COMBINED REPORTS - Fitzgerald Theatre, St. Paul MN, September 17 2000

From: Mary in Iowa
Date: 17 Sept 2000
Subject: Minnesota Show

Jjust got back from a great show at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul and wanted to post a report and set list (if I can read my writing I did in the dark).

Opening act was Jeremy Kay, as in some previous shows.  He was OK to listen to, had some nice tunes and a very good bass player.  The standout song for me was called Breathe and he did a sort of countrified version of Nick Lowe's (What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.  He said his family was there to see him tonight, but he mostly got polite applause from the crowd.  They were there to see the Dan Man.  Show started about 20 minutes late with another 10 minute or so break after Jeremy.

The Hot Licks ambled onto the stage and began a soft version of Cherokee while Dan greeted the crowd with a few jokes and his usual low-key banter.  They started off with Canned Music and sounded a little shaky.  One of the Lickettes mics wasn't working at all and they were having a hard time hearing themselves in the monitors, so Ozzie, the bassman, moved his mic over and things improved greatly. 

By the second song, Where's the money, things were swinging and the crowd was starting to get in the mood.  This was my first time to see Dan live and I wasn't sure what to expect.  I have heard about Dan's deadpan delivery of great one-liners and he didn't disappoint tonight.  The place was not full, but it was a good sized crowd of very appreciative fans in a really nice theatre. 

Here's the setlist:
Canned Music
Where's the Money?
Hell, I'd Go
Payday Blues
Somebody Tell me the Truth
Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
My Cello
Caravan/Four Brothers (instrumental)
I Scare Myself - some tasty solos here from the band
The Piano has Been Drinking
Up, Up, Up
Capo on my Brain
How Can I Miss You - Susan and Debbie each took a verse
(Dan moves to snare here)
End of the Love Affair
I Don't Want Love
The Buzzard was Their Friend
News From up the Street

The band was the same lineup we have heard about:
Susan Raymond and Debbie Key - Lickettes
Tom Mitchell on guitar
Ozzie Andrews on stand-up bass
Brian Gottschalk on violin and mandolin
Dan Hicks on guitar and snare
II hope these are spelled right)

The pre-show gathering was fun, too, with some good beer, food and Dan conversation.  We had David, Liz and her husband (I'm sorry, I'm sorry his name escapes me now, but he's a really nice guy), my sister, Faye and husband, Doug, my hubby, Paul and Moi.  There was another large group of Dan Fans at the Brew Pub, but they apparently aren't listers. Thanks to Dan and Surfdog for bringing together new friends and giving us a great night of entertainment.

See you in Des Moines!

Mary in Iowa

From: Matt Yetter
Date: 17 Sept 2000
Subject: Dan Hicks at the Fitzgerald, St. Paul Mn

Dan put on quite a show Sept 17, in St. Paul, Mn.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, as he was very funny the first half hour in between songs and with some sound problems they were having (The Fitzgerald that is).  The new format was great with some new twists on old songs by the jazzy hot licks.  Very Jazzy, very cool!  The drums and the air guitar were great!  He knows how to brush up a beat!

I won't bother with the set list as he had made reference to how silly he thought they were.  He pretty much played sets similar to the nite before in Chicago, and we got two encore's keeping the Fitzgerald staff up late, till 1030 almost.  And the Lickettes were great too!  How Dan does that thing with his leg is also very cool!  Could go on and on, but won't.  Please, please come back someday soon Dan!

To: <>
From: David Davis-Van Atta
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 15:19:33 -0500
Subject: Re: [hix] Minnesota Show

Wow! Good show, Mary! That was one speediest reports to hit the net yet on the show last night in Mpls. good show - on a good show!

I will add only a few tid bits, based on what I heard and saw:

Let's see, first of all, Kathy's right. Steve is no MCP. Wow! Was that ever a show! Whew!

What an addition the new lickettes are. (I say "new" b/c, to me, "The Lickettes" will forever mean Naomi and Maryann.) Even so, I mean no diminishing whatsoever to the new Lickettes! Got to say it, they *really* add a lot to the band. And to the stage show generally. Other than Dan's fancy dancin' leg work, they're about 90% of the visual show.

And half the time they were camped up in these colorful boas and smiling out from behind these dark shades. It was just too much. Not to mention those skirts!

Their voices were terrific. What a great thing it is to get to hear the Hot Licks with them singing all those nice parts. They did justice to every one of them I thought. And definitely adding some of their own nice touches as well now. They can sing! No two ways about that. Anyone know where, how, they got connected up with Dan? Great additions.

I thought they added some fine touches to "Hell I'd Go" in addition to what they sang as The Singin' Marsianettes" (sp?) There were a total stitch to watch doing "Up, Up, Up!"

Tom has really grown into doin' Dan's music. Last time I saw him was about 1.5 and 2 years ago. He was good, but didn't have a lot of hot licks, and just didn't have that Dan sound as yet. Now, wow. He *cooked* on a number of numbers. And was always a steady solid instrumental presence in addition to Dan's rhythm work. I'd say they've really grown into working together.

Some of his best stuff was the back and forth, and unison playing with Brian G. The two of them really worked very nicely together as well. The blend of the two instruments was perfect, not easy to do with a fiddle. Brian's playing was more subdued than I expected, but then he'd catch me off guard and really rip a break - it was like electricity. He only did that on, maybe, two occasions last night though.

I guess most of all, it was just terrific to get to hear Dan with the full HL's band - the classic original arrangement. It was really great. I didn't figure that was going to happen again, so it's wonderful that it is. It was good to hear some of the old tunes that would be hard to do justice to with, say, just Dan and Tom, like: Where's the Money, Canned Music, News from Up the Street, and, of course, I Scare Myself.

"The Buzzard Was Their Friend" to me was the only disappointment. Dan sang everything, all the lines, no back and forth with the Lickettes. Not only do those back and forths add a thrill like lightening to an otherwise good but not outstanding piece, I can't forget that it is this very song that introduced "The Lickettes," by this name, to the world. Or at least to me. ("Lickettes!!") I think they've earned the right to help out on a verse or two there, and I for one would sure *love* to have heard Buzzard done in its original arrangement.

However, all else was outta sight.

BTW, if you haven't been treated to Dan's fancy dancin' leg work, it's is worth the price of admission right there! I'd never seen him get into it like he did. he and the Lickettes did a great little routine together during one of the instrumental solo breaks near the end - I forget which tune though. (Shame!)

A splendid time was indeed had by all, both before and during the show. Maybe I'll drive down to the one in Des Moines ....

David D-VA

From: Liz
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 20:45:49 0000
Subject: [hix] The Amazing Dudley Snodttgrass!!

Thanks, Mary and Dave for the great reviews of last night's St. Paul Dan concert.

I have to add, however, Dan's slam at...well...US!

It was hilarious. Probably 2/3 through the show, he began to introduce the next song. 'An intrumental medley of "Caravan" by Duke Ellington and "Four Brothers", um, by Dudley Snodgrass" He then went off a bit at his fans who were sitting in the audience writing down the set list (myself included)for the "I dunno, the internet or something". As a woman in the row behind me said, "Busted!"

That said, "Four Brothers" (by Jimmy Giuffre & Jon Hendricks, btw) and caravan were great and both were great and carried through his homage to the *greatest* vocalese group of all time, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.


David D-VA's reponse to Liz:

Yea, he did take a good shot at "that Internet thing."

I wrote a few down too, but at least neither of the people beside me said "Busted!" How exposed!

And actually, we should get it right: "It's Dudley SNOTgrass," because the double "dd" is silent after "t" you know. At least that was the way it was explained to me.

He took a few shots at Mpls/St. Paul too. In addition to the (minor) sound problems at the opening, he didn't care for the lighting in the theater (The Fitzgerald, named for local resident F. Scott, The Great Gatsby his-self), the theater that is the home of "A Prairie Home Companion." Maybe too hot. Dan asked, "Does Garrison Keiller have to put up with this?"

Also: he sold between 700 and 750 of the roughly 1,000 seat in the place. Pretty good turn out. So maybe Mpls/StP isn't all THAT bad ...

Much as I really, really enjoyed hearing Dan with a real Hot Licks band, I think my favorite way to see him still is something more like the small bar stage, or the place I saw him once in Fla, outside, under the full moon and palms, ("Skippers") a place where they reserve an area for the bikers, and it's really *theirs,* etc. Some place where you might get a little conversation, maybe an autograph, no pretense in the surroundings, nice diverse crowd, not so much separation from the audience, stuff like that. Still, I'm really glad he's doing this tour, even if it is in bigger venues. It's nice too b/c both Dan and BTH gets lots of good exposure this way. As he said, "A little more recognition."

David D-VA

From: Tim Nyberg
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 21:58:18 -0500
Subject: [hix] Report from St. Paul Dan Hicks concert

It was great seeing and hearing Dan and the (new) Hot Licks again (Dan's wit is incredibly dry and his stream of consciousness delivery was the highlight of the evening).

We would like to bring to his/your attention the incredible dissatisfaction of the audience (everyone around us, and I'm sure others in the theatre, as well) with the dautling start time. The warm-up act started about 20 after 7pm (the show time advertised), then, when they were done, the concert we all came to see didn't start for another 30 to 40 minutes ... no explanation, no apologies... This toned the whole show for a lot of us... it came across as arrogance or something. I don't know - maybe time runs differently in Hicksville.

Also, musically, Dan and the Hot Licks didn't really have any energy to speak of or hit any kind of grove until half way through the show. The harmonies were off (although the instrumentals were tight and featured some remarkable players).

I chalked up the inadequacies to "the tour must have just started... they need time to get their groove workin'..." but later found out that that wasn't the case. They are in the middle of the tour.

I don't know what the problems are/were, but this musical treasure would have been better recieved if the group as a whole had more energy and tightened up a LOT.

Still, not bad for 30+ years after the fact. I guess it's hard to grow old.

- Tim Nyberg, St. Paul, MN