Ticket Stub Tour 4 – The Cranberries

The Cranberries ticket stub - '96
The Cranberries ticket stub – ’96

If my memory of these shows of old are limited, they are REALLY limited for this show.  Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it, I was trashed.  I was THAT GUY at this show.  I barely remember any of The Cranberries performance.  I’m not proud of that fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless.  I sacrifice my stellar reputation for this blog, I hope you appreciate it.

A couple of things I can talk about – the Cranberries as a band and the venue of Great Woods.  I think for me, the Cranberries helped me more fully embrace the softer side of “alternative” music.  I come from a heavy/black/thrash/death metal background and after I started to get into more alternative music (more on that in another post), I would still lean towards those with a harder edge.  With the Cranberries first album, it was a much softer, kind of 10,000 Maniacs sound that they came out with, and I definitely found it interesting, but I wasn’t yet sold.  I think they were even admitting to their grabbing of coattails, the first album was called “Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”

It wasn’t until their second album and the huge hit “Zombie” when I had a real appreciation for a band that was willing to take some risks.  Of course, their risk was creating a simple grungy song that fit very cleanly into the sounds of the time.  They weren’t pushing music forward, but they were saying – at least to me – that they were not just some 10,000 Maniac’s cover band.  I loved them for that.  The Cranberries are not a band that I return to very often, but I think they did serve as bridge for me to get from my harder edge background to some of the softer sides of alternative music.  They made that landing even more soft for me with a song that appealed by my need to be a head banging fool from time to time.  I thank them for that.

So, a bit about Great Woods, which I’ll talk more about when I look at my experiences at the original Lollapalooza’s.  Great Woods was this outdoor venue outside Boston with a covered seated section and an uncovered lawn to dress up the cheap seats for the unwashed masses.  When the unwashed masses are a bunch of Massholes, some crazy stuff can happen.  Take the tearing down and burning of the chemically laden fence – bonfire style – at Lollapalooza 2, for instance.

Not that I blame Great Woods for me forgetting the Cranberries show, but I will say that at that young impressionable age it was easy to get wrapped up in the nutsyness of the Great Woods lawn and it’s BYOB policies.  I certainly got wrapped up in that visit.


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