Reporting directly from Foxwoods
The Mavericks ended a one-year hiatus
with a bang at Foxwoods Casino last
night. According to Robert Reynolds, it's one of their favorite venues, and
Foxwoods was ready for the Mavs. They went straight into "Trampoline", [Raul
confirms the name will stick] with songs pretty much in the same order as the
Onstage to help out were Jaime Hanna
on guitar, harmony vocals and percussion,
and a horn and woodwinds section consisting of two trumpets, a trombone, and a
sax/flute/clarinet player, all dressed in Ricky Ricardo white satin shirts and
up on a riser behind the Mavs. The strings that were on the CD were ably
reproduced tonight by Jerry Dale with his synthesizer.
"Dance the Night Away", the upcoming
UK first single, was the opener and gave
the fans a taste for how the horns and woodwinds were going to affect the new
album. It was a fun song to start, which is no doubt why it was chosen as the
lead-off song on "Trampoline" and UK single release. I enjoyed looking around
the room at the expressions on some of the audience members' faces. It took
them a few songs to really take it all in: this is the new Mavs sound, this
is what they've been doing during the hiatus - perfecting this fun new musical
"Tell Me Why" - with the R&B
feel that was taking me a while to get into
during previous plays of the new album. Last evening during the drive up
here, it suddenly hit me that I really like this song now. Just in time - it
was a true pleasure to hear live, and Nick had some cool guitar licks in this
Raul and Bob then had the chance
for some talk and some remarks about how
their wives were both glad that they were working again. Raul introduced Paul
as "Paul Zigo" (Paul's Ego, ha ha!) and made fun of his hair. A drunken
heckler behind me kept yelling "Music For All Occasions" and the names of old
Mavs songs, and Raul said "Take a sedative!" The problem was too many
sedatives, I think...
"I Should Know" followed and showed
off the new horn section to good
On to "Someone Should Tell Her"
and some superb piano by Mr. McFadden, a nice
counterpart to the horns and great harmony vocals.
Bob said he was a little nervous,
hearing the "distant drums of tension", so
Raul answered that he had just the thing to break that tension, and slid into
"Sentimental Journey", and the rest of the band chimed in with some real
N'Awlins soundin' and trumpet breaks with mutes, cool... The audience dug it,
and I think the doubters started to get the idea that they should sit back and
listen, and have as much fun with the new music as the Mavs were obviously
doing. An excellent showmanship move! When the last note died, Raul joked
"It's now a variety show!"
Robert introduced "To Be With You"
as "the song that was chosen to be the
first single" - as if it might have been an MCA decision...but it was great,
one of my favorites on the album.
Raul let everyone know that Jaime
Hanna and he had co-written the next one,
"I've Got This Feeling", one of the most powerful sounds on the CD - big
vocals, big rhythm section, big horns, and Robert chimed in on the vocals in
Everyone but Raul and Robert left
the stage, and Raul pulled a stool up to the
mike and sat down with an acoustic guitar. Robert talked about how this
moment in the show is sometimes very painful because Raul takes the
opportunity to bust on Paul... and then Robert turned it over to Mr. Malo
after a tender moment between them.
"Fool #1" is more orchestrated on the CD with strings and such, but it's just
made for showcasing Raul's voice in an acoustic setting, and was perfect here.
The audience maintained a respectful silence until the end, and then went
Raul told about having "Dream River"
chosen for the Robert Redford movie "The
Horse Whisperer". It was gorgeous. This was turning point of the show, the
moment of the evening when the very last doubter was won over to the new
material, and you could feel it in the room. It was a palpable sense of awe
at the vocal power of this man.
"I Hope You Want Me Too" - Jaime
Hanna banging a cowbell, Jerry Dale and the
horns adding spice. Smoooooooooth! The sitar sound that I had identified on
the album was actually Raul using some guitar effects thing. Cool!
"Dolores" - Paul intro with brush
on the high-hat cymbal, Raul singing through
a megaphone, Dixieland clarinet, and Paul showing off his snazzy new drum with
a solo. Just plain fun!
Next up was "Save A Prayer" - the
spiritual that the Mavs used to do in their
Miami club days. It just incredibly rocked, and Robert, Jerrry Dale and Jaime
joined in on the chorus, doing a pretty good job of sounding like the gospel
choir that was on the CD. Nick ripped another great guitar solo!
Uh oh. They said good night and left the stage! Wait! This was too quick!
Whew! They're back!
Raul thanked the audience for listening
to their "new stuff" and told us that
our reward would be some of the "old stuff".
The unmistakable intro to "What
A Crying Shame" had everyone cheering. No
surprises here, it's the favorite Mavs song of a lot of fans, and it's the
first Mavs song I ever heard, so I always have a soft spot for it. They
played it straight, no funny stuff, no false start with "She's Gone Country"
to mess with our minds. That would have been fun, but in any case, classic
Tom Jones? Yep! "It's
Not Unusual"! The band really looked like they were
enjoying themselves on this one, and we did too.
"All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down"
got the audience up and boogying, something
that is not encouraged at Foxwoods. I could have used about six more of these
songs, I could feel the adrenaline starting to overcome the martinis! It
rocked. I didn't time it, but it felt like the 7-minute version of the live
CD, or very close. Good stuff!
To close, "La Mucura", with Robert,
Jaime and Jerry Dale joining in on vocals
in the chorus (me too, for that matter. Thanks to Selena for finding the
words last year...)
This just rocked, and the dancers kept going strong.
It was over all too soon.
Good thing I'm going back tonight! The RTMLers who
are just arriving are in for a treat. Speaking of which, Sue, where were ya?
The band is very tight. There
is no sense of a one-year hiatus having
occurred. This is going to be one awesome tour!
My only disappointment was in not
hearing the song that all the Mavs
collaborated in writing, "I Don't Even Know Your Name". The song has a real
"Byrds" feel with the guitar sound, and a real "Beatles" feel with the vocal
harmonies. Oh well, maybe tonight!
Keepin' it Mavs in Far Eastern Connecticut,