Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 16:15:28 -0000
Subject: Dan in Rochester (Long, sorry)
From: Jerry Gerard

Having had my appetite whetted by finally catching Dan & Tom Mitchell live in Toronto last July, I have been looking for an opportunity to check out the whole group and a 2 1/2 hour drive down to Rochester looked like the best bet yet.

I met up with fellow Hixter Mark Bocko and his wife Kim for the first show at the Montage Grille last night. An online review of the venue referred to it as the kind of place where you should be sipping martinis instead of beer. On a chart that ranks clubs on several different items, the Montage rated a 6 out of 10 on the "Hook-up Factor" scale. It seemed to work pretty good for Mark.

There was a singer named Heather something opening for Dan and she seemed to lose the crowd after a couple of numbers judging by the murmer murmer of conversation in the room. Sorry, Heather, but we were there to see Dan and company.

I don't know if it was because of the chatting during the opening act but Dan seemed a little put off when he first came out. He made some of his usual cracks to the audience whenever shouted requests came but seemed to warm as the show went on. Later in the set he was getting annoyed about conversation and threatened us not to expect an encore if we couldn't pay attention during the main set. That seemed to do the trick.

The first number was the "updated" version of "Canned Music". After the song Dan said, "That's the show, folks. Thanks a lot. Drive safely. Pray for peace."

I'm sure we all have had difficulty explaining to the uninitiated what kind of music Dan plays. He clarified it somewhat by describing it as, I think, "folk swing roots acid jazz".

The set list, as far as I can remember it was:

Canned Music
Where's the Money?
Waitin' (one of my all-time faves, very well done)
I Got Mine
Peach-pickin' Time in Georgia (apparently Bob Dylan lives in one of the states from the song)
I've Got a Capo on My Brain
I Scare Myself (amazing instrumentals from all)
Honeysuckle Rose (according to Dan's intro. performed by many artists including Britney Spears and a highlight of the set)
Bottoms Up (from the CD which is only now available in a small record store in Topeka, KS)
Give Me the Simple Life (with a lively dance segment)
I Feel Like Singing (An encore so he must have forgiven the chatting folks in the crowd)

During the intros. of the musicians Dan introduced himself as John Waters just in from Baltimore (who was in town for the Lesbian & Gay Film Festival).

At one point Dan was referring to recent LPs "or CDs as they're called now. What's next FUs? A little caberet humor, there."

It was an amazing show. To take nothing away from Tom and Dan, the full sound with the (unknown) bass player and Brian on violin or mandolin and the Lickettes (Susan and someone else whose name I didn't catch) was so much better. I could listen to the solos all night long.

All in all well worth the drive. As I felt after the first time seeing Dan play live, it just left me wanting more. Let's see, if I hop in the car now I could get to Cleveland tonight .. then off to Ferndale Friday and then Pittsburgh on Saturday. OK, maybe I'm not quite a "Danhead" yet but I'm looking into airfares to San Francisco.

Nice meeting you Mark and Kim. It was fun sharing the Dan experience with true believers.