Fuel @ The House of Blues, Hollywood CA 11/07/01
This was Fuel at their peek with the Something Like Human lineup performing. It was 2001, The band was tight, energetic and hungry. And Brett Scallions was obviously high. My lady and I were sitting up in the balcony section of the House of Blues Hollywood, dead center, and I could see Scallion’s glazed eyes and semi-erratic behavior from up there. During the opening number, “Last Time,” Scallions danced like Axl Rose across the stage, jerking his mic stand from side to side. The mic flew out of its clip and across the stage. The band continued to play and Scallions looking dazed and confused, paused for a bit, then walked over to retrieve the mic. Not the most graceful recovery but it could have been worse.
The set was brief, about 16 or 17 songs in all. The band had only 2 full length albums at that time so it’s to be expected. The highlight of the night for me was something unexpected and kind of random. Scallions performed a solo acoustic rendition of Elton John’s “Daniel.” It actually sounded great, it was lovely, and a nice contrast from the usual Fuel offerings. A recording of this cover can be found on the reissue of Something Like Human. Then Scallions humorously killed the mood by saying “alright enough of this sappy shit” and the band ripped into another hard rocker.
The stars of the night had to be Scallions and drummer Kevin Miller. Scallions is a good live singer and a decent performer. He wasn’t very engaging, nor did he have much stage presence, however he was the most animated player onstage. Guitarist Carl Bell and bassist Jeff Abercrombie just stood there, laid down their parts (and laid them down well) but that was about it. Kevin Miller on the other hand is a great showman type drummer. He played with precision and with power. The highlights of his playing style had to be the cool use of his toms to produce melodies. He would play these melodic tom patterns that served as outros to some of the songs, and he did some cool splash work as well, adding color and delicate accents to Fuel’s songs. It’s a shame he didn’t stay in the band very long. Highlights of the night for me include “Innocent,” “Sunburn,” “Bittersweet” and of course “Hemorrhage.”
It’s difficult to recall the set but I think it was something like the following:
Jesus or a Gun
Hemorrhage (In My Hands)