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Tuesday, October 26, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 46

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Album Review: Stone Temple Pilots

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Better Than Ezra performs intense live Houston set

By Justin Taillon
Daily Cougar Staff

Sometimes a group can put so much energy into a show that it seems they are not even playing the music you know. The music just sounds a lot better. 

Such is the case with the amazing show Better Than Ezra performed Thursday night at the Aerial Theater at Bayou Place. They played with an intensity rarely seen anymore in the rock industry.


Frank Ockenfels/Elektra Records


Pop/rock group Better Than Ezra played many fan favorites Thursday night at Aerial Theatre at Bayou Place for an appreciative gathering of faithful followers.

The group seemed very laid back as they smiled, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Not as much as the crowd, though. It was simply a great show from a veteran rock group. 

To start the set, a masked man came from behind the curtains to light candles that would burn throughout the show. This was unusual, but the crowd seemed to love the lighting.

Better Than Ezra's lighting was spectacular. Everything from candles to strobe lights were used to create many different effects.

Better Than Ezra then proceeded to center stage, led by lead singer Kevin Griffin. Tom Drummond, bassist, and Cary Bonnecaze, drummer, then took the stage with smiles.

Not fake ones, real ones. They were honestly happy to be performing, unlike many of the groups who look at stage shows as something they have to do. 

The first song performed, "King of New Orleans," was an immense crowd pleaser. By song two, "Good," the crowd had reached its peak energy level, which would last two full hours.

After a few lesser-known songs were performed, including "One More Murder" and "Like it Like That," the next song was announced.

"This is a song that got the s*** played out of it here in Houston," Griffin said. "At the Stars" managed to keep the crowd in a frenzy.

The following songs included some known, and some relatively rare Better Than Ezra songs. The band even played a song from a soundtrack Griffin was too embarrassed to name. 

The band called four BTE fans from the crowd and held a dance contest. Nathan, a Chris Farley look-alike, was by far the most popular with the crowd.

Lastly, BTE thanked the crowd for supporting them here in Houston. The band mentioned how much it loved the city, just like all of the other tours that come through. Thank God this was the only part of the concert I would consider cheesy.

Then came the encore, which included "Conjunction Junction (What's Your Function)," a song Better Than Ezra remade for the 1994 various artists compilation, Schoolhouse Rock Rocks.

The last song, "In the Blood" from its 1993 sophomore album Deluxe, seemed to be the crowd favorite, as well as my personal favorite. 

There is nothing like an amazing show, and Better Than Ezra's unique live set surpassed expectations.
 

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