Raving Dave Fans Unite!

An Unofficial Dave Davies Solo Tour FAQ
An RDF Production

Dave at City Winery Chicago, Nov. 12, 2014

Tom Currier on bass
Jonathan Lea

Tom Currier on bass
Tom Currier

Tom Currier on bass
Dennis Diken

Updated: 31-JUL-1999

July 2, 1999 Cleveland Show Reviews


Ticket Since Dave's July 1 date at the Blue Note in Cincinnati was cancelled when the club closed, the Cleveland date on July 2 at the Agora Ballroom marked the beginning of the road trip that Leslie and I refer to as "Following Dave's Tour All Over Hell and Half of Ohio."

The Agora Ballroom is on the industrial east side of Cleveland. Located at Euclid Avenue and 55th Street. Being on the edge of an "Empowerment zone" the adjoining neighborhood is not the most impressive part of Cleveland. In fact, from Euclid Avenue, the building which houses the Agora (and several other businesses) looks like a boarded-up department store and theatre. But when viewed from a block south, along Prospect Street, the Agora looks much better, with fenced-in parking and an attractive canopy.

We arrived during the sound check and set up camp in the hallway in front of the box office. Mike and Linda Kraus were already there, having arrived from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin a few hours before. At 7:00, the doors opened and we made a bee-line to our customary positions in front of the stage.

At 8:00 the opening act, The Jellybricks, began a fun and unpretentious set. This quartet from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has named their second album "Soap Opera" after the Kinks album of the same name. During their 45 enjoyable minutes on stage, they exceeded my expectations by performing twelve light pop songs that defied my expectations by being not only distinct, but fun, and especially good, particularly when you consider that their normal drummer was off sick.

Dave, Dave, Dave and Jim came on about half an hour after The Jellybricks finished, pouncing into a spirited set that included:

  • 'Til the End of The Day
  • I Need You
  • Suzannah's Still Alive
  • Creepin' Jean
  • Gallon of Gas Blues/You're Lookin' Fine
  • Tired of Waiting for You
  • Set Me Free
  • See My Friends
  • Imagination's Real
  • Unfinished Business
  • Picture Book
  • Strangers
  • This Man He Weeps Tonight
  • There is No Life Without Love
  • Death of a Clown
  • Young and Innocent Days
  • Fortis Green
  • Living On A Thin Line
  • All Day and All of the Night

Encore 1:

  • I'm Not Like Everybody Else
  • Father Christmas

Encore 2:

  • You Really Got Me

I am always amazed that for having seen Dave's show nine times previously, I am still so fascinated by the magic Dave performs with a guitar. I stood transfixed, watching his fingers alternate between deftly plucking out crisp notes (as he does in Young and Innocent Days) and tearing out blistering chords. I was fully aware that should one of the strings decide it had had enough, I'd be in its path.

Dave was in high spirits, performing to a very receptive crowd of about 200 on the club's main floor. He flirted with the women in the front rows, cracked wise, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. He teased us with the intro from Mindless Child of Motherhood before completely faking out Dave Nolte (who had begun to switch guitars for the song), and leaping into a well-received rendition of Picture Book.

Dave and LeslieThe high point of the show for me was when, during Death of a Clown, he asked for a volunteer to come up on stage and sing with him. Frank Reda and I nudged Leslie up and onto stage, where Dave turned, wide-eyed, and gave an enthusiastic "thumbs up" sign while Leslie summoned her vocal training and lilted through the bridge.

Another highlight was during Living on a Thin Line, when a fan handed up a Union Jack. Delighted, he frolicked with it and autographed it before handing it back: nobody could ever credibly accuse him of being aloof!

This show was Dave Nolte's last for this tour, as he departed for a vacation in Japan after the show. Nate Segall, who has worked as guitar tech for the last few tours, will be filling in on keyboard and guitar at the remaining shows (North Canton, Columbus and St. Louis) on this tour.

As we drove the ten miles back to our motel, there was no doubt at all in mind about whether making this trip was the right decision.

-Fritz Milhaupt  (Photo by Frank Reda)

Excerpts From the Diary of a Raving Dave Fan

Agora Ballroom 7/1/99

When Fritz and I drove around to what we thought was the front of this venue, we shook our heads at the seemingly run-down condition. When we circled the block and saw the true front, we breathed a sigh of relief!

The first thing we saw upon entering was Mike and Linda Kraus, who greeted us with, "We were wondering when you'd show up, we've been waiting!"

Ah, the fan community! (Fritz and I met Mike and Linda in Chicago in 1997. If you meet her, you really should ask her about her "famous last words"!)

The familiar faces, Rafaela and Frank Reda, were there, as well as a really nice gentleman named Bill who came all the way from Buffalo. Whom we chatted with before the doors opened.

Fritz and I talked a bit with Dave Nolte and Jim LaSpesa before things got under way, these two are truly some of the nicest people in the world. Both congratulated us on our recent engagement.

The opening band, The Jellybricks, reminded me a lot of a mix of Blur, Kula Shaker and a hint of the early 'Stones. They held their own and even got some toes a tappin', but suffered a bit due to the vocals being mixed down.

But I didn't come all the way from Ann Arbor to see The Jellybricks!

I've only seen one other show in Cleveland, when Dave played in 1997, so I didn't quite know how the audience would react. But when Dave & the band took the stage the whole place fairly crackled with energy!

I would like to say I watched the people around me as they got into the music, but my world was focused about two feet in front of me!

Dave was in wonderful form. His voice was strong and clear, especially on "Young and Innocent Days".

I glanced back towards Fritz during that song, and saw our new friend Bill place his hand on his heart and his eyes moisten just a bit, I knew just how he felt, that's exactly the way hearing Dave sing that song gets me too!

I am always amazed at the way Dave plays guitar, those flying fingers on those strings, it seems to be a part of him, like an arm or a leg. When the band started "Gallon of Gas Blues/You're Looking Fine" I stared at his hands trying to follow the movement, which is almost as easy as trying to carry water on a fork!

During "Death of a Clown" Dave asked for someone to help him sing it. My darling fiance Fritz, and Frank Reda were pointing and gesturing over my head, in a way only a blind person would miss. Frank half lifted me up off the floor, so Dave chose me to come up on stage.

Luckily my jelly knees and pounding heart didn't cause me to totally freeze and somehow I got my voice to work. I didn't get booed off, so I'm trusting I wasn't too horrible!!!

Our meowing and Frank's really "interesting" visual aid, during "Fortis Green" caused Dave to crack up so much, he had to stop, catch his breath and start the verse over again. A truly hilarious moment.

The show was over before I was ready, but then again it could be five hours long and I'd still want more! I left the venue counting the hours until the next night's show in North Canton.

-Leslie Ohanian