From a dedicated Dan Fan in KC
To: "Hicks List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Grand Emporium, KC, KC Review
Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 16:04:50 -0500
No offense to anyone, but did anyone ever see that Woody Allen movie, starring Diane Keaton, where she played an insecure, introverted woman [what's new] who could also sing? In one scene, Woody encourages her to get up on stage and "perform," only to have the reality of that experience captured from the singer's perspective, where the waitresses serve the bar patrons their drinks, the glasses are "clinking", the usual slobs are talking about whatever news of the day, and then a small group of attentive audience members try to listen, against the din of the noise from the rest of the gang who have no clue about who's up there trying to do their best: "to perform." I ain't no Euphonius Wail! Well, the hockey game was on the tv behind the bar, food was being served, the waitress was serving drinks, and in between, there was this sort of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide battle of the bands experience at the Emporium.
We'd bought advance tickets, and the girl behind the bar said they'd sold roughly 40 tickets (@$10/per) in advance. The evening started off with this eclectic collection of musicians known as "Brother Ike's Rural Grit Happy Hour" at 6. There were perhaps as many as six or 8 musicians playing bluegrass, semi-acoustic blues, and not exactly sure what else to call it but the majority of the members wore cowboy hats, and of the guys, several were sporting hillbilly beards. Brother Ike and his friends were a varied lot, and their musical influences seemed wide and varied. Not that they weren't accomplished musicians in their own right, but I don't know what Dan made of them. Let's just say that on several numbers, they seemed to have been influenced by the Alan Jackson school of music, with a bunch of "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas" and "whhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooooopppppppppppppppppppppppeeeeeeeeezzzzzzz"
thrown in for flavor. Dan commented upon taking the stage that in order to do this kind of thing, you had to have "performin'" in your blood," and that "that last act seemed to have plenty of that! So there you go."
With respect to the references today to Scotty, at the very start of the show, he was referring to the soundman and lighting guy as "Scotty" as well, and I knew that he was joking when he referred to Tom Mitchell as "Scotty" as well. In the flavor of the opening act, Dan started the set with "Peach Pickin Time in Georgia," and from there, the set list on my table napkin looked like this:
Buzzard was his Friend
Hell I'd Go
Slow Boat to China
Strike It While It's Hot
Long Come a Viper
Instrumental (kind of sounded like Vivando with Dan on "rhythm guitar."
Milk Shakin' Momma
Up, Up, Up
Capo On My Brain
How Can I Miss You
News From Up the Street
The last number was the encore, the one and only. Not long after Dan took the stage, it was obvious to me that the yokels at the back of the bar were making too much noise to keep Dan happy. Despite the fact that Dan was actually responding to requests from the audience, and if you can believe this, the audience filled in parts of songs with chorus/humming/and singalongs, the effect of that which didn't seem to apply enough pressure on the folks in the back to drown them out. A little more than half way through the show, Dan as much as told off the folks in the back to shut up, telling the crowd that he could just as well "take the money, jump in the car, and f....k it," cause the drone of the noisemakers continued throughout each song. That was disappointing, but I understood how Dan was feeling. For those of us who came to hear him though, there was this nice kharma going with the majority of the folks.
Dan probably played about an hour and 15 minutes or so, and the song, "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away" seemed particularly appropro. During some fancy finger-licks, I thought I saw Dan flip the bird to somebody in the back. Regardless, Dan left the stage to head to the dressing room, and we noticed that when he got there, the door was locked, so Dan gave it a swift kick, but that didn't work either. At the same time, our host's 14 year old daughter was chasing Dan back to the dressing room, and in the process of his exit and all of this happening, she talked Dan into signing my cd covers of IHOB and last Train to Hicksville. That action may have mellowed Dan a bit, as Jenny got the autographs, Dan came back up on stage, and the evening wound down. The mc came up to the stage to announce that "Dan had left the building," signaling that there would be no further encores, and that we should all stick around, as the next act was going to be some type of big "rock and roll" show, starting up at 9.
We made it back to Des Moines by 1:00 pm. I was happy, sorry about the idiots, and hoped that Dan realized we went all a bunch of bozos. My friend commented to me on the way back to his house that he wondered how much it might cost one of us to hire Dan for a "private concert," given that this night did not seem to make him "$100,000 dollars." I wish I had the money.
Rhythm and Blues