Don Caballero: Live March 6, 2004

When does a band replace so many members that it isn't really that band? It's more the rule than exception when bands endure line-up changes, but when has it gone too far? I asked myself these questions when the resurrected Don Caballero walked on stage at the Empty Bottle with only drummer Damon Che ever appearing on Don Caballero's releases. There were two recognizable camps at the show. The first was a young crowd elated at their first opportunity to see the band. The second was the older group of skeptical fans and friends. I was clearly in group two, admittedly like a circus attendee clapping while secretly awaiting the tightrope fall.

Pittsburgh's Don Caballero was one of independent music's most successful bands until their demise after 2000's American Don. All four albums featured significant line-up changes, so it was no shock to see another shift in personnel. However, this time it's four years later, and the other members are reportedly shocked to see Don Caballero's name back on club marquees promoting Damon and a group of unknowns.

It's not uncommon for bands like Guns N' Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the infamous Great White to operate with one or two original members. But can a band in such a small indie community get away with it? I paid my money, and found the show to be far more entertaining than most. The set was equal parts absurdity and dazzling musicianship. I was elated to hear decent versions of songs, even if it was more like the tribute band No Quarter than Led Zeppelin itself. Ultimately, these bands wouldn't exist unless they made good money from the crowds flocking to hear old favorites. If the fans keep going to the shows and keep buying the albums, then Damon has succeeded in his revival of Don Caballero.
Related Downloads
play all
Don Caballero
song:The Peter Criss Jazz
album:American Don (Touch and Go Rec…
[ play ] | [ download mp3 ]
Don Caballero
song:June Is Finally Here
album:What Burns Never Returns (Touc…
[ play ] | [ download mp3 ]