04 July 2003
Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
Tonight Dan Fogelberg mentioned that he had hoped to perform at Red Rocks for 2003's 4th of July celebration, but that the venue was already booked for Blues Traveler. Given that he's performed at Red Rocks countless times, tonight's performance at least added some variety. And, given that most of his tours are billed as "An Acoustic Evening With Dan Fogelberg", tonight's performance with a band further added some new breath in the 51 year old pop veteran's live show.
A local singer/songwriter, Liz Clark, opened with a seven song set. Good voice. In terms of her appearance, songwriting, and acoustic guitar strumming, she closely resembles the aura of say, Shawn Colvin. Her lyrics continue to expand this era's quantity of original compositions depicting spoiled brats feeling lamentingly sorry for themselves, and blaming others for their own shortcomings. She introduced one song by saying, "I never would have confused love with war were it not for my last boyfriend." Uh, get over it already. Hey, she's young, she'll learn. Again, I fully admit that I can't match her vocal clarity/range.
Dan walked out with a four-piece band of talented musicians, and opened with his first hit, "Part Of The Plan", from 1974. Subsequently, he quickly unstrapped his acoustic, and, before even taking his seat on the piano bench, pounded the opening notes to "Heart Hotels". I liked his vocal performance this evening. Over the last dozen years or so, I had noticed a significantly hoarse quality, and I was never sure whether that was due to vocal strain, smoking, or a deliberate attempt on his part to sound more like a bluesman, a la Stephen Stills. This evening, he sounded as if he has spent some time with a voice trainer, learning how to save his voice over the long haul (a national tour).
"Hard To Say" brought him back front with his acoustic guitar, leaving long time Nederland resident Robert McEntee with the lead electric parts. After this song, Dan smiled nervously after a fan yelled out "Nice shirt!" The southwesterly, untucked button-down, combined with a slightly increased bulkiness, furthered his apparent tendency to mimic qualities of Mr. Stills.
Dan has a new album, Full Circle. The title track is indeed the Gene Clark classic from the early 1970s. Dan's cover very closely re-creates the Byrds' version of 1973, in musicianship, chords, and feel. Of course, Dan adds his unique staccato/harmony arrangement for signature purposes. Good song. Also from the new album on tonight's setlist: "Reach Haven Postcard".
"Run For The Roses" brought Dan back behind the piano, and the rest of the band played along nicely. "The Reach" extended his use of many tracks from The Innocent Age this evening.
After a 1 minute, 26 second break, Dan walked back out by himself to play a standard set of acoustic numbers, including "Make Love Stay", "Lazy Susan", "Leader Of The Band", and "Same Old Lang Syne".
For the finale, Dan brought out a black Stratocaster electric, as well as the rest of the band, for the rockers "Missing You", "As The Raven Flies", and a lengthy "Power Of Gold", ending with a friendly theft of the famous Eric Clapton "Layla" riff. Besides McEntee, this band featured long time bassist Jim Photoglo, long time keyboardist Mike Hanna, and original Bread drummer Michael Botts. Very tight!
The encore? The usual "There's A Place In The World For A Gambler".
An enjoyable show worthy of sacrificing an evening otherwise spent endangering body limbs with explosive/pyrotechnic devices.
[****] - Steven T.
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