Raving Dave Fans Unite!

An Unofficial Dave Davies Solo Tour FAQ
An RDF Production

Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio - May 3, 2003

Saturday started out a bit better weather-wise than the day before. It always seems strange to sleep in my own bed after a Dave show, as usually we travel a bit a field for them. We had made arrangements to meet up with Sharon MacNeil who had flown in for this show. We got to the Beachland Ballroom and were met by Rafaela and Frank Reda. After the band left following the sound check we wandered across the street in search of dinner.

As luck would have it there was a killer BBQ joint directly opposite the venue. Fritz, Rafaela, Frank and Sharon partook of the specialty of the house. Since the only vegetarian option was a soft pretzel I had that. It was a very respectable cheese and jalapeno pretzel and so I was not feeling left out at all.

Linda Dempsey, Rhonda O'Neill, Leslie, Rafaela, Mark Dempsey, Sharon MacNeil and Frank RedaSince I finished first I went to get a spot in line at the venue. I joined Rhonda O'Neill and her husband Paul. Rhonda, I had seen at many Ohio area shows but up until last year we hadn't really talked. She's a very dedicated, very nice person whose memorabilia collection includes a piece of Dave Nolte's chewing gum, already chewed of course!

The doors opened at 7 and we got our usual spots in front of the stage. Mike and Linda Dempsey and Sharon were just to our right and Rafaela and Frank to our left. Seemed like home! Next to Sharon were some new faces, Larry Murphy and his friend.

PAN (Phil Norris) a regular on Dave's message board and his lady Amelia had arranged to meet up with us in the venue. After a rather comical game of cell phone tag we hooked up and I convinced them to abandon their seats towards the back and join us up front. Not that it took a lot of convincing.

The opening act, The Shamms, spent a good deal of time messing about with the microphone set up before actually playing. I'm not sure if the drummer was unwell or he just usually sat that way but he was slumped over most of the set and looking really uncomfortable. I don't know if they were having an off night or it was a function of the sound system but it was hard to distinguish between most of their songs. To quote Fritz, "they seemed to have found a sound and stuck with it." Tenaciously, I might add. Even their version of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb" managed to keep that sort of "by the book" sound.

Dave and the band took the stage at 10pm and again. For some reason though the air was electrically charged and it seemed that the whole place was riding some wave of positive energy, from the first opening bars of "Whose Foolin' Who" to the last song. At one point Linda Dempsey and I remarked about it and a quick look around verified we weren't the only two who noticed it.

Again Dave dedicated "See My Friends" to Mike Kraus, I wondered if he was planning on doing that the rest of the tour? That's one of the things I love about Dave is we are not just nameless/faceless ticket holders to him, it's amazing the amount of love he gives back to his fans.

Three quarters of the bandThree more songs from Bug, the sweetly sentimental "Flowers in The Rain" and one of the best new songs (in my opinion) from any artist, not just Dave "The LIE!", "It Ain't Over, 'till Its Done!" joined the set along with "Rock You, Rock Me". During the latter song the audience was asked to sing the chorus along with Dave. It was obvious who had listened to Bug and who was making a mental note to pick up a copy, but they gamely sang along.

"Dead End Street" was one of the highlights of the evening. For the ending bit Dave whipped out a kazoo and he and the audience cracked up at this. As I've often said it's sometimes hard to decide who's having the most fun at these shows, Dave or the audience!

Kate the kat, the stuffed grey tabby was on the stage, so when Dave and the band started "Fortis Green" we got ready to meow at the appropriate place. Unfortunately the song ended abruptly before they got to the right part. I'm not sure why, but maybe the thought of a bunch of off-key meows made Dave change his mind.

Dave wants to see clearThe trio of Bug songs, "Bug", "Debugged" and "Life after Life" again ended the main part of the set. I was once more impressed at how the band handled this song sans keyboard, but it worked, and if one hadn't known there had been keyboards in the original song one wouldn't have even noticed the lack thereof. I think that speaks to how flexible and adaptable a performer Dave is.

The encore consisted of "All Day and All of the Night" and "I'm Not Like Everybody Else". Then the band left the stage and the audience began to cheer "Dave! Dave! Dave!", not wanting the show to end.

The after show tape came on and so did the house lights. But the audience kept up the cheering until Dave and the band came back out. There was some confusion as the tape was still going and Dave was calling for it to be turned off for a good few minutes before it was. He seemed to be bemused by this turn of events but nonetheless kept a smile on his face. They launched into "You Really Got Me" and then Dave signed a few autographs, shook hands and left the stage, concluding a two hour, fifteen minute set.

We hung out after the show waiting for the band to come out, and then headed off to our customary after-show Denny's run, with PAN and Amelia. Amelia was as the English say totally "gob-smacked" by Dave's show. She had never seen him and was a true convert, eager to see another show.

As it turned out Jonathan, Derrick and Jim (Dave's band) arrived at Denny's about ten minutes after we did. When they had finished their meals they stopped by our table and we all talked for a while. Which was a nice treat.

As we drove Sharon to her hotel, I wished her a safe trip back and envied her the Sit 'n' Bull show she was going to attend. I would have loved to go too, but had work obligations. I hate when work gets in the way of my life!

Two Dave shows seems like only an appetizer, but what great shows they were!

Until next time…

RAVING DAVE FANS UNITE!!

-Leslie Ohanian