Supertramp were one of those bands that couldn’t survive their own dysfunctional nature, but they sure were amazing while they lasted. In 1974 they released their commercial breakthrough, the stellar Crime Of The Century. I believe the first song I ever heard by Supertramp was Bloody Well Right, and it remains in my top 3 of all their songs to this day. The title track is incredible, too, with one of the coolest fadeout endings in all of rock music. Dreamer, School, Asylum, Rudy, Hide In Your Shell…all just solidly well written gems. The undoing of the band was basically that they had 2 lead vocalists with radically different personalities, and their personal lives got entangled, never to be repaired again. Supertramp is one of the few arena rock bands that never reunited their classic lineup. I’m so glad I was able to see them in concert, because they were absolutely original and in their own category.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Supertramp0062On this date in history, 6/3/1979, Supertramp played an outstanding show at Market Square Arena in Indy.

This was my 11th concert overall, but my first time seeing a band with no opening act.

Supertramp_-_Breakfast_in_AmericaJust a few months into the success of the Breakfast In America album (which eventually sold over 20 million copies) Supertramp were at the pinnacle of their popularity and they staged an impressive show featuring inventive lighting, an unorthodox stage set up, and striking images projected on a huge screen behind the band.

The one that literally took everyone’s breath away occurred during a long hypnotic instrumental break where we all had a view of railroad tracks unfolding in front of us as if we were in the engineers seat of a manically fast train.

As the band jammed, the tracks took us on a dizzying journey, faster and faster, until at the last possible second we saw the wall approaching and realized impact was imminent…and the song ended, the screen went black and all the lights went out! The audience let out an audible gasp and then erupted in a mighty ovation as the lights came back on and Supertramp were already into the next song.

There were also bizarre moments like when someone in a banana suit met up with a person in a monkey suit at the center of the stage, briefly danced together and then exited to the opposite side of the stage with no explanation.

Was it significant? Was it a lyrical reference that only diehard Supertramp fans would understand? Alas, I will probably never have the answers, but it was certainly entertaining when it happened.

Supertramp-1979-3cI was quite impressed with the band’s musicianship and vocals throughout and the sound was excellent, too.

My favorite songs included “Crime Of The Century”, “Dreamer”, and “Child Of Vision.”

I never had the opportunity to see them again, but this Supertramp show has remained a fond memory all these years later.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History