Review

California, Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania
Convocation Center

April 13, 2013


[Daniel Chester], [Eileenz]

Review by Daniel Chester



Things Have: continues to grow on the listener...love starting with him at
the mike center stage... this tune done well almost makes it like you're
immediately in the middle of the show (this ain't no warm-up)...swell
table-setter

Love Sick: not as spooky a spell as other times, a fine rendition

Highwater: first of a half-dozen with the stand-up bass (should be double
that)...banjo came through nicely...not a troubling or sinister version,
call it a friendly version

Soon After I Come Back from Looking at the T-Shirt Kiosk: piano and Herron
had some nectacular moments, this wasn't one the them...really average
tune for him though it sounds like it could be some other artist's best
tune

Early Roman: nice tempo and nice delivery...love using the stand-up here

Tangled: mashed together a few ideas/versions and while they might all be
quality none of them were mastered...lacked the funk-like sound and rhythm
of last couple versions heard

Pay In: pretty faithful, fairly interesting, some great lines sung well
(vocals strong this evening)

Visions: if Tom Cruise played a rock star in a movie and one of the tunes
was 'Visions' this is what it would sound like...essence peaks through a
couple times...it's like lobster salad: why would anyone take a delicacy
like lobster and defile it with mayo and celery and whatever?

Spirit: a little fast yet sparkling...stand-up bass working
perfectly...piano understated and extremely cool (especially toward the
end)...a true gem

Beyond Here: surprisingly deep and crisp...drums/rhythm stellar

Blind Willie: decent version (it's always so good)...stand-up bass and
banjo were nice but overall 'meh'

What Good: faithful and honest (don't you wish everything in the world
were so?)...piano sounding sanctified...great choice and delivery

Thunder: driving but not crackling (a bit understated (like the headliner
during this tune))...piano and lap steel finding some late interplay magic

Scarlet Town: stand-up bass and banjo mighty fine...again
faithful...seemlessly working in a new song (not always easy to pull
off)...banjo and piano finding some late alchemy

Watchtower: pretty energetic...lead guitar felt a little less restrained
which lead to some melodic and almost fierce leads

Thin Man: lost the echo yet still a pretty dull affair...there are so many
other potential closers (moods) to end with

Summary: not a bad little venue (for all the advertising thought the joint
would be jammed)...good, consistent energy from all involved...new tunes
held up their end of the bargain...guitar a little deferential...that's a
heckuva band...except for a few tunes the band's quality level seems to
rise when the headliner is away from the piano (standing at the
mike)...maybe there's some trick involved yet how does some old cat
remember all those wonderful lyrics?... as banal as the sax is in rock
music could definately hear some yearning to blow on a couple tunes
(Scarlet Town and Early Roman?)...all 'n' all a borderline great
show...best tunes were Spirit and What Good and Beyond Here...
thanks, everybody

[TOP]

Review by Eileenz



At the Tour Bus Rest Stop

I live in a rural area near Cal U in Pennsylvania
On the itinerary, in between Delaware and Ithaca, Cal U is number 7
Last month, I drove over to the University, parked in the river lot and walked the familiar campus
I stood in front of the box office and corralled a random student
He purchased the scholar priced ticket and I tipped him a fiver
The friendly transaction unfolded as easily as a newspaper
I started to follow the set list & read the reviews on line
I knew what to expect and looked forward to the evening
I arrived early, wandered around
Stared at the river, the tracks, the steep hill, old main, stained glass tulips, vintage Ray-Ban windows 
A student painted a fire hydrant red
I picked up a few pieces of trash, identified sweet gum, oak, maple, cardinal 
Four Duquesne diesel locomotives
Whistled through
On a bench
Near the stage entrance
Under the crown of a golden onion dome
I got my trains crossed
Ate crow
Loaded with coal
It's only rock and roll but
I like to watch the activity of catering arrive, the piano tuner, sound check
At the tour bus rest stop
Trucks and vans, depart, idle, patrol, and cycle
I appreciate the security, the saw horses, the velvet rope of caution tape
I try not to look too closely at precautionary paramedics
Like 2 butchers opening a meat wagon 
They slam down an empty stretcher  
Push it around like a grocery cart
Inside the venue
I sip a handful of water cupped from the bathroom sink
On a flight or in an audience, I request the aisle 
The seat is not great
Around me, I ask for gum or mints
No one has anything
Before the lights go down
People are on the move 
M. C. Escher stairwells
Divide the once familiar territory of stadium concrete
The climb is slower, polite, courtesy is extended
A very small orange plastic bottle rolls into the path
Travel size, probably sunscreen
A man standing nearby shrugs 
I insist with all the threat of a mother
Pick it up
Someone will get hurt 
I drop down a few rows
Sit tight
A beautiful young woman in a mini skirt carries a single white rose
Alone at the edge of my seat
The collage of musicians appear
Picasso paints
Behind me 3 young men talk nonstop through the first song
Things have changed
I turn around and say loudly SHUT UP
My duck billed fist quacks 
The assembled gray 
Seduce a ghost
Light a votive
Ask ourselves
What Good Am I?
Enchanted
I lean on the railing in front of me a few times
Close my eyes
As the encore begins the steroid guerilla behind me
Pushes his hand into my shoulder like a boot
I wanna tell you something
I pull forward; gather my coat from the floor
Try to placate
Again
He interrupts
I wanna tell you something
If you weren't a woman
I'd punch your face
Ballad of a thin man is beginning
I bolt, exit the row, move a few seats forward
Sit on the end of another aisle
I motion to a security guard in a yellow T shirt 
I'm alone and I want an escort to my car
Someone just threatened me
Another level of security arrives and asks me, if I want to step out in the hall
I said I'm not done yet
The ballad ends
The houselights come up
As a security officer walks me to my car 
A sleepy barge
Dreams
Down the river

[TOP]

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