Dave Mason Band

19 February 2005

Boulder Station, Las Vegas, NV


Seems like I see Roger McGuinn and Dave Mason every six years or so. To kill some time, my friend and I visited one of many establishments in the Stations Casino chain, the Boulder Station, off of the Boulder Highway on the Eastern side of Vegas.

I guess I would regard Dave Mason as the standard for bluesy night club music. Dave and band, five-pieces deep, walked out with "Only You Know And I Know", and a Traffic psychedelic classic that I've begun to admire very much lately, "40,000 Headman".

After the acoustically sprightly "World In Changes", Dave introduced his biggest hit by saying, "I never get a request for this song.....usually I play this and people go, 'Hey that's the guy that does this song.'". The band's version of "We Just Disagree" now very much resembles the original studio recording.

Dave has put on a few, and his all-black attire (including cap) doesn't hide this fact. But, Dave still moves around with energy. Members of his band include Bill Mason (no relation), on keyboards, and, on guitar and vocals, John Sambataro, who once served as lead vocalist for Firefall, and contributed significant studio work to three McGuinn, sometimes Clark, and Hillman albums. John can sing and play just about anything, and he proves himself a very valuable member of this touring unit.

Tonight's performance is under somewhat of a dark cloud, with the loss of fellow Traffic member Jim Capaldi, as a result of stomach cancer, just three weeks earlier. Dave performed his Traffic cuts, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" and "Feelin' Alright", with dedication.

Dave introduced two new rockers, "Let Me Go", and "Ain't Your Legs Tired Baby". Hopefully a studio album will follow.

More Alone Together solo hits, "Can't Stop Worryin', Can't Stop Lovin'", and "Look At You, Look At Me". Then, a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower", for which Dave himself played acoustic guitar on the popular Jimi Hendrix studio version.

He executed, as he always does execute, a fine performance of "Let It Go, Let It Flow".

Front row seats to this theatre-sized event! I hope to see Dave and band again.

[****] - Steven T.

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