Concert Review: Dan Zanes (Phoenix, February 2008)

DZ_Feb08_band.jpgI feel compelled to jot down a few words about the Dan Zanes show we saw a couple weeks ago, and not just because I've got this cool photo of Dan wearing a scarf my daughter gave him (you'll have to click through to see that).

I was glad to see that Phoenix managed to turn out a decent-sized crowd, a good 700 people, maybe more, in the gorgeous Orpheum Theatre. Really, for a Friday-night show that might have impeded attendance by families with younger kids, I'm pretty happy.

There were clearly families for whom this was not their first DZ show -- I recognized people from the Tucson show last April. But many, including Miss Mary Mack's younger brother, who, let's go ahead and call him Little Boy Blue, were seeing him for the first time.

DZ_Feb08_Guitar.jpgSo they got to hear all the standbys -- "Pay Me My Money Down," "Hello, Hello," among others. There was a serious mosh pit down in front of the stage. It was weird sitting in our seats with Little Boy Blue (who seemed a little overwhelmed by it all) while watching Miss Mary Mack stand up front jumping a bit during the songs and turning around every minute or so to make sure we were still sitting there.

The band continues to sound great, and Dan's guest, the same guy who appeared at his Tucson show last April, blended in better with the band than I think he did last time.

There were some changes, though, from last time -- no strolling into the theatre at the beginning of the show (though they did leave that way). The biggest change was no Father Goose, which was a little disappointing (especially since we told Miss Mary Mack a couple times during the show, "yes, Father Goose will be coming out soon"). Especially for an evening show, Father Goose's appearance would have added a nice jolt of energy.

DZ_Feb08_scarf.jpgBut it was still a nice show, worth seeing. Dan and the band, as always, stayed in the foyer signing autographs after the show and chatting up the crowd. Miss Mary Mack had brought a colorful scarf for Dan (who knows where that idea came from) and gave it to him. Dan kindly accepted it, then decided to wear it. The man has no fashion fear, that much is for sure...

Anyway, here's hoping that the decent turnout not only brings Zanes back to Phoenix but also serves as an invitation to other artists...