A day to remember. I bought tickets to this show in December of 2010 as artists were making early plans for this unique synchonization of dates and times. Show should end at 11:11:11pm if anyone's paying attention to the numbers.
First saw Eric Burdon a few of years ago when I was given free passes to HippieFest. The other acts on the bill, Terry Sylvester of The Hollies, some guy from Badfiner, Jack Bruce and Flo and Eddie, The Turtles were enjoyable in a nostalgic kind of way but didn't really have an arena set, perhaps they'd have been better suited to a lounge. Eric closed and his set, except for the songs, did not rely on a warm attachment to the '60's. It was enjoyable as a post-millenial rock show.
So we've kept tabs on him since and find him a mere 5 hours away from home. An easy jaunt.
For all the things that didn't go quite right, the evening was well worth the trip. Got to visit with our friend from Livonia. Always a pleasure to share music with Jacki. Off the top of my head I remember a half-dozen Dylan shows, one with Jack White, Jack White with both The Raconteurs and Dead Weather, Junior Brown and then Billy Bragg at the Ark. Am I missing anything? Oh ya, a trip to Iggy Pop's trailer park.
Dinner at Adiamo's was OK. No beer at all on tap, not a good sign, but the food was excellent. The venue itself was waaaaay to crowded. They could have used about 20 % less tables to give us a little wiggle room. Once you were strapped into your seat there was no getting up without disturbing a large number of people. Fortunately our table didn't move around at all.
Our seats were very close to the stage, actually under the speakers, so a touch too close. We had a great sight-line though. 'Course, I had a 'woo-bird' right beside me so anything remotely good or interesting on stage was followed by a loud 'WOOOOOOOOOO'. Actually I had two woo-birds; one who squeeled like a girl and his date, a girl. Not to mention Sir Clap-A-Lot. People, get out to more concerts, work it out of your system, it's not 1974 anymore...we're respecting the art of the show nowadays.
Opening band was...well, a waste of stage time. Didn't catch their name, though they told us. Did mostly classic rock covers. Lead singer (ummmm, didn't get his name, though he told us) was enamored with his guitar playing buddy (didn't get his name, though they told us) and seemed to be happy to be playing to a full house. The rhythm section wasn't even introduced...which is a shame, because I knew who they were. On bass, Greasy Carlise and on drums Todd Glass. This section often backs up Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding when they play the Detroit to Toronto corridor. Let me tell you, they are slumming it with this outfit. If the lead singer had had the courtesy to introduce them I would have given you his name.
Turns out the headliners were a cover band too. They were doing covers of blues masters though, and singing songs that came from The Brill Building before we knew what that was. A Tier 2 classic rock band; below The Kinks but above The Dave Clark Five in the tower of song.
Eric's still bringing it at 70 years of age. He's no Leonard Cohen but he's miles above the barking Dylan of 2011 or the remnants of Dr Hook I caught a few years ago.
Gotta love these songs. Eric's not sticking with the program on all them, he's changed the arrangements, added some funky variations and even made John Lee Hooker a little more salacious than he was on record. The audience was loving it. I know it dates me more than a bit but there's something life affirming about these kinds of shows. I've got nothing but indie artists and Coachella on my schedule this year so it was fun starting with something in my comfort zone. And who was the chick in the painted leather pants that put out the set list?
When I Was Young
Don't Bring Me Down
Don't Let Me Be Understood (reggae dub)
San Franciscan Nights
Before You Accuse Me (Bo Diddley)
I Believe To My Soul (Ray Charles)
River Deep Mountain High (Tina Turner)(dedicated to Etta James)
Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker) (bj dub)
Trying To Get To You ( C. Singleton - R.M. McCoy) (Elvis cover)
It's My Life (woo-bird intro)
Encore Break/Band Solo's/Crowd Talk
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
Why Can't We Live Together (T.Thomas)/Rivers Are Rising(?)
Crawlin' King Snake (John Lee Hooker)
House of the Risin' Sun (trad. arr Dave Van Ronk)