Here at last is the “double review”
Lynn promised for the “Sessions at West
54th” along with the unbelievably AWESOME Cohasset show Friday night!
I don’t have a whole lot to add to the great reviews Mary Lou, Susanna, Donna and Greg posted. It was lots of fun hangin’ with all of our fellow RTMLers for the day. As Greg once said to me, rabid Mavs fans are our favorite kind of people!
First, I have to relate an amusing
sidenote: Upon arriving at Grand Central
Station in NYC, we promptly met up with Donna and Susanna. They and Lynn urgently required restroom facilities before heading up to Sony’s studio on West 54th Street where the taping was to take place, so I led the way to a
hotel around the corner from GCT, and we went into our respective men’s &
women’s facilities. Thinking that three women in a bathroom together would
take at least ten minutes, I lingered long enough to clean my glasses at the
sink, and came out to find the three of them in the lobby looking at me with
“Where the hell WERE you???” expressions on their faces. I never would have believed it possible that three women could be faster in the bathroom than one man, but then I’ve never travelled with a group of rabid Mavs fans before <G>!
As for the taping itself, it
was awesome to have the opportunity to see the
guys in such a small, intimate setting, where you could really watch them
play. Our seats right by Jerry Dale and Robert gave us a particular advantage during “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” -- we got to see Jerry Dale’s mind-blowing piano solo up close! I am truly in awe of what the man is capable of,and I felt certain that two things would happen by the time they finished thesong: 1) the piano would completely fall apart and land in our laps, and 2)
Donna, who happens to be a BIG Jerry Dale fan, was gonna need OXYGEN! Another highlight of the hour-long set was Raul’s solo accoustic rendition of “Moon River” -- the one impromptu departure from the set list; he had initially planned on doing “Dream River.” “They [the producers of “Sessions at West 54th”] are probably gonna hate me for this,” Raul said as he introduced the song. We in the audience LOVED it -- this was the first time I’ve ever really HEARD the lyrics to this song, and Raul’s simple accoustic guitar accompaniment made it very tender and moving. He had one minor flub early in the song (“It’s that chord, man, what the hell were they thinkin’ when they put that in there?”) and had to start over.
My only minor complaint was with
the sound, which, as Greg mentioned, was
mixed more for video than for the audience. But the band more than made up for it with a very enthusiastic, energized performance that drove the audience wild.
Once again, a huge THANK YOU
to Joya and the fan club for giving us the
opportunity to see the band in such a close, intimate setting -- we were
thrilled to be there to lend our support -- and to the Mavs themselves for a
great performance and for being so generous to the fans who waited around
after the show!
Okay, folks, here’s the Cohasset
review. Better grab a cup of coffee, it’s a
Lynn ordered the tickets for
this show way back in April, before we knew the
Mavs would be playing a couple of closer venues (the Westbury Music Fair and Lenox, which we didn’t go to, and Oakdale, which we did). The South Shore Music Circus at Cohasset is a summer “theatre-in-the-round” under a tent, much like the old Oakdale only a little smaller (approx. 2300 seats). Given the fact that it has a revolving stage, and given that we had just been to two great Mavericks shows in the past two weeks -- Oakdale and the “Sessions at West 54th” taping -- we went to this with no great expectations for anything terribly different. As it turned out, what we got was not only the best live Mavericks show we’ve seen to date, but by far one of the best concerts we’ve ever seen, period. The band was in great spirits and delivered an unbelievably energetic, tight performance for an extremely enthusiastic,
responsive and appreciative crowd; this was the most fun we’ve ever had at a
concert!. I wish everyone on this list had been there to see it!
The first indication that we
were in for something special came when we
arrived at Cohasset early Friday afternoon after a three-hour drive from CT.
We had lunch at a restaurant not far from the venue and were seated at a table right next to none other than Mr. Malo! I thought I was gonna have to tie Lynn’s shoelaces to her chair to keep her from floating away! He had already finished his lunch, and when he got up to leave, he looked over, recognized us from the “Sessions” taping two days earlier, broke into a grin and came over to chat with us for a few minutes, very warm and friendly. I asked about his solo projects, and he said he hoped to start doing some work on them when the band takes an extended break after the European tour this fall.
We got to the venue about a half
hour before the show. The theatre is under
what looks like a green circus tent, very appropriate to the whole
“Trampoline” vibe! After a solid opening set by country rocker Mike Ireland & Holler, which warmed up the audience nicely, we hooked up with Mary Lou and her husband, Jim (who definitely gets the “trooper of the week” award for driving her all the way from Connecticut, then turning around and driving back again after the show when he had to go to work at 5:30 a.m.!). We stayed up by the passage between the “green room” and the theatre to watch the band come out, then went back to our seats to watch a performance I’ll never forget.
I jotted down the set list on
the back of a program during the show, ad I
believe I got everything, though I dropped my pen at some point and had to
reconstruct the last half hour from memory:
Dance the Night Away
Tell Me Why
I Should Know
Someone Should Tell Her
Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down
I’ve Got This Feeling
Fool No. 1
>From Hell to Paradise/Guantanemala
I Don’t Care if You Love Me Anymore
What a Crying Shame
Things You Said To Me
There Goes My Heart
It’s Not Unusual
Lonely is a Man Without Love
All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down
I was impressed early on in the
set by the audience’s enthusiastic response to
the material from Trampoline; Raul seemed particularly appreciative of this
and thanked the crowd for it, adding something to the effect that “It’s been
hard for anyone to hear this record since country radio won’t play it. Which
is okay with me; I don’t listen to country radio anyway. I’m glad you’ve
found this music in spite of all that.” The audience response only grew from
there, and it seemed to fuel the band’s energy and enthusiasm.
There was a lot of chatting with
the audience between songs, much of it
hysterically funny. At one point Raul joked about being on a rotating stage,
which wasn’t rotating all the way because of some technical glitch the stage
crew was having. “It seems to me that a certain section of the population is
getting cheated here,” Raul quipped. “Must be graduates of the ‘Beavis and
Butthead School for Stagehands.’ Just kidding, just kidding. Actually, they
went to [thick Boston accent] Haaahhhvad!”
Robert’s introduction of the
accoustic set was a scream. “I’m always trying
to find new and better ways to convey how much I really love this man,” he
said. Raul starts playing an accoustic guitar rendition of the love theme
from “The Godfather.” “We dated for a while,” Robert continued, “but it
didn’t work out because we discovered that we both had the same kind of
plumbing. Two male pipes, with no way to connect them together. This has
been the graphic portion of the show......”
For the accoustic set, Raul asked
the stagehands to stop the rotating stage
and walked his microphone over to face “the neglected section,” which drove
them wild. “Moon River” was even better than at the “Sessions” taping. Then the rest of the band came back out for “Blue Moon, which had couples dancing in the aisles. (The only flaw in the entire show came from some feedback in the stage monitors during this song.) Then came “From Hell to Paradise,” which I believe was initially intended to be the same version they did at Oakdale two weeks earlier. After the line “finally set me free” in the
middle, Raul went into the accoustic guitar lead, and continued the song up to where he sings the Spanish lyrics, which he appeared to forget -- he made
several false starts, which got some laughs from the crowd, and Robert seemed to be trying to jog his memory by saying the lyrics to him, when all of a sudden he just stopped cold and went into the opening chords to
“Guantanemara.” This is my absolute favorite from the “It’s Now! It’s Live!” CD, so I went wild......
The audience frenzy continued
to build through “I Don’t Care...”, “Crying
Shame” and “La Mucura,” then they left the stage. The audience roared, and
they came back out for a stunning six-song encore set, during which it
appeared they were adding some songs not included in the planned set list on
the spot. The audience pretty much remained on its feet throughout most of
the encore set.
Ever since we heard a few months
back that Mavs fans had started their own
tongue-in-cheek variation on something that female admirers of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck (SP?) have been doing for several decades -- namely, the practice of throwing ladies’ underwear onstage -- during Raul’s rendition of “It’s Not Unusual,” Lynn started joking about getting a pair of panties to throw the next time we went to a Mavs concert. I started joking back that if she did, I was gonna throw a pair of boxer shorts with smiley faces on them. When Robert said “I’d be happy with a pair of boxer shorts” after someone threw a black bra to Raul during the Oakdale show, we felt this was too good an invitation to pass up. So, we came to Cohasset armed with a pair of Winnie-the-Pooh ladies’ panties and a pair of Dilbert boxer shorts. We were disappointed when they didn’t do “It’s Not Unusual” early in the set, so it was a nice surprise when they went into it during the encores. When the song started, the rotating stage was faced away from us, but as it turned toward us, we had a pretty clear shot at Robert’s side of the stage. Lynn handed me the boxers, I let them fly and landed a perfect shot right at Robert’s feet!
The section of the audience facing Robert HOWLED; it was a huge hit! Lynn
then left her seat to walk over to the railing over the orchestra pit, where
our seats were, and threw the Winnie-the-Poohs during “Lonely is a Man Without Love.” Raul picked them up at the end of the song, and cracked a joke that we couldn’t quite make out. A third pair of panties then wound up on stage, which Jerry Dale hung on the end of Robert’s bass. VERY funny! Raul then got into the spirit of things near the end of the final song, a rousing “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down,” by throwing just about everything within reach onto Paul’s drum set -- towels, a basket of fruit, a wah-wah pedal, even a glass of water, which created a neat effect as it sprayed up in the air while Paul continued to bang away, tossing aside everything Raul threw onto his kit.
Raul stopped just short of a microphone stand........
By now, the audience was in a
frenzy -- especially when Jerry Dale did his
dance and ran up into the audience to pull a girl onstage to dance with him --
and all too soon it was over. The band’s great spirits continued after the
show, as Nick, Paul, Robert and Raul came out to meet and chat with fans, sign autographs, etc. after most of the crowd had cleared. All were very warm and receptive to the fans, and provided a terrific ending to a perfect evening.
I think I’ve rambled on long
enough at this point. Sorry to be so long-
winded, but this show was GREAT, and I just had to share the details.......
Still relivin’ it,
Thanks for sharing guys!