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DDY Talk
Ron

State Theatre New Bruswick NJ 3/26/11

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Here are some of the highlights:

The set list has been the same for about a year; all of the big Styx hits, plus Desert Moon. The current band lineup has been together now for a little over one year, and they really are good together. Jimmy and August compliment each other so well, and Craig's high vocals are amazing. The "back and forth" guitar solo added into the end of Rockin' the Paradise is one of my favorite parts of the show, and both August and Jimmy play the guitar part when it comes in after the slow synthesizer solo in the middle of Suite Madame Blue and it sounds amazing! Dennis' daughter, CarrieAnn, was an added vocalist for the show, so the "Americas" in SMB sounded really cool with six people singing them.

Of course there are people that like to shout out song titles for the band to play. Someone shouted out Private Jones, and since they were quite insistent about it, Dennis sang the first verse--which sounded pretty good considering half of the band had never performed the song EVER (plus Dennis was having trouble remembering the words, which is typical when someone doesn't practice or perform a song regularly). Someone shouted out another song (I didn't hear what) to which Dennis replied "Why not just ask for The Serpent is Rising?" and then proceeded to play the opening bars. The solo that Dennis plays prior to the start of Blue Collar Man is amazing, and while he has played Little Fugue in G in the past, his current solo has the feel of Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D minor (the fast part). (If you're not sure what that piece is, it's the "Halloween music" used whenever people want a scary organ solo. If you look it up, you'll recognize it) Also, one song (and I forget which one, maybe Amanda will remember) Dennis included a few bars from Sing for the Day into the keyboard solo.

 

So I heard some great music, performed by wonderful people, and got to spend time with a few great people as well. But now it's bedtime.

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If you look it up, you'll recognize it) Also, one song (and I forget which one, maybe Amanda will remember) Dennis included a few bars from Sing for the Day into the keyboard solo.

 

Good God, I can't even remember my name right now! So pooped.

 

Once I get some sleep, I'll natter on some more.

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Yes, there were some cool moments to the show. I finally got to see Carrie Ann for the first time singing backup (it was her birthday present, how COOL is that??) BUT the theater wouldn't allow photos so I couldn't get a picture. Bummer. (NICE theater though). The part where both August and Jimmy do the bridge to Suite Madam Blue was fantastic. I've always loved that song anyway, they can play it standing on their heads and I'd be happy. Oh, and Craig's vocals are amazing! I couldn't really isolate his voice at the outdoor concert in Quebec last year.

 

However.

 

After driving 7 hours for a concert, I would have preferred to see the top quality show I'm used to seeing but, in my opinion, this wasn't it. That being said, I don't think there was much choice and DDY and band did the best they could do with the cards they were given. The concert was rescheduled, probably thinking that DDY would be over his flu by then, but from what I could tell, he wasn't ready yet. Dennis was visibly tired; he wasn't doing all his usual grand arm gestures and his shoulders even drooped at times. It seemed to me that part of his voice wasn't back and he couldn't get a full breath. The tone, pitch and strength were there, but that subtle beautiful timbre undertone that we're used to hearing that appeared after his stint at the stage was absent. Ballads like Lady with the long lingering notes were not possible that night. So, the tempo was increased to allow for shorter notes. For me though, there were times when everything was going so fast it felt as if I was watching a circus.

 

There were audio problems too. During Lady, Carrie Ann obviously could not hear herself; she was off. She went offstage after the song and came back a minute later; everything was fine for her after that. John had a problem with his microphone in the beginning of Mr. Roboto and there were a few moments of rumbling feedback, I think from Craig' bass, not sure. The sound was definitely an issue.

 

I admit I gave poor Ron the wide eyed incredulous look a couple of times. To their credit, everyone tried their best, really tried, which just goes to show what professionals they are. I'm hoping Dennis has a chance to rest for a few days. A hot toddy does wonders!!

 

That being said, those present who hadn't seen DDY at least 20 times like Ron and I have probably would NOT have noticed and the audience response was positive and in the end, that's what counts.

 

Now we wait for the April 8th show in Montreal! Suite Madame Blue again, yipee!!!!

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Amanda I remember now Sing for the Day was in the middle of Fooling Yourself, and I couldn't agree more that August and Jimmy are awesome on Suite Madame Blue

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Amanda I remember now Sing for the Day was in the middle of Fooling Yourself, and I couldn't agree more that August and Jimmy are awesome on Suite Madame Blue

 

Oh yeah right! Fooling Yourself! Switching songs like that confuses us old folks, you know.

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