A Night with The Hooters
at the Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore, PA
September 21, 2013

The "Then" Set List

Eric Bazilian
on Twitter
David Uosikkinen
on Twitter

Fran Smith, Eric Bazilian
& Rob Hyman


Fran Smith &
David Uosikkinen

Fran Smith,
Eric Bazilian & John Lilley
  I began posting post concert reviews with Eric Bazilians' solo gig last December at Chaplin's. Then followed that up with two Lee DeWyze shows (Tin Angel and Muskifest Cafe). I have not posted one since. This show however definitely deserves a place in my musical archive.

A little background on my life long fandom with the Hooters. Credit first goes to my sister (Kristy) for bringing their music into our home. This was around 1984. When the Nervous Night album came out in 1985, I was all in. I never heard such sounds before and became an instant fan. I then discovered their 1983 Amore album as well as some rare singles with songs that I never heard before. To me this was (still is) the greatest band I've ever heard. My first concert experience ever was seeing the Hooters at the Tower Theatre on October 22, 1985. Since then, I've attended many gigs. Some of my favorites have been Thanksgiving night 1987 at the Spectrum and Independence Day 1990 on the steps of the Art Museum. Most recently in April 2013, they played the Electric Factory and to that point I believed that was the greatest set list I've ever heard. Over the years I have collected many radio recordings, bootlegs and rare songs while connecting with many other fans. This even led me to creating a web site in support of the band and my experiences supporting them. That is what has led to making this night one of the greatest nights in my life.

Social media has changed the way people interact with each other and the world. I prefer Twitter as my social network of choice. I have made many friends and have been able to connect with people that I've admired. About three weeks before this show, Eric reached out to me. He saw my site and was interested in getting some of the rare recordings because they were planning on playing a few this night. He made no promises that they would, it was just something they were thinking about. Dave also teased the idea on his facebook page. The next couple weeks were very special to me. Remember that boy from above in 1985? Well this man now was helping some of his musical heroes reconnecting to their roots. Believe me, all I did was give them their own songs back. I was happy to help. I am very dedicated and loyal to the music I like. I was just happy I was in a position that I could help. I also am grateful that the world today allowed Eric to connect with me. I was at the VIP party prior to the show (Thank you again Eric) where my sister and I had the opportunity to meet the band and reminisce about our childhood. During the show, something I never expected or could even image happen. Eric gave me a personal shout out and thank you. Okay, I did fan boy a little bit here. It was an amazing gesture and I was humbled and appreciative of it. I really have no words to describe the moment but when I told my friend Rick (aka @Linernotes) on twitter (the man whose musical knowledge and opinion I respect more than anyone's), he summed it up perfectly

Read his blog, its worth your time.

The Venue: The Ardmore Music Hall
Over three decades of music experience and a concert promotion are behind The Ardmore Music Hall. Formerly Brownies 23 East, and before that the legendary 23 East Cabaret where The Hooters played many shows in the early 80s. The room itself holds as much history as any local venue in the Philadelphia or surrounding suburbs; from 1980 to 1994, the legendary 23 East Cabaret sat within the same walls, and hosted an infamous array of artists from The Dave Mathews Band, to Blues Traveler, Hootie & The Blowfish, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Hooters, Joan Osborne and so many more. From 1996 to 2009, although the room became primarily a cover band venue, Brownies 23 East hosted national attractions such as Cheap Trick, Los Lobos, The Cherry Poppin Daddys, Merle Saunders, Vince Welnick, Melvin Seals, Steve Kimock, New Riders of The Purple Sage and more. We are proud to take on the challenge of bringing the former glory of the venue back to life. (credit to the Ardmore official site)

The show: The "Then" Set: WOW! The first set of the show was more then any fan could have expected. When Eric and Dave teased the idea of some old songs being played, no fan would have expected this. This set kicked off with the Title track to their Amore album. Always a crowd pleaser and a good song to set the tone for the night. In fact (for you Hooter historians, every track from the Amore album would be played this night in one incarnation or another). Hanging On A Heartbeat and the Amore version of Fightin' on the same side to me anyway capture the unique sound that is the Hooters. In fact, I loved that they played the instrumental part of Heartbeat this night. What used to be a staple is now a very rare treat. If you never heard it, its referred to as "Tag" on the set list and was recorded on the Nervous Night version of the track. The last song of the first block was "Man In The Street" which was of the early tracks when the band featured a more ska sound. The track remained unreleased until 2011 when Amore was released on CD for the first time. This CD pressing also features a live version of "Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds" featuring former bass player Andy King on vocals. The CD is available at the store section of the Hooters web site or on Amazon.

The second block was very special to die hard Hooters fans. Probably one of the better rare classics they ever recorded started off the block. "Solid Rock" is a hard core fan favorite with a great melody and chorus. Rob while introducing this song even stated stated that the track pre-dates Dave joing the band. Dave has been the only drummer the band has ever had and he began playing with the Hooters in 1980. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic as everyone it seemed was singing at the top of their lungs and dancing. This track really got the party started. Up next was a special moment for me. As mentioned previously, this is where Eric acknowledge me. To make it more special it was right before a song that I had asked him to play. Now I'm not vein enough to believe, they played it becasue I asked, but I do like the coincidence that it was this moment Eric acknowledged the song archive I do have. I also loved that when describing "But I Do" Eric said (paraphrasing) "there was a reason why they stopped playing a lot of these songs, but listening to this one, it didn't suck" Haha, okay validation for my suggestion. I really enjoyed this tune and so happy that 33 1/3 (yes the name of the tour, and how long they have been together) years later, I actually saw them perform it live. The third song was another gem from the past "Trouble In Paradise". I first heard this song at a gig in the mid 80s. It always was one of those rare treat songs for the hometown crowd but as their catalogue of music grew, this song faded into the realm of obscurity. I read a interview in which Eric said he always liked the lyric "Do you remeber the Beatles, Do you remember when JFK was still alive". The second block ends with two of the lesser know Nervous Night tracks "She Comes In Colors" and "Don't Take My Car Out Tonight". I always enjoy when Eric plays the sax and there were a few times this night he did. "Don't Take My Car Out Tonight" is one of those songs. Yes aficionados every track on the Nervous Night album was also played this night.


The "Now" Set List

Encore Set List

Daves' Drum Kit
and lower right
a melodica aka Hooter

The Hooters
on Twitter
The Hooters Official Site

John Lilley and Rob Hyman

Fran Smith, Eric Bazilian
David Uosikkinen & John Lilley

Tommy Williams & Fran Smith


The third block started off with another track from Amore called "Don't Wanna Fight" As the Amore tracks rolled on, I realized how fortunate I was to actually hear this entire album live. A special feeling. The next song "Talk To Much" was the most obscure to me. It surfaced on some early 80s recordings and have some politically overtones. Most people were a little shocked to stay least that this song was played. The most political song of the night would be two songs later with "Blood From A Stone" Prior to "Blood From A Stone" was "Who's That Girl". I first heard this song when the Hooters played it on MTVs Rock and Roll Ball in 1985. The final song of the first set would be the last track from Amore "Concubine" There is just something about the Amore album sound that makes you get up and dance. This is a fun song and a good way to end the first set. Honestly, I could have gone home at this point and it still would have been the best Hooters concert I've ever been to, but wait, there is a lot more to come.

After a short break, the band returned for the "NOW" set: This set is more mainstream and even the casual Hooters fan would recognize the majority of songs played. What has become the staple opening track these days is the feel good "I'm Alive" from the 2007 Time Stand Still album I often tweet one of its lyrics when I'm having a good day "It's A Beautiful Day and I'm Happy To Say I'm Alive". In 2010 the Hooters released an EP of five new tracks entitled Five x Five (definitely a play on words) but the next song "Silver Lining" is from that EP. I first heard this song at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in November 2009. That night, the Hooters played four new songs but this one survived and has been played at every Hooters show I have been to since. The last song of the first block was "Day By Day" This is probably their most commercially successful song. Released on the Nervous Night album the song evolved over two years and eventually landed at number 18 on the Billboard hot 100.

The second block kicks off with the second version of "Fightin' On The Same Side" to be performed. This version is from the 1987 One Way Home album. I am a fan, but as I stated earlier, the Amore version of this song, for me has that distinct Hooters sound. I guess this is a historic night as both versions were played. You be the judge which one you like better. Eric continues to show his musical range as he blends different instruments into many songs. The prologue to "Johnny B" Eric uses a recorder. I once played a recorder in elementary school but I never made it sound like that. "Johnny B" is one of those songs that encourages crowd participation and this crowd did not disappoint. Singing the chorus back to the band when prompted, you could feel the energy in the room. Next up the Don Henley cover "Boys of Summer" which the band affectionally refers to as Hooterized. Don Henley has also commented on how much he likes this version. The band now played the "Graveyard Waltz"/"500 Miles" medley. "Graveyard Waltz" appeared on the One Way Home album and "500 Miles" is one of the rare songs from Zig Zag (1989) you will hear live today. This is also the mellow part of the show. The second block ends with "South Ferry Road" Now this song evolved from "End of My Rope". At Eric's Chaplin show (mentioned earlier) he played a version starting with Rope going into Road. I asked, and wished they would have played it that way this night. Honestly though when they released Both Sides Live in 1994, the live version of "South Ferry Road" made me rediscover this song. Thirty years later, it has become my favorite live Hooters song. Yes there is a story behind the song, but its not my place to discuss it.

The final block kicks of with "Where Do The Children Go" a popular ballad from the Nervous Night album. This is followed by the "Twenty-Five Hours A Day" (Out of Body 1993)/"Jigs and Reels"/"Satellite" (One Way Home 1987) ensemble which definitely gets the crowd pumped again. The home stretch is upon us as the band plays "All You Zombies" (Nervous Night 1985) which peaked at number 58 on Billboard but certainly is one of the most recognizable songs from this band. It was also on the Amore album and became the final song from that album to be played. The song always gets a great reaction from the crowd and the band still to this day looks as though they really enjoy playing it. The next to last song of the set was "Karla with A K" (One Way Home 1987) Eric and Rob told the story of its origin and what inspired this song about a Hurricane (no not the weather, but the drink made famous in New Orleans and the barmaid Karla that will forever be immortalized in this song about a Hurricane). That brings us to "And We Danced" (Nervous Night 1985). The song about a Be-Bop baby reached number 21 on Billboard. On September 5, 1986, The Hooters appeared on the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, where they were nominated in the category of Best New Artist in a Video. This is the one song that everyone knows, Hooters fan or not. It still holds up and the energy in the crowd when you experience it live is reason enough to go to a Hooters concert. Its the type of song that the members of Spinal Tap would turn up their guitars up to 11 for.

The encore at a Hooters show these days is a way they say thank you to the fans. They give the fans a little something extra. Both Eric and Rob are accomplished song writers and have written hits for others. Over time, the Hooters have recorded their own versions of two of these hits "One of Us" and "Time After Time". Both are available on the Five x Five EP. In addition, Eric's saxophone made it back on stage. For me, this is a wonderful treat because the sax intro to "Nervous Night" is simply brilliant. I am grateful every time I hear it live because I never know when it will be the last time. "Nervous Night" is a feel good song and one of my favorites. An interesting fact about the song, as the title track to their 1985 brake through album, "Nervous Night" does not appear on the Vinyl version of the album, only the CD and Cassette versions. Rob then declared that he likes the next song, so that's why they are playing it. "Mr. Big Baboon" (Zig Zag 1989) is a fairy tale or fable story. Its a fun song but the highlight always is when John Lilley gets to sing his lone line at a Hooters gig. The crowd always goes crazy. The final song is a tribute to the fans. A song written for the fans and the city of Philadelphia. It has closed more Hooters shows then I can remember. That song is "Beat Up Guitar" (Zig Zag 1989).

An emotional two and a half hour, 36 song show over two sets and an encore, taking the fans back to 1980 and right up to present day is what happened at the Ardmore Music Hall this night. For every die hard Hooters fan that was in the house, the band gave us the best concert experience ever as a way of saying thank you for your 33 1/3 years of support.


Ardmore Music Hall

Then Set
Now Set