Review: Jingle Ball 1998
By Debbie Seagle
Ever get tired of hearing the same old
stories of excess regarding your favorite musicians and entertainers?
Too much drinking, drugging, partying . . . too much money! Yes, these
things happen in the world of the musically inclined, along with the rest
of us regular types. On the flip side, musicians and entertainers
are some of the most generous and sensitive people you will ever meet.
When they are called upon to help the less fortunate, most will make room
in their busy schedules and find a way to make a difference. This
was the case at the 1998 Jingle Ball in San Diego, California on December
18th, when the stars came out to form a galaxy of good will and holiday
giving. Having only their expenses covered, all the proceeds of the
evening went to charity. Sponsored by a San Diego radio station,
KFMB Star 100.7 and put on by Southern
California concert promoter Bill Silva
to benefit the San Diego chapter of Make-a-Wish
Foundation, this jam session for charity has developed into a major
musical event. This year's 13,000 tickets sold out in three hours
and netted over $100,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of San Diego.
Make-a-Wish has chapters all over the United States and grants wishes to
children with life threatening illnesses, to make their dreams come true.
Whether it is a trip to Disney World or a ticket to the World Series, they
make it happen.
In its third year,
the line up gets more and more stellar. This year's concert revelers
not only got to donate money to a worthy cause, they were treated to the
sounds of Berlin, Cherry
Poppin Daddies, Art Alexakis of Everclear,
Rick Springfield, the Brian
Setzer Orchestra, Bruce
Hornsby, the Barenaked
Ladies and Jonny
Lang. Starting out the festivities and keeping the concert goers
entertained throughout the evening while roadies busily changed out equipment
between the 30-40 minute sets was Steve
Poltz. The song writer best known for co-writing Jewel's smash
hit "You Were Meant For Me" and his latest release "One Left Shoe," is
a San Diego native and kept the audience laughing with his hilarious, meandering
stories and upbeat acoustic music.
The evening was
a holiday banquet table of musical genres, beginning with Terri Nunn and
Berlin, the 80s pop/rock
band best known for their Top Gun hit, "Take My Breath Away." After
Terri got things kicked off, it was on to the Cherry
Poppin Daddies. Jungle tom-toms and sassy brass ushered in Steve
Perry, strutting and gyrating in his pinstriped zoot suit to songs like
"Brown Derby Jump" and "Zoot Suit Riot." Art Alexakis of Everclear
introduced his solo band and performed several songs from his upcoming
solo project. Rick Springfieldwalked
the audience down memory lane with such hits as "Jesse's Girl," "An Affair
of the Heart," and "I've Done Everything For You."
Poltz provided the half time show of songs and shinanigans to giveBrian
Setzer and his 15 piece orchestra time to move in. The tattooed
one arrived in an electric red holiday suit and brought the crowd to their
feet as the orchestra "Rocked Til They Popped" and Brian's own special
version of Jingle Bells brought a shower of snowflake balloons wafting
down to the merriment of the lucky people below. Bruce
Hornsby took it back to the 80s with his version of the song he wrote
with Don Henly, "The End of the Innocence." Clearly the high
point of the evening was the arrival of the Barenaked
Ladies. Rappin, dancin and giving it up were the boys of the
great white north. Can you say F-U-N? Singer Steven Page left
his three day old infant Benjamin and his wife back in Toronto to fly in
for the benefit. What a guy! Jonny
Lang wrapped up the night with his biting blues riffs and mournful
voice. Its gravely hardness speaks the blues in a way you would never
expect from this teen heart throb, but even the greats like B. B. King
give him their nod of approval.
After six hours
of non-stop, top rate entertainment, no one left the banquet table hungry!
Debbie Seagle is a freelance music journalist, and Rock n World Contributor.