by Kevin Scofield, Exclaim!, May 1997
With much anticipation, the Pursuit of Happiness finally returned to Victoria, BC, supporting their latest album The Wonderful World of.... It's remarkable that TPOH has been able to survive years without being too distracted from the minor lineup changes and a couple big label moves.
TPOH started off with a couple of old songs from their first two albums, and then quickly moved to the new stuff. Songwriter, lead vocalist/guitarist and frontman Moe Berg practically apologized for having to then play some material from the new album, which is rather unfortunate. It's obvious that TPOH are having a hard time living up to their success of the mid-to-late '80's. Needless to say, the band was able to impress the near sold-out crowd. They played a healthy mixture of old and new material, with the usual humorous between-song banter that Berg is known for. With a few more months, the new material will hopefully become as recognizable to audiences as the older songs are.
Unfortunately, a very important member of the Pursuit of Happiness is often overlooked. It's easy to identify TPOH as being Moe Berg and some other people who play along, especially since Berg writes all the songs. However, guitarist/vocalist Kris Abbott is someone who deserves an enormous amount of recognition and respect. Abbott has been with the band since its first album, and has been a major part of the band ever since. She is one of the most amazing guitar players around, but has never received any recognition. Abbott, however, doesn't seem to mind. "It doesn't really bother me," she says after the show. "We're happy to let Moe have control over the songs. He's a great songwriter, after all."
Talented he is, but so is Abbott. Just watch her the next time you see TPOH perform. You'll quickly see the energy she has on stage, as well as her talents on the guitar. Kris Abbott rocks, and overall, it was a great show.
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