Chris Barron Concert Review Musicians Instrument Museum-MIM 5-23-24

Concert Review and Photos By Roc Boyum

Perennial rocker Chris Barron, best known as the singer for the 90’s rock group, The Spin Doctors, brought his solo tour, Chris Barron-A Pocket Full of Chris Tonite 2024 Spring Tour To the MIM (Musicians Instrument Museum) in Scottsdale, AZ on 05-23-24

Upon his entrance, Barron walked out by himself with just his guitar in hand to be greeted by a standing ovation from a very enthusiastic audience. I have dubbed the tour – “A Man And His Guitar Tour.”

As previously mentioned, Barron is the lead singer for the 90’s group, The Spin Doctors and I reiterate this because, when he takes the stage on this night, he arrives by himself with only an acoustic guitar; I wondered what this 90’s rocker would present to this zealous crowd. So, with his guitar in hand and his greeting of customary pleasantries, one might figure that this would be a typical acoustic guitar gig…..but I assure you, by thinking that…you would be dead wrong. Immediately, as he gets his acoustic guitar plugged into his electronic guitar pedals and he attempts to fire things up; his pedals didn’t connect as expected and he found that his pedal system that connected into the acoustic guitar was not working. After taking a few minutes in his continued effort to get his pedals/electronics up and running, all the while expressing a bit of comedic frustration with the inability to get his pedals to cooperate, he succumbed to their complete failure.

At this point, he succumbs to the fact he would not be able to use his pedals for this show and then states; “fuck-it”, who needs fucking pedals anyway, my guitar works and I’m good to go, so let’s do this thing!

One fan yelled out…get a new roadie…keeping his cool and replying with a very comedic approach; he stated; “Unfortunately I am the roadie so, no help there!” At this point I wondered if this was part of his show or, if he was just a seasoned pro that could throw out an immediate comeback and could also entertain easily as a comedian.

With only his voice, his acoustic guitar and an abundance of humor; he was quite literally “A Man And His Guitar,” This is why I choose to characterize his tour with the title; “A Man And His Guitar Tour,” even though the tour is billed as simply as Chris Barron-A Pocket Full of Chris Tonite 2024 Spring Tour.

Of course, Barron’s set included a few great tracks by his band The Spin Doctors, with memorable tracks like, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, Two Princes, Laraby’s Gang and Jimmy Olsen’s Blues,” and all the other songs were culled from his solo works.

On the surface, Barron’s show is a fine blend of great vocals, slick guitar work and a sense of humor that’s a bit left of center at times and he uses his brand of humor to engage and effectively captivate his audience. Digging a bit deeper, I believe, it’s Barron’s solo work that really stands out in his endeavor as a one-man solo performer for a number of reasons; so, let’s explore his solo work a little more.

His lyrical content creates a visual story like a set of moving pictures and images created mostly by spinning a collection of yarns that are inspired by events and situations that have happened in his life; whether they happened to him or around him; thus, his lyrical inspirations are a bit autobiographical; and let me tell you…..he has a very deep well of colorful resources to draw from. Like any great musical story teller, Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson or his friend John Popper (Blues Traveler)-he imparts a little insight and backstory to each of his songs which gives his show a greater sense of depth – this is not just a guy; simply playing his guitar and singing. Of course, when he infuses his show with his special brand of humor and some impromptu dialogue; the whole package becomes a great experience for everyone.

Barron’s impromptu dialogues can come from a random thought or even about an audience member. He has the gift of comedic timing when he interacts with an audience member which then becomes a short dialogue with the fan in question that can somehow descends into a deep and abstract rabbit hole and quickly turn into a stand-up comedy routine. We witnessed such an event at this show and everyone including Barron really enjoyed his fan interaction segment which was only one of many at this show.

Although he was always at the ready with some good humor, he also doesn’t put up with any bullshit. So, when he kindly asked everyone to please turn off their cell phones during the show, all of us, with the exception of one individual respected his wishes. Not wanting to single out that one individual, he made one final plea, imploring “everyone” to put down the cell phones.

Unfortunately, this one patron in question somehow didn’t get Barron’s message. As they sat with their face lit up by their phone, he reached out directly to that individual. Calling this person out, Barron pointed to this person and firmly said; “Excuse me but if your business is that important, please take your business outside and take care of whatever it is, and let everyone else enjoy the show.” This was met with a resounding audience applause and thus the patron finally complied.

There were so many song highlights from the evening, most of which were preceded by Barron’s great storytelling, some of the song favorites from the night were “Angels And One-Armed Jugglers, Raining Again, Jimmy Olsen’s Blues, Still a Beautiful World, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and of course “Two Princes.”

Barron played a number of songs from his latest solo LP, Angels And One-Armed Jugglers including the first song on the LP of the same name. The song title, and much more insight into his songwriting and singing can be found in an interview with LA Metal Media’s Allie Jorgensen, Check out the insightful Chris Barron interview here!

Unlike this live show, his solo LP’s have a lot of different instrumentation on them, so if you want to catch his solo act with just a guitar; you’ll have to catch him live if you can.

Chris Barron received two standing ovations from the audience and is a very gracious host who thanked this audience on several occasions throughout his show. At one point he commented; “thanks for coming out and taking a chance on a Chris Barron show because if I were not me, and I was thinking about seeing a Chris Barron show; I wouldn’t know what to think … so thank you very much for taking a chance!!!”

Check out Chris out Here!

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