Raving Dave Fans Unite!

An Unofficial Dave Davies Solo Tour FAQ
An RDF Production


November 19, 1997 Cleveland Show Reviews

Ticket This review first appeared in Kinks Preservation Society mailing list edition Number 754, November 21, 1997.

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 08:40:50 -0500
From: Fritz Milhaupt
Subject: Oh yeah, Dave was in Cleveland Wednesday night...

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that we feared would never start again! Well, if there were any doubts that the tour's started up again, Dave dispelled them handily as he launched the "second leg" of his tour Wednesday night.

While the show format was familiar if you'd seen any of the shows earlier this year (or heard the bootlegs), he made a few changes, as Davieses tend to do. Despite starting off in a familiar pattern, the playlist at the Cleveland show differed quite a bit from earlier shows. Before Dave &c. took the stage (there was no opening act, and they went on about 8:20), he started with the now-familiar pre-recorded versions of "Misty Water," "Unfinished Business" and the theme from "Mars Attacks!" These came to an abrupt end as Dave pounced furiously into the feedback-laced intro to "I Need You." The set went like this:

  • I Need You
  • Beautiful Delilah
  • She's Got Everything
  • Look Through Any Doorway
  • Suzannah's Still Alive
  • Creepin' Jean
  • Love Me 'Til The Sun Shines
  • So Tired...
  • Imagination's Real
  • Wicked Annabella
  • Picture Book
  • Strangers
  • Too Much on My Mind
  • Death of a Clown
  • Get Back On The Line
  • Love Gets You
  • Fortis Green
  • Living On A Thin Line
  • ("Gallon of Gas Intro")
  • You're Lookin' Fine
  • All Day And All Of The Night

Encores:

  • Unfinished Business
  • Lincoln County
  • You Really Got Me

Dave was in fine form, adding complex flourishes to each song, most notably his guitar-work during "Creepin' Jean." He seemed to be a lot more comfortable on stage, though he always seemed at a bit of a loose end during those few times when he was talking between the songs. And for some reason, he kept smacking himself in the mouth with the microphone. After his set, he only took about five minutes back stage before he came out to sign autographs, during a session abbreviated by the Odeon staff rushing us all out.

There were a couple of telling moments during the show, such as when he introduced "So Tired..." as a tribute ("a very small tribute") to Ray, and when he included a soulful rendition of the highly personal "Unfinished Business" as the first song in his encore set.

My guess is that we had about 400 people in the Odeon Wednesday night. The place can hold 1,000. The KPS was evident, in the form of myself, Leslie, Joanne ("NicePace", who'd flown in from Cape Cod that afternoon) and Anne from Akron. There were a few other familiar faces, too, including "Lauren from Texas." Leslie, Joanne and I were right up against the "moat" in front of the stage in our "Visionary Dreamer" t-shirts (Dave's show was a much better-behaved crowd than they usually get at the Odeon. Last night, The Cramps appeared there). One thing I have to say about the Odeon is that for an old converted warehouse, it was pretty cool. Hell, even the grafitti in the Men's room was mostly band promotion, with none of the usual racist garbage or sex-ranting you usually see at such places.

What can I say about Dave? He was as engaging and as thoroughly into the show, heart and soul, as I remember him being at the House of Blues last May. Aside from the beginnings of a cold (NO! NOT THAT!), he was in good health and in good shape. He made eye contact with everyone in the first few rows several times during the set. Maybe I'm just a little biased, but he did seem to spend an awful lot of time flirting with Leslie...

Dave seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself, though a little distressed by the amount of fiddling about that Andrew was doing with (Andrew's) guitars during the show. As near as we could figure, somebody had mixed up the cords on him. When there was a bit of confusion over what song they were playing next as they started "Lincoln County", Dave pointed to the hat he'd donned, and laughed it off with a chuckling Python-esque "What song are we playing, when I wear the f**king hat?" I'd bet that there's a small (very small) story behind that hat...

And if you ever wanted to see a genuine lack of self-consciousness in a performer, you'd have to have seen the way he danced and pranced around tha stage when Leslie handed Joanne's flowers up to him-- It looked a little like Snoopy's Dance of Spring, such uninhibited happy bouncing about. There was no holding back or trying to keep everyone behind a facade, there! GREAT idea, Joanne!

As you'd expect from the first night, there were a few technical problems, mostly having to do with the sound board. The feedback got out of control once or twice, and the vocals seemed to be mixed down a lot farther than I'd've liked, BUT SO WHAT? This was still a great show! The CD hasn't arrived yet, but he promised that all seven tracks of it will be here before Christmas (his words were "in the next two weeks"- looking at the calendar, it sure looks like it'll miss his tour). Whether it'll be in the stores before then, remains to be seen. I'm not holding my breath...

The band has undergone a lineup change since last May, with a guy named Kristian [Kristian Hoffman] on the keyboards replacing Nathaniel. I hadn't really noticed it until Dave stopped "Death of a Clown" right after the intro, and asked him to play it again because he'd "been waiting so long to hear that played right."

I'm a little worried about that cold I mentioned earlier-- he sneezed pretty hard between two of the songs. I really hope that this doesn't affect the east coast shows.

If you haven't been to one of Dave's solo shows, and are wondering what all the fuss that some of us are making is about, GET TO ONE BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You'll probably feel cheated, like we did. Cheated that Dave (whether or not by choice) has been relegated to a backing role over the years.

And to make this whole trip even better, Leslie and I got to meet Joanne- a truly cool woman who shows that you can be a fun, intense enthusiast without necessarily crossing over the line to "fangirl." We had a lot of fun over the day and a half we spent together at the show, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and perusing used record stores. It did look like we were gonna lose her when Dave started into "Love Gets You," though... Joanne, it wouldn't have been the same without you!

I'll stop raving. For now.

-fm
RDF #4 - Now, more than ever, RDFsU!
Three days 'til Grand Rapids!


This review first appeared in Kinks Preservation Society mailing list edition Number 754, November 21, 1997.

From: Joanne Corsano
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 09:44:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rhapsodic Dave Fans in Cleveland

Just got back from a whirlwind two day trip to Cleveland to see Dave's inaugural concert. Met the co-founders of the RDF ("Raving Dave Fans"), Leslie and Fritz, and attended what I can only describe as one of the best concerts I have ever seen. If you are within reasonable distance of Dave's tour, don't hesitate to go see him. Relaxed, witty, at ease with the audience, a downright great showman, and an awesome guitarist whose skills have not been exaggerated, this Davies really can rock. Don't miss him.

At 7:00 when we were let in the stage was already set up for Dave -- no opening act, yippee!! At about 8:00 the warm-up tape played "Misty Water," "Unfinished Business," a snip from the VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED soundtrack, and then the theme from MARS ATTACKS. At 8:15 four guys descended a staircase from stage left, the lights went down, and a fifth guy all dressed in black came bounding down the stairs.

Up to the microphone stepped Dave and he tore right in to his opening song, "I Need You." The happy expression on his face said it all. That mischievous grin didn't leave his face for two hours, except for a few guitar solos when he would step back from the mike, close his eyes, and make a face that many of you can mentally visualize, a look of intensity, the look that means "this solo is a little hard so I have to concentrate for a minute."

Dave played 23 songs, each time playing the whole song. The set list was about 2/3 the same as the rehearsal tour back in the spring with a few great surprises thrown in. The number of Dave compositions has increased a bit. Throughout the show he was relaxed, confident, unpretentious, happy, sometimes goofy, and totally sincere.

By the way, let me put the Dave's-weight question to rest right away. Girls and guys, Dave is NOT fat. Remember back in the early '80s when he was really skinny? Well, he's not really skinny any more. I'd say he's gained 15 pounds from what he weighed in those days, but is definitely within the weight-proportionate-to-height range. He looked great, as a matter of fact. His hair is really long, well past his shoulders, and the hairline has receded a bit, but he doesn't try to hide that fact with teasing up the hair or any other tricks.

Dave told us that, as this was the first show in a while, it was really a rehearsal, and that he was experimenting on us. He said: "It's great to be back on stage, with no one to my right glaring at me." In introducing one of the songs, he said: "This is a small tribute to my brother" and made that gesture with his thumb and forefinger that means very small. Then he ripped into a real surprise, "Tired of Waiting." A brilliantly inspired song choice! A hit for those in the audiences who wanted to hear the hits, a chance for Dave to try his hand at a song usually not sung by him, and an explanation, without saying a word, of what this tour is about. "I'm so tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for you."

There were a couple of technical difficulties. In the early part of the show, the vocals were mixed a bit low, making them hard to hear on the louder songs. This wasn't a problem on the softer songs, and some fiddling with the equipment halfway through corrected the problem. Dave was continually adjusting his foot pedal, and a couple of times was accosted by a fly-away microphone that whacked him in the mouth, once startling him and causing him to lose his place altogether. (Ouch.)

He told the audience he was going to read his entire book KINK and that no one could leave the room until he was done. He fetched the book and made a show of turning to page one. Then he laughed and said "I forgot my reading glasses, let's skip it."

The highlight for me was an unexpected song. Dave started strumming on his guitar and I wondered what song this was. Then when he started the vocal, the song was "Love Gets You," a song I never expected to hear, and I don't remember doing this, but Leslie tells me that I let out a yell so loud that it startled her. That song is one of my particular favourites, you see.

In starting "Death of a Clown," the keyboard player Kristian played the familiar tinny intro, but then Dave stopped the song and said, "That sounded so good! It's so nice to hear that played right. Kristian, play that again. Spotlight on Kristian" (the light technician complied) "am I putting pressure on you?" During DOAC Dave pointed the mike at the audience for us to do the la-la-la's.

A memorable line: "Were the Davies brothers a little unusual?" And he said DAVISSS.

He mentioned the new CD, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, and apologized that he didn't have it there for sale, but stated that it would be arriving later in the tour. It may be that one of the reasons he seemed so relaxed is that this CD really IS done, printed, and ready to sell, and that this must be a giant relief to him after months of delays.

There was another unexpected treat performed as one of a triple encore, sandwiched between the lovely new song "Unfinished Business" and the final tune which was, umm, what's the name of that song that was a big hit in 1964. He put on a cowboy hat, but for some reason Kristian, the keyboard guy, blew the intro and the song came to a halt. Dave good-naturedly put his hands on his hips, then pointed at his hat. "Silly hat -- what song are we doing when I wear the silly hat?" They started again, and the song was "Lincoln County"! It was so much fun to hear it, and Dave looked the part with his all black clothes and his white cowboy hat.

Now we come to an audience participation bit. Throughout the show Fritz, Leslie, and I, in the front row right in front of Dave, had a blast, singing and dancing and generally encouraging his energy with our own. The whole front row were treated to a whole lot of eye contact, smiles, and winks from the performer. I had brought a bunch of flowers and during "Lincoln County" we handed them up to him. He took them and said "oh - flowers!" sounding surprised and really pleased, a little kid with an unexpected present. He immediately incorporated the flowers into his stage act, doing a little dance with them while Kristian played a fairly long keyboard solo. When the "dance of the flowers" was over, Dave took a funny little ballerina-esque bow, and went on with the song.

I'm pleased to report that the band sounded really good, not at all like a first-rehearsal show. Andrew on rhythm guitar and harmonica, Kristian on keyboards, Jim on drums, the other Dave on bass.

After the show we only had to wait about 10 minutes for Dave to reappear. He stayed up on stage and greeted many fans who had memorabilia for him to sign. I had him autograph the KPS bumper sticker and had a brief conversation with him. I thanked him for doing "Love Gets You." When I told him I had come from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to see the show, he seemed completely startled, said "really?" and his eyebrows shot up to about his hairline (which, you will remember if you were paying attention, has receded a bit). It was kind of funny to get such a reaction from him. I hope he was flattered -- that was my intention, after all!

Anyway, folks ... I had built this show up in my imagination for a long time, and, well, it exceeded my expectations. His command of the music, his rapport with the audience, his genuine, childlike enjoyment of what he was doing, and his utterly inspired song selection, all made for a fantastic night of rock and roll. Do bring your earplugs -- it wasn't as loud as a lot of shows but it was still pretty rocky. All I can say is, Dave, why didn't you think of this years ago? You really had fun up there being the front guy, and it was good for us too.

A last note to my new great friends Leslie and Fritz. All great music has the power to unite and to heal, but Dave Davies' music can do this especially because he addresses so earnestly and without pretention the issues of people making connections with one another and discovering the potential within themselves. Because of Dave Davies I made two great friends this week, and Dave, for that I am grateful to you. Leslie and Fritz, you are more than the co-founders of the RDF Kollective; you are my companions on our journey. We are not three, we are one.

-Joanne

Dave singing Lincoln County

Photo by Joanne Corsano