It's about time.
For the first time in the history of Diamondbag, we played a show at Club Dada and absolutely nothing went wrong. No broken strings, no out-of-tune keyboards, no broken stage lights, no violently ill drummers-this time, everything finally went right. It was fourteen songs of pure Neil pleasure, and the sizable crowd ate it up. In fact, the crowd response was so loud between songs that I was genuinely dumbfounded at a few points (especially since many of our friends declined to participate in the evening's festivities). Well gang, if you weren't there, you missed a good one.
As they do every Friday at Dada, A Hard Night's Day worked the crowd into virtual Beatlemania until about 10:00. I was quite pleased to note that upon completion of their set, 99% of the crowd stayed put despite A Hard Night's Day's pleas for us to play "September Morn" during our set. If that doesn't scare off a crowd, nothing will. Ok, maybe the mention of "Porcupine Pie" would have them running to the exits in sheer terror, but that's why we haven't played that song in months. I warn you, though-it will return again someday. Oh yes, it will return.
I have to admit that I love nights when we just play one set. Sure, I enjoy the long gigs we play at Barley and the Lakewood B&G-but it's really nice sometimes to just play one long set filled with nothing but hits. We can give it our all for an hour-plus, and then we can wind down and drink heavily with our friends. Unfortunately, I had to take it easy a bit on this night as I had to be on the road by 8 AM the next morning in order to make it to Austin in time to watch my Longhorns beat the crap out of Seneca Wallace and the Iowa State Cyclones. Still, I made sure to have my share of the sauce, as you really do need a bit of a buzz in order to do true justice to the twisted genius of Neil Diamond. If you were there, you may have noticed that I was drinking Smirnoff Ice. Mike Teschner sure did, as the look of disgust on his face indicated that I may as well have been drinking out of the toilet bowl at the Czech Stop in West, Texas (on the way to Austin and highly recommended for its kolaches, cheap beer, and freakish clientele). I admit, it's a bit of a wussy drink, but it doesn't fill me up like beer does and it keeps me light on my feet for the gig. I do apologize if anyone was truly offended by my beverage of choice, and if it makes you happy I will certainly be sure to slam five shots of Maker's Mark and yak on the stage at the next gig. Deal?
As for the show itself, what can I say? We opened with "America," closed with "Brother Love," and absolutely steamrolled through the twelve songs in between (stopping only to drink, thank the nice lady who asked for something from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and drink some more). 14 songs + no crap = great gig. The only "obscure" song we played was "Walk On Water," but that is rapidly becoming one of my favorite tunes. The highlights were "Cherry Cherry" and "Holly Holy," which despite its inherent evilness really seemed to get the crowd going. Once again, can I mention how LOUD the crowd was? It felt really good.
After our show ended, we anxiously awaited the performance from Queen For a Day-yes, a Queen tribute band. Allow me to quote from Janice on Friends:
These guys were freakishly good, especially the singer. This guy was Freddie, and not just the look and the moves-he had the voice. I'm a huge Queen fan, and I was blown away. Check them out if you get the chance-you will not be sorry. Now normally I might be intimidated when a great band like that follows us on stage, but you know what? We were pretty damn good ourselves. We really are turning into a rock band that happens to play Neil Diamond music, and I like it very much. I still need to get me a new sparkly shirt though-gotta have the sequins. Can anyone out there sew? If I wear that awful paisley shirt on stage again, I think Amanda is going to beat my ass.
Thanks again to everyone who came out (you know who you are and we appreciate it as always), and don't forget to join us at our next gig on Friday November 8th at the Lakewood Bar & Grill. Will there be a new song or two? Stay tuned . . .