(This review written by Britt Bickel)
By the time headliner the [lastfm]Steve Miller Band[/lastfm] took the spotlight at Jack’s 5th Show this past weekend in Irvine, Calif., attendees were several drinks deep and looking to just chill out and jam to some blues classics, which luckily is the group’s specialty. Miller closed a long night of music with a tight set of bluesy hits and classic-rock favorites. Plus, who knew Steve Miller was such a huge [lastfm]Vanilla Ice[/lastfm] fan?
Right from the beginning of that famous deep Southern guitar intro on “Jet Airliner,” the [lastfm]Steve Miller Band[/lastfm] proved they were ready to rock Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater with their balanced mix of psychedelic classic-rock hits and bluesy jams.
The crowd settled down after the first couple familiar hits (“Take the Money and Run,” “Abracadabra”) to sit awestruck and focus on every detail of the musical experience, from long, skillful guitar solos to tight jam sessions that sounded as fresh and crisp as they likely did in their heyday.
Aside from the freeform musical journey Miller took the diehard tokers on, the highlight of the night had to be when Miller brought out none other than good friend (really?) Rob Van Winkle a.k.a. [lastfm]Vanilla Ice[/lastfm], for a duet on “Fly Like an Eagle,” and then kept him on through the rest of his set to add some flavor on backing vocals. (Vanilla Ice performed his own set, too, at Jack’s 5th Show.)
It was all about sharing the art of music with others for Steve Miller, who also brought out a 15-year-old guitarist Dylan Brown from a benefit show assisting teens’ interest in music at the Fender Center in Corona Miller played the night before. Brown shined in his big moment, showing off his emerging talents on the guitar by joining Miller for series of songs towards the end of the night along with Ice supporting on backing vocals.
The surprise guests and mesmerizing versions of [lastfm]Steve Miller Band[/lastfm]’s classic hits put the cherry on top of a long and sweet night of music at Jack’s 5th Show.