Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Fraze Pavilion is nestled within a beautiful neighborhood in Dayton, OH. Kettering is the actual suburb to be specific. The venue is beautiful but Miami Valley weather conspired to offer up a cold, damp evening on June 3rd for the show. While the all-day drizzle had stopped by showtime, the air was chilly and wet. A capacity crowd gathered anyway for the promise of a great show by Dan and the band. No opening act at this venue.
Dan came on alone and played though his breath condensed with every lyric sung. The technical crew had work very hard to keep the instruments in working order as the soggy conditions worked against them. Dan started with "Nexus" with the 12 string. And we were off on my 19th opportunity to hear Dan in concert. With Cindy from Pgh, my husband and another dear friend, we settled in for the evening. Dan summed up the conditions following "Hard to Say" with the quote, "If it does snow tonight, I'll cry!" With access to a set list from Wolftrap, we soon realized tonight would be an abbreviated show. Who could blame the players on a night like this?
"Make Love Stay", "Lazy Susan", a killer performance of "Nature of the Game", "Leader of the Band", and "Same Old Lang Syne" were among the tunes Dan played for us on his own. With no break, the band was on stage in long sleeves and jackets. I think Dan called the band the Embarrassing Stains this year....excellent musicians all. "Part of the Plan" opened this part of the show and we loved it. We always love it. One of the outstanding characteristics of Dan's music is the timelessness of the songs. Even 30 years later, "Part of the Plan" sounds absolutely fresh. So glad he performed "Crow" with the boys in the band. When the first news of the new CD came out, my husband recognized "Full Circle" from the Byrds right away. We pulled that CD off the shelf and listened until Dan's new CD showed up. The onstage version was delightful and a fitting tribute to Gene Clark. "Reach Haven Postcard" is lovely in concert. The band really warmed up as a continuous mist rolled in with "Missing You", "As the Raven Flies" and "Power of Gold". We still wonder how they were able to play so skillfully with the thick, wet air swirling around them. What professionals to be able to present such good music in such unfriendly outdoor conditions. We noticed upturned jacket collars, frantic retuning of guitar strings during songs, and a sense of "let's give 'em a good show but let's hurry" as the guys braved the night. It was truly a mist-tical night for DanFans. The band did an encore for us with "There's a Place in the World for A Gambler" and then, called it a night. Probably needed to huddle around a roaring fire to drive off the cold. Though I've now seen 19 shows, I continue to be amazed at the individual character of each venue and each audience. Dan does not disappoint. It was a fine show in Dayton. Well worth the time standing in line to get the good seats we enjoyed. Well worth getting cold to hear. Well worth it. My thanks to Dan, the band, the tech guys, Jean and all the roadies. Thanks for coming to Dayton....uh, that's Kettering.
Yellow Springs, OH
Tuesday, June 3rd - Dan at the Fraze
The day was dark and dreary with rain clouds stretching from Pennsylvania to Indiana. My bags were packed with all of the traditional Fogelberg uniform (this year black pants, 1991 Spirit of the West T-shirt, and the newest acquisition, the Fogelberg Green zip down sweatshirt). I began my journey across route 70 in search of a new Wal-Mart in which to buy the perfect rain poncho to match the ensemble, as escaping rain tonight seemed unlikely. I continued west through the rain to my next detour - that of the fine Greek pastry shop in the North Market in Columbus, Ohio. Those of you who are going to the show on the 14th must stop at this fine collection of culinary treats and in particular I recommend Fidous where the finest array of phyllo dough combinations awaits you. An hour later, I was rewarded at the end of the trail with the delightful town of Yellow Springs, Ohio with open arms of my dear friend Deann. We met several years ago at a concert in Michigan. Truly these kinships are what makes these long journeys to far away concerts worthwhile.
I entered her fine place with its wonderful collection of native American blankets to hot tea and Full Circle (the entire CD trays of course filled with a Dan collection courtesy of her husband who just knows). We caught up with each other as the anticipation of the concert approached. Her wonderful husband Neil came home and the teasing began. God bless all you husbands out there who just go along with us during these times of mounting excitement and who love us anyway. Next we were off to a fun dinner at a local pizzaria. Another friend joined us there and before long Neil had three Fogelettes on his hands just laughing away. I don't know if it was all of the matching Fogelberg attire, but we no sooner sat down than "Longer" began playing as the background music at the restaurant. What is the chance of that?
The Fraze Pavillion is in Kettering (not Dayton), Ohio. That must be an important distinction, because Dan would later make reference to it. It is layed out beautifully with a pond and fountains. The venue is intimate and there was a pretty full crowd despite the weather. We had seats in the front section in row II. They were good seats. We sat and reviewed the set list from Wolf Trap hoping we would be treated to the same show. We soon noticed that Dan's guitars were being lined up on stage by a whole new crew except for one guy from last year - Dan if I remember right? What's up with that and where was Fish? Who was going to dust the piano? Anyway, this was all unexpected, as there was supposed to be an opening act. No mention was made of her or the change and before we knew it Dan was announced. He came out alone as you all now expect from previous shows. He had on a shirt and jacket which remained on all night due to the cold. Dan would make frequent references to the temperature throughout the night saying that neither the strings nor the tuner were working well because of it. Later he considered asking North Face for tour sponsorship. It was a misty rainy blowing kind of night - much like I imagine Maine to be. Dan said it was like the weather when he wrote the Reach. He began with Nexus and Hard to Say which sounded pretty good.
It was obvious from the beginning that the weather was wreaking havoc on this show. Then he skipped the next four songs and I stopped hoping he had perhaps rearranged the set order. Don't get me wrong, the audience LOVES Leader and Old Lang Syne and Roses, but I had my heart set on many songs from Full Circle or some "oldies but infrequenties" like Old Tennessee. Then without skipping a beat, the band joined Dan on stage. With only a canned introduction of the members by name and visit their websites (except for Mike Hanna who has a two year old), they began with Part of the Plan. The effect of the weather was evident during this song which was not quite as perfect as I've heard before. The band played well, but it reminded me of a studio performance rather than an interactive live act. We were so spoiled last year with the tremendous group of musicians and their obvious joy in playing together. I was feeling a little let down as I continued to get wet, but fortunately there was some electric music which saved it for me. The Crow, As the Raven Flies and The Power of Gold were very well done and made the show worthwhile for me. I was glad that I was there to hear it.
My next day was spent seeing Yellow Springs which is a cool little town that I'd visit again. Its many artisans were all running the consignment shops. I went into a used record store (yes the old kind - vinyl). They had a copy of Netherlands and I bought it. I've had all of my original albums forever. Netherlands was the first album I heard of Dan's in 1979. My husband had it, but had lost the cover and had it in a Vienna Boys Choir case. I thought it would help make my collection complete although I'm sure I'll still keep the choir for sentimental reasons.
All in all, a great time, a good show and a continuation of a wonderful friendship.
Cindy from Pittsburgh