Raving Dave Fans Unite!

An Unofficial Dave Davies Solo Tour FAQ
An RDF Production


July 3, 1999 North Canton, Ohio Show Review

Mr. B's Irish Exchange Evening Two of "Chasing Dave's Tour All Over Hell and Half of Ohio" found us in North Canton, Ohio at Mr. B's Irish Exchange. Mr. B's wasn't exactly what we expected, being out past the eastern edge of town, in a strip mall at a rural intersection. Its unexceptional exterior, however, contained a bar with well-executed pub grub that was a good couple of notches above that which I've had at many other places. This, coupled with a personable and helpful waitstaff, made whiling away a few hours before the show a pleasant experience. Joanne and Jimmy (from Kape Kod, Massachusetts) being there made the wait a lot more fun, too.

The show was staged in a room that seemed best set up for wedding receptions and weekend appearances by local bands. While small, it was clean and comfortable. As has been the practice on this tour, the venue provided the sound system. We were skeptical at first, talking about taking bets on how far into the show the speakers would last, but were quite happy to be proven wrong about its shortcomings.

I've seen only a couple of bad opening acts for Dave's shows, several good ones, and a few outstanding ones. Blue Tantrum ranks with the best. The high-energy blues-inspired quintet played a set that left me gasping for air, as if I'd forgotten to breathe. Between the powerful vocals of the lead singer, who could truly belt out the blues-rock standards as well as their own compositions, and the Stevie Ray Vaughn-style work of Chuck Martinez on guitar, Blue Tantrum delivered a powerful performance that filled every nook and cranny of the room. It was enough to make me wish that I lived closer to the Akron-Canton area so I could take in a few more of their shows.

About 8:50, Blue Tantrum wrapped up their set, and Nathan, Dave Jenkins and Jim began preparing the stage. The last stragglers filed in, bringing the room up to a little over half its capacity-- I'd say that we numbered about 125 at the various tables and on the dance floor. Just shy of 9:30, Dave emerged from the trailer the club provided as a dressing room and the band leapt into spirited set made up of:

 
  • '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
  • Unfinished Business
  • Picture Book
  • Strangers
  • This Man He Weeps Tonight
  • Death of a Clown
  • Fortis Green
  • All Day and All of the Night

Encore:

  • Money
  • David Watts
  • You Really Got Me

With Dave Nolte off and running about Japan for a month (his regular band, "Wondermint," is backing Brian Wilson on his tour of Japan-- he'll be joining up with Wondermint later in their tour), the set downplayed the keyboard parts, which pretty much ruled out such keyboard-heavy songs as "Living on a Thin Line", "Lincoln County" and "Young and Innocent Days". Nathan Segall augmented Dave, Dave and Jim with rhythm guitar and the keyboard intro to "Death of A Clown".

There were a few glitches in the show, such as when Dave went to switch to an accoustic guitar, only to find that it was shut off at the board. Since the club owner, who was apparently running the board, was occupied elsewhere with venue business, it took longer than it should have to correct the situation, and Dave performed "Picture Book" on an electric guitar. Dave handled it with patience and humor, though, describing it as being "like cracking walnuts with your balls."

When Dave asked for volunteers to sing during "Death of a Clown", Leslie and I nudged compatriot Linda Dempsey, from Livonia, Michigan, up onto the stage. She put up mild protest, but was a good sport and overcame stage fright to deliver the necessary "la-las" in all of the right places.

Nate on keyboards at Mr. B'sAll in all, Dave and the band put in a good performance. Nathan seemed just a little nervous performing on stage with the band for the first time, but I can't say I'd blame him. For a debut, he did quite well, and will certainly improve in coming shows.

The crowd was an interesting blend, with a group of what I'd describe as "Mr. B's regulars" filling the tables, and the Raving Dave Fan Kollective occupying its usual spot in front of the stage. Very few members of the local crowd seemed interested in joining us on the dance floor, but at least a bunch sang along.

As the band packed up, all attention centered on the narrow hallway to the right of the stage. Kate, who has been handling CD and t-shirt sales on the tours, was left no place to set up but at the junction of the hallway leading out of the room, and the one leading back to the dressing room trailer. Between the buyers and those seeking autographs, the halls choked up pretty quickly.

While we were waiting, Jim gestured for us to come back, and asked us to watch the door to the dressing room/trailer. Leslie and I did our best tough guy imitations (which, frankly, must've looked pretty silly) until Dave came out to sign autographs. It's good to feel useful...

After all of this, we wrapped up our evening with a late night dinner with Joanne and Jimmy (the Kape Kod Kollective). We probably should have stayed at Mr. B's-- Boy, am I getting sick of Denny's!

-Fritz Milhaupt


Excerpts From the Diary of a Raving Dave Fan

Mr. B's - North Canton Ohio, 7/3/99

Although I'd visited my brother, who lived in Canton just after he married, I was not at all sure what the clubs in this area would look like, and half pictured Mr. B's to be a run-down shabby place on the outskirts of town.

Turns out I was only right on one account. The location! Mr. B's turned out to be a generic pub in a mini-mall on the outskirts of town. At least it seemed so from the outside.

ticketOnce inside it maintained that atmosphere only in the main bar area. The stage was in a small room, which for all the world looked like a meeting room in a Hilton or Holiday Inn.

The Cape Cod contingent of the RDF Kollective, (oops, I keep forgetting "Kape Kod", all K's.) Joanne and Jimmy, who no one could ever call kasual fans (see I remembered the "K" that time!) drove all the way from their home to see this show. It was great to have the Kollective whole for this show.

The opening band, "Blue Tantrum", was one of the best I've seen in my travels to see Dave's solo shows. The lead singer was a wonderful mixture of Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge and a songstress in her own right. I signed up their mailing list in anticipation of their first CD.

Then Dave, Dave Jenkins, Jim and Nate came out. The crowd consisted of us fans and some people who seemed to be Mr. B's regulars. The fans crowded the stage, while the regulars sat back and watched the band with an air of someone watching bowling on television.

At one point Dave, announced to those watchers, "Feel free to have fun, that's why we're here". Some of them took him up on it and joined the small crowd at the stage!

Before the show, Nate pointed out the small PA system. Fritz kept asking if I thought the speakers would blow up, but the sound was only truly marred by the lack of technical knowledge shown by the person running the sound board.

When Dave went to switch to an acoustic guitar, he found he had no sound at all. That tight-lipped grin briefly flashed as he asked, "Is there anyone out there who knows how to run a sound board?" in a half joking manner. So instead he played "Picture Book" on the electric guitar. Which to my untrained ears sounded just as, if not more pleasing than the acoustic would have!

The set was a bit short; I'm not sure if it was due to the heat, the lack of a keyboard player or if there was any reason at all. It was a great show, either way.

Linda Dempsey singsLinda Dempsey, from Livonia, a woman who remembered seeing me at Dave's show in Grand Rapids singing with the opening band on a very un-PC song, was the chosen person to join Dave on stage for "Death of a Clown" mostly because Fritz and I wouldn't let her NOT be!

The night before I'd given Dave a picture I bought off of eBay of him posing next to his 1947 Citroen. I am a classic car owner, and having to give up my '53 Mercury would bother me greatly. As I knew Dave sold his car, I thought this picture would be a nice gift.

I waited after the show in the narrow hallway of Mr. B's backstage area, to get an autograph on a picture I'd purchased at the same time as the one I'd given him in Cleveland. I was leaning on the stage when I felt eyes upon me.

I looked up to see Jim LaSpesa, gesturing at me. I looked behind me to see if he was signaling someone else. I pointed at myself in the classic, "Who me?" way and he frantically gestured for me to come to him. I pushed my way past the line, amid the cries of "Who does she think she is, cutting ahead?" from the assembled fans seeking time with Dave. Fritz followed close behind.

Jim asked us to guard the small RV that served as the band's dressing room. Now for those of you who don't know me, I'm 5'3", not exactly a prime candidate for a body guard. But I gave it my best shot, trying to keep the giggling down to a minimum.

Dave came out a bit later, saw me and thanked me for the flowers I gave him (I hand him a bouquet of thanks at every show). He told me that he really liked the picture I gave him, and we talked a bit about cars.

Then he added, "I really like seeing you at my shows, it's nice to look down and see your sparkling face". Needless to say, he melted my heart a bit more with that sweet statement. Then he congratulated Fritz and I on our engagement, shook Fritz's hand and went towards the other fans.

Joanne, Jimmy, Fritz and I retired to our traditional after show eatery, Denny's. As I sat there with them I realized that not only did I get to see Dave live, and hear his wonderful music, he also brought into my life, two of the most wonderful people in the world.

I shudder to think what life would be like without Joanne and Jimmy. I owe Dave a great deal of thanks for that too!

The next morning bright and early the Kape Kod kontigent left for home. Fritz and I left for Columbus, for a day of R and R on the celebration of our country's independence and to await the show at Mekka.

- Leslie Ohanian

Dave at Mr. B's
Photo by Leslie Ohanian