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Mr. Big was Defying Gravity in Nashville

By • Jun 14th, 2017 • Category: Live Show Reviews

Review by William Simpson

On June 12 at the Basement East in Nashville, TN, Mr. Big brought back the late 80s/early 90s in a huge way.  Mr. Big was formed by vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Pat Torpey in 1988.  All members had made a name for themselves individually before joining together in Mr. Big.  Sheehan has made a name for himself as part of David Lee Roth’s first solo band.  Gilbert was already known as a major shredder and had a huge following when he joined the band.  Martin was fronting the Eric Martin Band and Torpey had played with Ted Nugent along with others.

Mr. Big was one band I had wanted to see live back in the late 80s/early 90s but never had the opportunity.  This date in Nashville was one I was really looking forward to attending and seeing the band play live.  By the time Mr. Big hit the stage you could not squeeze another body into the Basement East.  At the end of the show the club was still full of fans and not a one was disappointed.

Matt Starr has been employed by the band as the touring drummer for this tour.  Torpey is fighting Parkinson’s Disease but was on stage all night with his bandmates.  Torpey could have stayed at home but he loves touring with Mr. big and he loves his fans.  He took his turn behind his kit for one song, “Just Take My Heart”, Torpey also played the tambourine and sang backup during the show.

Sheehan has always been one of the best bass players in the world.  He attacks the bass with the mentality and skill of a guitar player.  Sheehan fingers were all over the fret board and his solo was one of legends.  Gilbert also showed his amazing skills on the 6 string and the 12 string.  The man is still one of the best shredders on the scene today.  One of the highlights of the show was the dueling bass and guitars between Sheehan and Gilbert, you don’t see that too often these days.  Martin is still a large force as a frontman and his voice is as smooth as it was back when the band first got together.

Mr. Big played a solid two hours and the set included hits such as “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy”, American Beauty, “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”, “Addicted to That Rush”, and of course “To Be With You”.  Mr. Big has a new album, “Defying Gravity”, that is being release in mid-July of this year and the band broke out a couple of the soon to be hits such as “Everybody Needs a Little Trouble” and “1992”.

I can say this was one of the best shows I have seen in awhile.  Mr. Big sounds every bit as good now as they did almost 30 years ago.  It can easily be seen that the band truly still likes each other and they are genuinely having fun onstage.  Make sure to catch Mr. Big when they come to your town.

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