I can’t decide who I was more impressed with at Friday’s Steve Miller concert at the SOEC; Miller himself or his opening act, Matthew Curry. 

Let’s start with Matthew Curry. The kid is 17 years old and has more soul in him than anyone I’ve ever witnessed perform on stage. No one I was with had heard any of his songs, and yet all of us sat mesmerized, looking at each other every now and then and mouthing, “he’s really good!” He and his band performed at a level expected of grizzled touring rock icons, yes it was that good. Yes, I will buy the album.

Once Steve Miller hit the stage, a wave of nostalgia washed over the 4,500 plus crowd as this 70 year old rock veteran brought everyone to their feel with Jungle Love.  Suffice it to say that Miller has lost none of his vocal or performance abilities over the years. None.

By the time he and the band hit the first chords of Swingtown the crowd was singing so loud it was more like a choir than a concert. Song after song poured off of the stage and over the crowd with Abracadabra, Space Cowboy, USA, Serenade and the Stake.

Soul singer Sonny Charles, (73) who joined the group in 2008, then led the crowd through the Ooh Poo Pad Do song and danced his way into everyone’s hearts. This was followed by Further on Up the Road.

Matthew_CurryThen Miller did something no one expected (unless they’d read earlier reviews). He brought Matthew Curry back on stage to jam to the song, Texas. Curry’s left-handed guitar licks, coupled with the rest of the band, had the crowd captivated. When Curry left the stage after much applause, Miller told the crowd “Watch for him,” an understatement if ever there was one.

It was Miller time again with a set that consisted of Mary Lou, Sugar Babe, Shubada and Dance, Dance, Dance. Then the rest of the band left the stage, leaving Miller front and center with only an acoustic guitar, a stool and a huge Space Cowboy backdrop. He chatted briefly and launched into a medley of Wild Mountain Honey, Gangster, True Fine Love and Lovin’ Cup.

Now at this point one would think after 80 minutes or so of performing that it would be time to wrap things up.  Instead, Miller and his band threw themselves into four more classics including The Joker, Take the Money, Rockin’ Me, and Jet Airliner.

Knowing there was no way he’d get away without an encore, they didn’t bother to leave the stage. The band just stopped playing for a few minutes and dove straight into the encore song: Fly Like an Eagle.  It was, interestingly enough, one of the few songs that strayed noticeably from the originals with the keyboard parts being somewhat disconcerting to my ears. In the end, it didn’t matter.  Steve Miller delivered so much more than I, and possibly everyone in the crowd, expected. He’s the type of person/performer that we all want to be when we hit our 70s.  Full of life, energy, paying it forward and following our passions.



Want to hear some great music while helping out a wonderful, local non-profit society? 

Check out the 1st Annual Rock The Wish on Sunday, April 27th at the Packinghouse Pub from noon until midnight.  Twelve bands in twelve hours, so music for every taste!  All proceeds are going to the Wish Come True Society, a local non-profit whose mission is to build a much-needed children’s respite/hospice house in Kelowna.  Tickets are $5 at the door.  Come early and grab a good seat!


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