April 27th, 2010 at 9:52 pm
There is always an encore. Or, almost always.
There wasn’t one at a Monday night concert at the Greek Theater on the University of Arkansas campus featuring Rooney, and that should tell you something.
For an night in late April, it was unseasonable cool for any outdoor event that didn’t involve a bonfire, the kind of night that made you wish you had a blanket tucked away in the trunk of your car.
Rooney may have brought some California with them in their pop rock tunes, but they did little to heat up the night.
They didn’t do anything wrong, of course, or particularly poorly. But they didn’t transcend the evening, either, and by the time the band had played their last promised song, the crowd was running for the exits. I’m not sure if they band was willing to play that encore, but the crowd didn’t give them any chance.
In a set that last just more than an hour, the group tore through a set of pop rock numbers that drew from early records and a forthcoming disc, “Eureka,” alike.
But the band knew which songs to play when, kicking off the evening with an early hit “Blueside” and closing it with what are arguably their two biggest hits: “Shakin’” and “When Did Your Heart Go Missing.”
By the time the last chord had finished ringing on that song, the crowd was already waving goodbye.
It’s hard to place fault. The band was solid, especially guitarist Taylor Locke, who blistered through several tastefully short solos.
But the band also never reached critical mass, something that was going to be hard to accomplish considering that only 500 or so braved the cold and the UA’s finals week to see the free show.
Instead, they sang their songs, the crowd cheered for the few songs they knew and then tore off for someplace warm.
A note about the openers: Goose, a local band, served as the opening act. They sounded a lot like O.A.R. in having a shimmering acoustic guitar sounds with a loose reggae beat. The band didn’t cover O.A.R., but they did cover a lot of other groups, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and John Mayer among them.
Rooney setlist: 1) Blueside; 2) If It Were Up To Me; 3) Don’t Come Around Again; 4) I Don’t Want To Lose You; 5) Daisy Duke; 6) I Can’t Get Enough; 7) You Got Me Paralyzed; 8) Are You Afraid?; 9) Losing All Control; 10) Not Sure of the Title; 11) Sorry Sorry; 12) Suckceed; 13) I Should Have Been After You; 14) When Did Your Heart Go Missing?; 15) Shakin’