New Melody Fair
Buffalo, New York
Friday, June 13, 2003
The New Melody Fair Theatre, just outside Buffalo, NY, which apparently is the same as the Old Melody Fair Theatre according to the locals, was the site of Dan's concert on Friday the 13th. The old building is a theatre in the round and features a revolving stage. My seat was 5 rows from the stage, and I have never been this close to any performer before. A very nice intimate setting for a show like Dan's, I must say. I saw Dan last year at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, which is a very large venue, so I wasn't nearly as close to the stage then.
The show started somewhat late, I heard someone outside say that Dan was late arriving, however I noticed Michael Hanna on the patio earlier. Not that it mattered, cause when it started, Dan's show was marvelous. Play list was the changed one featured in the last couple of concerts just prior to Buffalo, starting with a rocking "Part Of The Plan". It was nice to see a house full of Dan fans instead of casino players with free tickets. Dan and the band received a standing ovation just for coming down the aisle onto the stage and it just got better from there on. A lot of smiling faces could be seen around the stage for the entire evening, and the audience was very appreciative of each song as it was offered. There were some minor electronic glitches which Dan jokingly blamed on Friday the 13th, and the guitar tech got a nice hand as he repaired them. The close proximity allowed for much repartee between the audience and Dan, who seemed very at ease, and joked about many things, including the '70's anecdote from previous shows, and also the lack of sunny weather (rumors of a large yellow disk in the sky out west) and the shape of the theatre (looks like an aquarium). One fan asked if Dan remembered "Wysteria" to which he replied, "No, but I'm glad you do !"
The band was very tight throughout, and the small stage seemed to make everyone gel together very well. Dan's virtuosity on the guitar always amazes me. I wish I could have seen him play in the earlier days when I was just buying the records. To see him play those licks in person is incredibly spine-tingling. His piano work was amazing as usual, especially showcased on "Another Auld Lang Syne". It seemed whenever Dan was at the piano, the revolving stage was on the wrong side for me. Until the last portion of the aforementioned song, when I finally got to watch Dan's handiwork on the 88's. All the members of the band are such accomplished professionals, that alone was worth the price of admission. This was especially true in the final "set" when the band rocked through "As The Raven Flies" and the others in the set list.
And the young folks think only they can play rock music !!
As if !!
A thoroughly enjoyable evening, enhanced by the intimate confines of the little theatre, the revolving stage, and a house full of avid Dan fans made for another year's pleasure, hopefully to last until Dan tours once again. Please don't let him quit touring yet !! Like many others that have reviewed shows for this website, I too drove some long miles (and crossed an International border) to see Dan play. Absolutely worth every minute and every dollar. If you're anywhere one of the remaining shows, do yourself a favor and get down to the place to watch.
Respectfully submitted by Bruce Flemington Barrie, Ontario, Canada