Saturday, May 11, 2013

My First Concert Review

The crew was getting the stage set up. Photo by AmyLynn98.
That's right, I'm breaking some new ground here first review of a concert. But just so you know, this is not the first concert I've ever seen. Just thought I should clarify that. :)

As a military wife, I had the opportunity to see Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band perform earlier this evening in Portsmouth. This was the first time the Lt. Dan Band has ever been to Hampton Roads, and this was in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Flagship, the Navy's newspaper out here.

Photo by AmyLynn98.
"It was 1997 when Gary Sinise and Kimo Williams first met and worked together on the Steppenwolf Theatre production of Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire. Williams was hired by director Terry Kinney to compose the score for the play and Sinise, a co founder of Steppenwolf along with Terry Kinney, was playing the role of Stanley Kowalski. It was during the technical rehearsals for the play that Gary and Kimo began to discuss their love for music and after learning of Gary's talents on the bass, Kimo invited him to his home for a jam session. Over the next few years, whenever possible, these two pals would play together with other Chicago area musicians and in 2003, as Gary began what has turned out to be an extraordinary commitment to the USO, it became clear that those early jam sessions had laid the foundation for what would become The Lieutenant Dan Band."
Photo by AmyLynn98.

Photo by AmyLynn98.

Photo by AmyLynn98.

Photo by AmyLynn98.
Free tickets, general admission, free parking, easier in and out of the Pavillion than I was expecting, easier in and out than the amphitheater in Virginia Beach, perfect weather...this couldn't have been any better. Bob, my "date" for the evening, a 60+ year old retired Marine (since my husband was out sick that night), and I sat in the sixth row from the stage, about six or seven seats in from the end.

I have to say, this was a really good concert with quality music. The Lt. Dan Band is a cover band with 12 current members, covering stuff from the early 80's up through the present, even going back as far as the Big Band era. The singers kept a really good, recognizable speed for all the songs they performed. I personally hate it when a musician covers a song either too slow or too fast. That was not the case here.

However, they did try to make sure it was a show for all ages, so a few minor words in some of the songs were changed, such as changing "sex" to "love" in a Bruno Mars cover, and changing "shit" to "stuff" in an Adele cover. That seemed a little unnecessary to me, but whatever, not a huge deal.

This was when he came down into the audience.
Photo by AmyLynn98.
Normally, when you think of an actor that becomes a musician, you kind of wonder why because they just don't perform as well as they act.

That is not the case with Gary Sinise. Gary plays the electric bass. He was on stage ALL NIGHT LONG and played during every song. He was a sweaty man at the end of the show, which was a full two hours. While he wasn't singing into a mic (and there was one set up for him), he sang along with almost every song. Although, I have to admit, most of us in the audience were singing along as well, right along with him.

Gary Sinise is comfortable to watch on stage, picking at his bass. He's up there, dancing and moving, getting the crowd going, clapping, jamming. He interacts with his fellow bandmates. He doesn't act like it's all about him. All of his bandmates are excellent performers, there's no slouches here. We're talking quality music, all the way around.

He should be a musician first and an actor first. He plays to the crowd, purposely giving the audience the chance to take photos of him, right on the edge of the stage. At one point, he came down into the audience, mingling with people, dancing and singing. At this point, no one was watching the other performers on stage, of course. And let me just say, this man looks GOOD! Gary Sinise is a good looking man as well as a great actor, so it was actually kind of awe-inspiring to see him in this light. But oh, why couldn't he have taken off the hat?? It would have been nice to fully see his face.
Photo by AmyLynn98.

< /drooling>

Here is the set list, for about as complete as I could get it:
--Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
--Domino by Jessie J--This one was just cute because of the lyrics, "I'm seeing Hollywood stars, you strum me like a guitar," so the singer, Molly Callinan was singing that part to Gary with her arm around him. Loved that little touch. For this part of her performance, Molly was dead on, but for most of the night, her movements seemed so choreographed and just not natural movement. It's like the music stopped moving her on it's own.
--Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B by the Andrews Sisters
--All Night Long by Lionel Richie
--Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson
--Crazy in Love by Beyonce
--Everything She Does by the Police
--Smooth by Santana--This one was a bit much. While the vocals and the music were great, Jeff Vezain's butt shaking and attempt at one-person salsa dancing had a lot of the older ladies shrieking and swooning.
--Teenage Wasteland by The Who
--The Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band
--This was a bit of a break in the music here, for Gary to address the audience to talk about why he started the band, got involved with the USO, and the love he had for a brother-in-law, who had served in the military.
--Hero by Mariah Carey
--Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears For Fears--This was one of their best performances, I thought, but I am a child of the 80's, especially where the music is concerned.
--These Days by Rascal Flatts
--The Rising by Bruce Springsteen--This was another really good performance.
--Rolling in the Deep by Adele
--Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band--This song was THEIR BEST PERFORMANCE, IMHO.
--(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin--They brought a random guy up on stage to have two of the female singers sing this to him, and it was corny and funny and cheesy, and Brad milked it for all he could.
--Long Train Running (Without Love) by the Doobie Brothers
--Small Town Girl by Journey--Okay, this was also THEIR BEST PERFORMANCE.
--a freestyle kind of jazzy song that they played when Gary came down into the audience
--2 country songs I didn't recognize at all so I didn't record them.
--Proud to be An American by Lee Greenwood

I only took short snippets of the songs because I didn't want to fill my card in my camera with full length videos.

Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, sang by Molly Callinan, video by AmyLynn98.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears, sang by Dan Myers, video by AmyLynn98.

Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band, sang by Jeff Vezain, violin by Dan Myers, video by AmyLynn98.

This was posted on You Tube as the finale of the night, Proud to be An American

With all that was said and done, I don't know that the Lt. Dan Band will ever return to the Pavillion in Portsmouth. With a capacity of 6,500 people, this was a free concert and should have FILLED the Pavillion. It wasn't full. It looked to be at about half capacity. If they ever come back, they should come perform at one of the park's at Norfolk Naval Station. It could still have the same number of attendees but it would look fuller out there.

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