Friday, August 15, 2003: Club Dada
Live At Leeds. Stop Making Sense. At Budokan. Frampton Comes Alive. Live After Death. Vanilla Ice: Extremely Live. Hot August Night. Classic live albums all.
Unfortunately, Diamondbag Live at Dada will not be joining this illustrious list. We did indeed record the show at Dada on August 15th, but unfortunately we didn't get to use Dada's in-house 16-track digital studio. Instead, we had to use the Tandy T-120 cassette recorder that's been under my bed since 1976. Needless to say, the sound quality isn't great. But I suppose it's better than nothing, right? Well, you can be the judge of that yourself by clicking here and getting a taste of just how noisy Diamondbag can really be. Can you smell the booze and cigarettes? If so, then our task was successful!
It was hot in Club Dada that night. The 100-degree temperatures outside didn't help, and neither did the size of the crowd-the place was packed, even after the stage had been empty for almost an hour thanks to the tortoise-like tear-down skills of A Hard Night's Day. Great band. Nice guys. Need roadies. Happily, the sizable crowd stuck around despite the fact that Diamondbag was up next. I'm as shocked as you are, but could it be possible that we're actually gaining a reputation as an entertaining live act? I was approached by many people after our set who told me things like, "My friend saw you and said you rocked," or "I grew up listening to Neil and have been dying to check you out," or "Mr. Maxwell, consider yourself served." Hey, we'll take fans any way we can get them.
No matter what put the crowd inside Dada that night, we liked it. From the moment our set started to the sounds of the "Fat Albert Theme," the crowd was groovin' and so were we. We opened with "America," went straight into "Kentucky Woman," and then it was time for "Forever In Blue Jeans." Three songs into the set, and I was absolutely soaking wet. The sweat was stinging my eyes, and not just because I happened to glance down onto the dance floor and see my ex-girlfriend shaking it to "Cherry Cherry." Now this is something I would definitely not have expected to see a mere two weeks ago, but then again, it seems like nothing surprises me anymore.
Since we had to cut a few songs thanks to the delay in getting us on stage, our set seemed remarkably short. We snuck "Creep" in because I want to freak people in Australia out who might happen to download the thing, and we even gave Dada its first taste of the Willie. Every time we do "Flowers," I expect Jon to pull a Nigel Tufnel and simply storm off stage and force us into a free-form jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd. But somehow, the brave soul manages to don the wig and bandana and always comes through like the true professional that he is. Cheers to Jon, and cheers to Willie for not suing our asses.
After "Flowers," we dedicated "Love On the Rocks" to the horde of cute girls singing along to every song at the front of the stage-God I love being in a Neil Diamond cover band-and the closed the night with a "Sweet Caroline" sing-a-long and an epic ten-minute version of "Brother Love" that featured snippets of "Let's Go Crazy," "Love Reign O'er Me," "The Fat Albert Theme," and "Sexy MF." I wish we could have played longer, but we had to get off stage so that our good pals in The Gobos could trash the joint. If you have never seen these guys, do not miss them the next time we inevitably play with them. Michael at Dada knows a good double-bill when he sees it, and I think you'll continue to see us paired up with The Gobos at Dada on many an occasion in the future. Any band that bastardizes "C Is for Cookie" into a song about the Olsen twins is alright in my book!
As I mentioned earlier, I spent a great deal of time after the set talking to what seemed to be a whole group of new Diamondbag converts. If any of you happen to be reading this, thank you for your kind words and welcome to the site that was recently voted "Best Website for a Shitty Band" in Blender magazine. Keep checking back often, and we hope to see you at our future gigs-at least until you realize that we always play the same fifteen songs and stop coming. I would also like to apologize to the guy who was screaming for "If You Know What I Mean" the entire set, because it was really mean that we played the beginning of it and then went straight into "Sweet Caroline." At the time, I said something about blowing off the ballads and only playing the hits, but the truth is that I forgot the damn words and had to cover my ass. Oops. I promise it will be back in the set next time, along with a teleprompter and hopefully a new song or two.
And when is that next gig, you ask? Well, rumor has it that we'll be playing a short set during a No Commitment gig on Friday, September 5th at Ben's Half-Yard House. After that, it may be a while before we play again as our lovely and talented guitar player Jay is getting married to the even more lovely and talented Angela in early October. They both need some time to relocate and enjoy their newfound wedded bliss, so it may be late October before we unleash the fury of Diamondbag upon you again. Besides, it's almost football season and my ass will be on the road with the Longhorns every weekend anyways. Is this the year we finally kick some Sooner butt? Damn straight it is. And if we don't, I can always come back and edit this page to cover my ass.
A big thank you to everyone who came out and braved the horrors of Deep Ellum with us. As always, we truly do appreciate all of your support. We hope you enjoy the tacky MP3s, and I do promise that one day we will record a show properly so that we can overdub and fix all my clunker notes. We'll see you on September 5th at Bens, so until then . . .