From: Steve Ramirez
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 17:42:59 –0700
Subject: [hix] Hello from Santa Ana
I got into town around 11:45, just enough time to check in and find the Borders Book store where the "in-store" was happening. Dan introduced Jeremy Kay for a nice little 4-song set, and Jeremy returned the favor when it was Dan's turn to come on. Now you know I love the guy, but I would be lying if I didnt say that he literally looked like he just rolled out of bed, he looked very tired, and understandably so. He also was without Debbie for this appearnce, in fact NONE of the Hot Licks were there, instead he was accompanied by Fiddlin' Fred, Bass-Man Bob, Carl Carrot, and Sassy Susan. Dan introduced himself as "Dan", possibly because he saw the "Bette" billboard just down the street from the Galaxy Theatre. Maybe the normal line up will return tonight. Anyway they played a nice little 6-song set ("Topsy/Swing 42","Strike It", "Up, Up, Up", "Chattnooga SSB", "I Scare Myself", and "Capo"). And the one liners were flying! He was making a comment about the other two bands (besides him and Jeremy) he called them "Ingrown Moustache" and "Who's Kid Is It?", and remarked after the set that they had to get over to the Galaxy because "Brain Dead" was doing their sound check and he didnt want to miss it... Afterwards Dan, Susan and Jeremy stuck around and signed autographs. This was a lot of fun and as the photo shows, it is definitely and "up-close and personal" little mini-show. Im looking forward to tonight in a big way... (of course after "Brain Dead" and "Ingrown Moustache" finish their sets...
Steve (from hazy Orange County)
PS $2.19 a gallon for gas at around Palm Springs!!!!
From: Steve Ramirez
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 09:33:31 -0700
Subject: [hix] Report from Santa Ana show (long)
After attending the little in-store mini-concert at Borders (which Dan was right on time for, btw), I was eagerly anticipating the "main event" that evening. I drove to the beach and stuck my tootsies in the surf and later stood at the site of what used to the Golden Bear, where I saw Dan and the Hot Licks for the first time in '72. Theres a Burger King and movie theater there now. Ah, progress...
Oh yeah, the show. the venue: the Galaxy Theater is a dinner-theater kind of place with three levels of seating, so everyone can get a good view. It appeared to hold about 400 people. Most of the audience appeared to be middle-aged types although there was a wide range of ages. And I would have to guess that a lot of them (like me) came to enjoy an evening of some mellow acoustic swing/jazz and Dan's dry wit..
the opening bands: (show started promptly a 8:00) Bill Weymoth and the Reason's Why: A big, loud in-your-face B.B. King style blues band
Zoey's Trip: An Indigo Girls-meets-Hole girl band (with a large contigincy in the audience)
Jeremy Kay: He and a bassist and percussion guy, kind of sound like a laid-back Dave Matthews without horns or violin. Very nice and worth a listen. I felt bad for him because by now all the people who came to see Dan were gettting impatient and all the Zoey's trippers were still griping that her set didnt last longer. Still, he played his songs to a mostly receptive and polite audience.
They finally started their set at close to 10:30, Dan promptly announced the they were going to play for 76 minutes (they played about 90) The crowd thinned out a bit by the time Dan got on stage. Everyone was there tonight, the Lickettes looked very stunning in their feathered boas. white tiger evening gowns and rhinestone studded sunglasses. They started with "Canned Music" played a nice mix of songs, which were all in the setlist reported here. I didnt make a set list because where I was seated (to the left of the stage) the sound was so muffled and distorted I had to keep movin' around just to hear what Dan was sayin most of the time. Everyone was in fine form, and as has been reported previously, the "new" Lickettes really add a lot to the band (both audibally and visaully) on the songs they know well, like some of the newer vocalese songs they're doing. ("End of the Love Affair", "Somebody Tell Me the Truth"). and they tried gamely to keep up with Dan on "Along Come A Viper". The rest of the band did their usual excellent work. I also have to agree with a previous poster about Brian (and this is something I said about 10 years ago when he was an Acoustic Warrior) he does real well on the duets, but I'd really like to see him cut loose on a solo. I like new bassist, Ozzie. He's a young guy and adds a lot of energy to the band. For all his valiant effort and gamesmanship, it seems the road is taking its toll on Dan, the fatigue was very evident and most of the on stage patter had to do with his touring schedule "Santa Ana tonight, then Oxnard, the Carson... fuckin A'...". He also talked a lot about laid back Orange County and recalled an incident with some cops and some orange groves a long time ago, but "that's another story ladies and gentleman".
In summary, I cant blame Dan for being tired (although some people around me were complaining about it) , and all things considered, it was a pretty damn good show, with everything I came for: the music, the Man and the Lickettes. I just hope that the next time I see him the venue doesnt throw in all these other bands, who were good, but totally mis-matched as opening bands for Dan (and Jeremy) , and I hope that Dan can get a break soon and recharge his batteries.