Beach Club - Salisbury, Massachusetts, 8/11/2000
In a location
described by Kristian Hoffman as "carney" (as in carnival), the Traveling RDF's
arrived around 1:00 and after having a pretty nice lunch in a neighborhood restaurant we
spent a while enjoying what Salisbury Beach, a tacky beach resort in the northeast corner
of Massachusetts, has to offer. Fritz and I rode the ferris wheel; Olga, Fritz and I had a
true "Fortis Green Moment" when Olga treated us to ice cream and we all broke
out into song "walking by the sea, full of dreams, eating ice cream." We waded
in the Atlantic Ocean. The Beach Club is poised right on the Atlantic Ocean's edge --
watch out for the next big hurricane or nor'easter. Eventually the group wandered into the
Beach Club and staked out tables in front of the stage.
Now, it was nice of the Beach
Club to let us take those seats and keep them, even during a somewhat abbreviated sound
check, but did we have to go and order their "food"? It was the worst food of
the tour, no question. To pass the time, Olga taught our table of five to play a silly
word game called Consequence which was great fun, and she also braided my hair -- thanks
Olga, I really liked it!
Finally the show started. The first band immediately made me reach for my heavy duty
earplugs, the kind that are rated for 29 decibels (I always carry heavy duty and light
duty earplugs to Dave shows and usually only use the light duty ones that are rated for 24
decibels). But this opening band, called "Awake," were so brutally loud -- and
horrible -- that I would have rushed to a soundproof booth if there had been one
available. At my table, both Olga and David had their eyes closed, looking as if they were
asleep -- they had apparently been stunned into unconsciousness by the sheer volume and
supreme awfulness of this band.
Get the picture? They were the Worst Band I've Ever Seen. Ever, in my entire life. And
I've been going to hear bands for, well, longer than you've been alive, sonny.
The second opener wasn't much better. They were called "Thrust." (Where do
these awful bands get these names?) The main difference for me is that I went out on the
deck of the Beach Club for most of their set so I didn't suffer quite as much. I spent
most of their set talking to David's brothers Tim and Jeff who had just arrived for the
The third opener -- yes, the Beach Club made us suffer through *three* opening bands --
weren't as bad musically -- in fact, they were pretty good -- but the bass was so loud
that it was physically uncomfortable. They were called "Laugh Out Loud" and are
apparently a fairly well known band in the area, but it was getting to be close to 11:15
and if they didn't leave the stage soon, Dave wouldn't have time to play his whole show,
so Kate (Dave's companion / handler) motioned to the lead singer to get off the stage. To
which the lead singer responded, "Who are you? The stage police?" We couldn't
hear Kate's reply but I imagine the answer was "Yes I am! Now get off the bleedin'
stage!" (Way to go Kate!!!)
the assault of these three opening bands, not to mention the horrible "food," I
was in a really foul mood by this time. I've never been in a bad mood to start a Dave
show! Dave's people rushed onto the stage and had everything set up in a matter of
minutes, and as soon as Dave played the opening notes of "Till the End of the
Day," my bad mood took a leap into the ocean. Due to the late starting time, Dave
seemed a little rushed. He did leave out a couple of the songs he'd been playing at every
other show ("Mindless Child" for instance) and for the first half dozen songs or
so there was very little banter with the audience.
However, eventually he loosened up and the last half of the show was up to his usual
standards of excellence. He ended this show with YRGM, which is a song he frequently omits
but is always nice to hear.
In defense of the Beach Club, the sound during Dave's set was excellent. I was afraid
after the awful sound of the first three bands that Dave would also be too loud, but the
sound was just right for him.
It was an eventful day, memorable not just for another great show but for all the other
fun we had before and after. I drove Olga back to Jill's house and as I was driving back
to my abode on the banks of the Cape Cod Canal, I saw four meteors fall from the sky -- it
was the night of the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
- Joanne Corsano