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Roseville and the Sacramento area were treated to a special night of Classic Rock and Roll when Mr. Big rolled through town on their The Big Finish world tour. This special end-of-the-road tour began in 2023 with the band making stops around the globe including South East Asia, Japan, and Europe, and now, The United States. This Evening the band played to a sold-out crowd with a line that continued around the block. This was a special show as the capacity of the venue was only 600; Mr. Big usually has played to audiences three times the size on this tour. Fans were In for a treat this night in this intimate setting.

The Big Finish tour marks their farewell of over 35 years as a band together, spawning many studio and live albums, #1 hits, and countless tours all over the world. Beginning in January in Houston and sprawling across the US during April and May, this is a significant event for all Mr. Big fans as they will be playing their hugely successful 1991 album Lean Into It in its entirety as well as a loaded set list that encompassed their 35 years as a band and recording partners as well as sequences their musical storytelling.

After a stunning performance of their song “Addicted To That Rush” and a few other hits, the band got right into the full album of 11 songs, Lean Into It, which spawned their biggest US charting hit, “To Be With You” and “Just Take My Heart”. Mr. Big is fronted by Eric Martin, whom I have been a fan of since I was a teenager. Some of my very first concerts and records were of his Bay Area bands 415 and The Eric Martin Band; his place as a frontman in Mr. Big is well-earned as his charm and boyishness never seem to fade. His ability to connect with devoted fans is always genuine and flawlessly executed. His vocals are always on point, and tonight was no different. His endearing vocals and infectious stage presence were in full effect for the crowd. The setlist continued with hits like “Wild World”, a Cat Stevens cover. Next up; the almost expected guitar solo of every rock band, but tonight fans got a bass solo as well.

The Guitar duties were fulfilled by the guitar legend, Paul Gilbert; his extraordinary playing style and engaging stage presence were in full effect tonight. He is well known for being a Rock “shredder” yet lends some blues, soul, and pop vibes to his playing. The following Bass solo was handled by one of rock’s “main squeezes” of bass Legends, Billy Sheehan. He is known for his innovative bass techniques in Mr. Big and other bands such as The Winery Dogs. He and Gilbert are a huge part of Mr. Big's global success; their musicianship and complexity are second to none. Both are seasoned veterans of Rock, Prog, and soul influences. The solos and songs were met with great applause and enthusiastic audience participation.

The drums were masterfully held down by the new addition Nick D’Virgilio, who is carrying the torch for the dearly departed original member Pat Torpey, who lost his battle with Parkinson's Disease in 2018. D'Virgilio's musical capability matches the spirit of the dearly departed, Torpey. The harmonies and stellar drumming are the perfect fit for Mr. Big. His progressive groove keeps the sound intact, praised for his performances and ability to step in for the late Torpey adds to this amazing ensemble.

The thirst for nostalgia was quenched tonight as the band finished out their set with a few covers by Talas, Humble Pie, and The Who. Mr. Big proves to be an amazing live band celebrated for their nostalgic value and amazing hits, proving great music is timeless and holds no age limit. This set and performance by all members were amazing and posed a fitting farewell for the end of the road for such a timeless band. Mr. Big is set to finish their final goodbyes across the world and release a new album late summer of 2024. Be on the lookout for the new release, and maybe a “reunion tour” will commence sometime soon! Until then, we can listen to Mr. Big’s many recordings and hope for that reunion.


Lisa Holt

Photojournalist - Reno / Lake Tahoe

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