Camper van Beethoven and Cracker take the Fine Line back in time


Friday’s Camper van Beethoven and Cracker show had an interesting pairing. The two bands history is interwoven well past shared singer and guitarist David Lowery. For the past few years they have toured together on the way to their annual “campout” with complex logistics having band members travel from as far as Australia and Sweden.
The Fine Line was almost full at show start and packed by the time Cracker took the stage. The crowd was mostly Gen-X with some baby boomers pushing their walkers through the crowd.

Camper van Beethoven went first. Behind the bands quirky lyrics is a complex sound that shows influences from Eastern Europe, Mexico and Ska. Hard to believe that they got their start in SoCals hardcore punk scene.
Mixed in between songs were a few instrumental numbers giving Lowery a chance to rest his voice but the numbers certainly were not fillers but fitted well into the set list. “Take the Skinheads Bowling” of course got the biggest crowd reaction. Camper van Beethoven closed their set with a “S.P 37957 Medley” an instrumental that started with LED Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and then transformed into “Hava Nagila” making it the surprise musical twist of the evening.
Set List: Matchstick Man / Mao / Utah / White Riot / Wasted / Shut Us Down / R’n R Uzbekistan / Skinheads Bowling / Bad Trip / L’Aguardiente / NorCal Girls / Tania / Eye of Fatima 1&2 / Too High / Fruit / S.P 37957 Medley

After short break Cracker took to the stage. Lowery underwent a costume change – he took off his cap. Cracker still has founding members Lowery and Johnny Hickman who kept the first two songs simple with only the two of them and a slide guitar before the rest of the band joined them for “Almond Grove”. Cracker’s set vibe was nicely different from Camper’s. After starting with a very Country feel, Cracker played a rocking set before coming full circle and closing with “King of Bakersfield”.
Overall I really enjoyed seeing both bands for the first time even though I have been listening to their music for well over a decade (or two).
Set List: Dr. Bernice / Around The World / Almond Grove / One Fine Day / Gimme One More / CA Country Boy / Teen Angst / Don’t Fuck Me Up / Low / Beautiful / Eurotrash / Someday / Another Song About The Rain / King Of Bakersfield



  1. Markus, can I snip some of your pix to go along with my Live Music Archive upload, please?
    … I didn’t need a walker BTW.

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