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Fastball – Still Showing Us “The Way”

Saxon Pub, Austin, TX, April 20, 2017 – The show was billed as the record-release show for their upcoming album Step Into Light (out May 19th via 33 1/3 records) but it was so much more than that.

The band took the stage at The Saxon Pub in their hometown of Austin, TX shortly after 10PM and proceeded to take the sold out crowd through a full retrospective of their twenty-one year, six studio-album history.  Evidenced by the energy coming from both the stage and the audience, this show was not an announcement that Fastball was ‘coming back’, it was proof that they were never gone!

The standout moment for me was just before the last song of the night when singer/guitarist Miles Zuniga stepped to the mic and said, “We’re going to leave you where we started.” It stood out to me because in that moment, the statement took on both literal and figurative meanings.

In a literal sense, Miles may have been referring to the nights setlist.  In a true show of pride for their entire catalog, Fastball began and ended the show with songs from their first, often overlooked, album Make Your Mama Proud (released April 1996 via Hollywood Records).

In a figurative sense, ‘leaving where they began’ illustrates that Fastball is a band that has stood the test of time and that they have done it while remaining true to themselves. It is a common tale about bands that have had their time in the spotlight and then changed the essence of their being to elongate that time in the spotlight.  That is not the story of Fastball.  They have consistently produced 90s-era pop-rock records with deceptively complex chord structures and catchy melodies while never sounding repetitive.  Most importantly, as evidenced on stage, they continue to enjoy themselves doing it.

So Miles, Tony and Joey, thank you for leaving us where you started.

Thank you for continuing to make the music that YOU want to hear.

Most of all, thank you for continuing to bring us along for the journey.

We Will Never Let You Down