UB's Tailgate Concert Series continues with The Spin Doctors

The Spin Doctors bring acrobatic performance before the Bulls play Norfolk


After a band plays its final chord, lead singers often take a bow, wave to the crowd and thank everyone for coming out.

Not Chris Barron of The Spin Doctors.

He ended his set at Saturday’s tailgate with a heel stretch, kicking his leg straight in the air.

“I see playing live as Kung Fu,” said Barron, 47, in an interview after the show. “Years go by and you learn how to conserve energy on stage, make more of an effect while doing less and when to go totally berserk.”

The Spin Doctors, an alternative rock band, played at Stampede Square Saturday before the Bulls’ game against Norfolk State. The show was part of UB Athletics’ Tailgate Concert Series.

The band came together in New York City more than a decade ago with beginnings firmly planted in the blues scene of the late ’80s. The motley group was originally called Blues Traveler, but changed its image to The Spin Doctors after the addition of current drummer Aaron Comess and bass guitarist Mark White.

The band opened with its 1993 hit “What Time Is It?” as Barron showed off his flexibility by fan kicking his leg during musical interludes. The set was a mixture of old and new music, performing singles off the band’s latest album, If The River Was Whiskey, including the title track, as well as songs off its first album Turn It Upside Down.

After a hip-hop themed fall fest and a country tailgate artist last week, students had a chance to experience a different genre.

“It’s nice to have some alternative rock, it’s different than what they usually have at UB,” said Millie Pal, a sophomore pharmacy major.

Barron took time between songs to speak to the audience about the excitement of the tailgate and history of the band. He also spoke to a young fan when he discovered it was the boy’s first rock concert and promptly passed him a pair of drumsticks.

The Spin Doctors are best known for their early ’90s hits “Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.” They’ve released six albums, each one alternative rock in sound, featuring heavy guitar solos and often fast-paced, wordy lyrics. Their style is infused with a smooth, bluesy edge that slows down the tempo and relaxes the bass.

The Spin Doctors closed the show with “Scotch and Water Blues,” but came back with “Yo Mama’s a Pajama” in an encore performance. Fans roared as Barron impressed the crowd one last time with his acrobatics, flinging his legs in the air and proving that alternative rock is still alive and kicking.

“I heard [The Spin Doctors] years ago, but I’ve never seen them live,” said North Tanowanda resident Maggie Maroney, an elementary school teacher. “They put on an exciting show. I’m glad I moved closer to hear them.”

Three Dog Night is the next group set to play in the Tailgate Concert Series. They’ll take the stage Sept. 27 at 1:30 p.m.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com