July 5, 2003
Sure we have all thought about how cool it would be to attend a party where our favorite musician played for a group of friend at his\her own ranch.
Well, for those of us lucky enough to attend the Echo Basin concert that is basically what we got. Dan himself commented on how this is as close to his paying in his “own backyard” as you could get.
The show was in a beautiful, rural mountain setting with white plastic lawn chairs in a roped off area as the reserved seating and BYO Chair or Blanket for general admission. Dan started a little before dusk (maybe a little too early) and seemed very glad to be so close to home and about done with his summer 03 touring. He was very lively and up beat. Much more at ease with the audience then I have seen him before. His voice sounded strained at first but came on stronger as the night progressed.
The downside to the concert was that by starting before dark and with the ranch field setting there was a lot of audience chatter and activity that you would not usually find at a Dan show. This may also be partially due to the promoters having to push the sale of adult beverages to try and make up for the smaller venue.
His set list was basically the same as the rest of the tour. I guess it would have been too much to ask for some spontaneity in the show. Still, who wouldn't love to hear something like Bones in the Sky, Our Last Farewell or some other un-played gems?
This was my first time seeing him with his band and what a treat. He played for a solid two hours and as other have reported the electric guitar playing during the “Power of Gold” was awesome. The encore of "Place in The World..." was pretty funny. The audience was kind of quiet but Dan kept egging us on to belt it out. He was not going to end the evening without this group joining in. Then as I have seen him do before he pretends to leave stage before the final "Let it Shine" leaving in mid strum but then running back on stage for the big ending...
For his final few songs, we made our way up to the side of the stage area for some great views of the jam session. As an “older then dirt” Dan fan, I got a chuckle out of a college age kid who wondered up by us and commented “Hey, he’s an old dude but boy can he rock…”.. Yes, he can..yes he can…
Here is my little (ok not so little - but it is actually many pages shorter than my original handwritten) story / review of my trip to Colorado. Please feel free to post it on your Dan boards. Until next tour, all the best everyone! Cindy from Pittsburgh
Thursday July 3rd, 2003
My day began with a hectic cup of coffee and a realization that after only a few hours sleep it might take some time to ease into travel. I went running in Phoenix as the connect times were near and found my dear friend Sue from Michigan waiting for me. Yes - now I was really on vacation. There was a Ford Mustang shining bright silver awaiting us. Dan CDs soon were released although we missed having an open roof. How would the truckers hear us singing? We checked into our great hotel complements of Sue's husband - Thanks so much Dave.
We then drove to Silverton to Red Mountain Pass with its beautiful red-layered rocks. We even off-roaded a bit which was fun, and Sue and I figured out how to take totally unflattering pictures of ourselves together by holding it in front of us. We saw a beautiful waterfall cascading down the mountain and we transcended and negotiated a series of small switchback roads. Sue was glad I was driving (so was I - I loved it).
The sun makes for hot days, but the nights in Colorado are so cool. We had driven up more than 10000 feet and the stars are so FABULOUS here. I hope Dan gets inspired out here like we do.
Friday July 4th, 2003
Happy Birthday America The skies are so so blue here with barely a cloud. Our live CDs from 1985 High Country Snows were blaring - the grins as wide as the continental divide itself
We drive over to Wolf Creek Pass and the 'higher we climbed, the more that we saw'. We stopped at Treasure Falls and walked up to a place near the top. The sun was directly over the pinnacle of the waterfall, its rays cascading across the ridge. The splashes at the top sprayed out a beautiful dance, the sound a roaring of gentle power falling then flowing on its decent down the rocks.
Next came the long anticipated reunion of four of us from three states who met last year in Utah. I could only dream and imagine a year ago as we folded up our "ceremonial blanket" and promised a reunion that it would ever happen. We first saw Michael from Nebraska near the entrance to the restaurant. Immediately a year was erased and the reunion/expansion began. Sue and Mike met and we all began our search for the others. I stood high on a walled bench like a monument. Suzie came up next with Mike and their friend John from Utah and Colorado. Laughter, hugs and greetings were made. A three-hour lunch would follow a combination of margaritas and great Mexican food. Next we debated between the hot springs and the river, and the river won.
We changed into swimsuits and we pulled out our picnic items. The original Fab Four, now known as the Fog Four, unfurled the ceremonial blanket. Numerous pictures were taken of the monumental event. It looked great - thanks to Suzie for protecting it. We sat a long time in the river, which was so refreshing (until the snake joined us). As we contemplated where the ideal location would be to watch fireworks, a colorful umbrella of magic dust lit the sky. We were already there! If I went home now, I'd feel it would have been worth it. But guess what??? I still have tomorrow and oh yes the concert!
Saturday July 5th, 2003
Another glorious sunny day with no clouds in the sky in Colorado (just like Pittsburgh?) After a trip through time at Mesa Verde, we headed to Echo Basin Ranch for the show. It had to be a Woodstock want to be. It set so far back off the road. We began our quest for the perfect picnic spot. You weren't allowed any food, water or drinks in the venue, so we wanted to eat outside of the gate. We found a campground and spread out our picnic. It was a very relaxing afternoon. Around 4 o'clock, we went to the gate. I saw that my seat was second row at a nice venue (except for the cow patches). There were trees behind the stage. We hung out on the grounds for a while listening to the early bands. I've never seen anyone jam on a mandolin before. Around 7:30, I went down to my seat to listen to the last band before Dan. The sunset was going to be outstanding.
I wish people could see this scene. The sun is setting behind the band. This is the first Fogelberg concert I've been to where the band before Dan was a Rock and Roll band, not a woman and guitar. There are heavenly nights and nights of heaven. Last year was the former at Red Rocks and I never expect to have a better evening than that. For tonight's show, I felt as though they were counting down the final set list. Name, play, check. But as the electric set came on, they seemed to relax and have some fun taking it less seriously. There were off notes and a few missed words and they just laughed. For the highlights, Michael Hanna played extremely well tonight. The flute sound was so well done; I thought maybe they had Tim W. hidden back there - best it has sounded. They did Blow Wind Blow tonight and Michael Hanna was on the grand piano. Dan kept making his voice more bluesy and low and the guys seemed to be egging him on and he seemed to be loving it. To watch musicians when they are having fun is such a gift. Robert continues to excel on the guitar. He and Dan on the dueling electrics is a show in and of itself. Mike Botts and Jim Photoglo were very precise and while they weren't featured, they truly made the songs sound so good. Jim did pipe in a little special phrase in Gold - something like "Gold baby" and they all laughed. The Gambler even had a cool little intro tonight. The audience sang along loudly for Let it Shine and Sue, Connie and I swayed together. Dan thanked the band and crew for all of their hard work. They really do an excellent job show after show. I did miss Nature of the Game tonight. Overall it was a fun show, not the best I've seen - I thought Harrisburg was the strongest of the shows I saw this year. I hope that the next tour planned gives the band a few more down days in between the city travels.
I do hope next year that Dan will continue to tour, celebrate his induction into the Red Rocks Hall of fame, that he'll travel with a band he enjoys playing with and that he'll mix up the set list. How many artists could perform a song for 30 years and make it sound so new? How many artists can showcase an ability to excel on multiple instruments and write and play a range of acoustic, electric, blues, ballads, bluegrass, folk and flamenco and rock and roll songs and sound good at every one of them. I hope Dan will continue to pick out old songs that he doesn't perform and make them new again. Last year was Changing Horses and Empty Cages, this year the Crow, the Raven Flies and Power of Gold. How about Ever On, The Innocent Age, Stars, Phoenix, River of Souls, the Sand and the Foam, Scarecrow's Dream or The River? I did find it a bit odd that the Full Circle tour only featured 2 songs from the new CD. How about Once in Love, Whispers in the Wind, Half Moon Bay and Reason to Run? So much great music on this excellent new CD. And perhaps it can be time to let a few of the hits take a rest and maybe this tour could be for all of us who know the words to the rest of the songs.
I'm so glad for Dan boards to help me know of the tours. I have been fortunate to meet some truly wonderful people. People who can appreciate every finely tuned and altered note and intonation, who can cry at Dan songs and remember how so many of those songs have walked us through our lives. And thank you Dan for being the reason we're all here.
Safe journeys to you all along the road.
Cindy from Pittsburgh