Bronson Arroyo at the Roxy on January 13

A Review of Bronson Arroyo at the Roxy on January 13, 2007

, Editor-in-Chief

On any given weekend in Boston, there are numerous bar bands that grace the stages of the city’s pubs. While some are certainly better than others, all will seem to delight a crowd with at least one of their array of cover tunes. But in the end, there is little difference amongst the pack as people like to hear the songs but not necessarily who plays them. The same could be said for Bronson Arroyo’s show at The Roxy on Saturday night.

The former red Sox pitcher is taking time out of his off-season training to do a mini tour supporting his 2005 music debut Covering The Bases. Despite playing baseball in Ohio after being traded to the Cincinnati Reds last year, the love affair between Arroyo and Red Sox Nation continues. Bronson was all smiles as his adorning female fans screamed to their blonde heartthrob, while the guys took it all in for the novelty factor. Still, Arroyo’s set from opener “Slide” (Goo Goo Dolls) to closer “Dirty Water” (The Standells) was nothing more than a good bar cover band.
Arroyo’s 90-minute set was rather predictable, with 90’s rock radio staples dominating the majority. When he stuck to his grunge roots, notably “Plush” (Stone Temple Pilots) and “Black” (Pearl Jam), he was at his best. On the opposite, when Arroyo attempted “Over My Head (Cable Car)” (The Fray) and “Everything You Want” (Vertical Horizon), his vocals simply did not fit the tune. Then there were times when neither mattered, as he led sing-alongs of “Wonderwall” (Oasis) and “Outside” (Staind).

There were a few stellar moments for Arroyo and his skilled bandmates. For most of the night, it was saxophonist and Boston native Elan Trotman that stole the show as he delivered numerous solo’s and gave many songs an extra bit of welcomed flair. Opener Chad Perrone joined Arroyo on stage early for a surprising rendition of Averi’s “Mouthful Of Sand” (Perrone’s former group).

The most memorable part of the night came at the encore, when Red Sox GM Theo Epstein joined Arroyo on stage. It was a sign that there was no bad blood between the two, even after Epstein traded Arroyo away. At one point, fans chanted “Bring Bronson Back!”, to which Epstein chuckled and replied, “Might be easier if they trade me to Cincinnati.” The two then jammed out to “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “Rockin’ In The Free World.”

All in all, fans got what they should have expected – a fun night with a solid bar band – whose front man happens to be a pretty solid baseball player as well.

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