structures, it was clear that Torpey wasn’t himself.
“I could sense something was wrong,” sighs Eric. “One day, we sat on the couch and he just told me, ‘Hey man, I’ve got Parkinson’s Disease’. It was unbelievable. Despite it, he still pushed through all that and recorded. That shows what kind of character he is. He worked his ass off on this album, and he was fighting this huge adversity. We’re a brotherhood, and we rallied around our friend to make this work.”
For the first time since their self-titled debut, the boys wrote in the same room together live. Eric also had a certain vision for …The Stories We Could Tell, and his comrades embraced it.
“I was trying to get a theme going,” he says. “I picked the bluesier riffs that we had been kicking around, and everything moved in that direction. This is the first time we’ve really had a cohesive theme.”
That spirit courses through the album opener and first single “Gotta Love The Ride”. With a distinct groove, impressive six-string shredding, and driving beat, it ignites the roller coaster for Mr. Big.
“Life is more about the journey than the destination,” Eric adds. “When you realize the gifts you have already been given, you achieve true success. Everybody wants to cross the finish line as quickly as they can without taking in life’s beautiful moments. However, the journey is the key to paradise.”
At the same time, there’s a swaggering funk stomp fueling “The Monster In Me”.
Eric grins, “That’s a sexual one. It’s about releasing the beast. There’s a tongue-in-cheek element though too.”
“I Forget To Breathe” marvels at the breadth and scope of life’s wonders, while the soulful “Just Let Your Heart Decide” illuminates Mr. Big’s simultaneous instrumental prowess and knack for a ballad. “It’s about being at the crossroads of love,” he goes on. “It’s that dilemma only your heart can decide. Is it worth it to keep fighting for the relationship or to wash your hands of it?”
…The Stories We Could Tell continues certain musical traditions Mr. Big began over 25 years ago. To date, the band has played sold out songs all over the globe and released three consecutive platinum albums—Mr. Big , Lean Into It , and Bump Ahead . They’ve been responsible for smashes including “To Be With You”, which spent 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as “Wild World”, “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”, “Just Take My Heart”, and more. However, their story is only getting better with each passing year.
“This is the record we threatened to make in the beginning,” concludes Eric. “…The Stories We Could Tell captures everything we discussed way back when we first talked our influences over Chinese food in Hollywood during the late eighties. This is what Mr. Big was always meant to be.” – Rick Florino, October 2014