We saw Dan Bern in Bay Shore last night…

Ki writes:

For my birthday (which was a few weeks ago) Ian bought us tickets to the front row at the Dan Bern concert, for last night at The Boulton Center in Bay Shore. It was a great show. I will probably do a more profound write-up, but for now, here are some stray thoughts:

The opening act, and then backup band was Common Rotation. I have a few quibbles with their attitude about women, and the way they dress, but they were a pretty good band. They also did backup for Dan Bern through most of the show. Great four-part harmonies happening on stage. They did do long pause better than anyone I have ever seen.

Dan Bern announced that the show at the Boulton center was being taped for his next Live Album. (He announced this right after I stubbornly refused to participate in the “audience make sounds” song that Common Rotation did. Oh, well, I missed my one chance at fame! LOL and toot toot and all that.)

Dan Bern really likes sports. Ian, who is an avid fan, knew that. I didn’t really remember so much. Last night was full of sports references and sports inspired songs. At least Dan Bern likes the more profound aspects of gaming. Though, I still think it is funny to promote corporate, professional sports, and grace them with your beautiful music. Maybe it will get him an endorsement deal someday.

What were the sports songs?…hmmm…I will have to web-search some of the names, because I am not in the loop…be right back. [pause] A song about Armando Galarraga’s and referee Jim Joyce which Dan Bern swears will be a folk song. And, there was a freshly minted song about the very long tennis match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. (Which was sung by Dan Bern and Common Rotation, from a piece of loose leaf paper, hot off the press.) The songs were very fun.

Most profound song of the evening: “Now that our economy has gone to the dogs”. (Not sure if I got the quote perfect.) It was hysterical, and dead on. It had thoughts about now that we are poor, maybe we will enjoy things such as simple music and poetry. (Hey, Ian! Maybe we really can be famous!) This one, and a few other songs, had me hysterically (but somewhat quietly) laughing. I also found it amusing that during this song, Eric Kufs from Common Rotation was sitting down, playing the slide guitar, which reminded me of the autoharp, and a professor I had who studied literacy and the vibrancy of “poor culture” in Appalachia.

(Oh, looking stuff up and just found out that Dan Bern has a Fans Corner where he accepts writings and drawings to share. Hmmmm…maybe I can send something over…it does look fun.)

It was funny that Dan Bern was trying to remember when he was last in Long Island. (“Is Montauk Long Island?”, he asks.) And, a fan — but not the performer — remembered he had been in Farmingdale. Guess he does have that rock-and-roll lifestyle.

The ending song was very cool. Dan Bern and the three musicians from Common Rotation all stood at the front of the stage and led the audience in a sing-a-long of Woody Guthrie’s song, Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos). It was very profound. Though, when people play that song — especially in Long Island –I don’t know how they have the strength to resist adding the name — or shouting the name — “Marcelo Lucero”. Maybe it is art to refer to him, without naming him…

I think I annoyed one of the guys from Common Rotation. He was talking with a circle after the show, and I couldn’t resist a backwards compliment. I told him that there was only one other time that I heard Deportee, which was as profound, or maybe a little more profound…hearing Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Tao sing it at Carnegie Hall. I told him he would probably like the annual Arlo, after-Thanksgiving show. He did not appear amused. Oh, well…

One thing is interesting, I came face to face with my feelings about stardom and celebrity. I think Dan Bern has struggled with that issue himself a bit. I do respect his writing and his art so much. He has songs that truly make me think, and that I could hear over and over again. But, faced with a big autograph line, a silk rope, and the chance for a few moments of “adoring the star” time, I was pushed into a stoic, frowning, silence. My brain was racing with thoughts and poems that his wonderful performance inspired. But, I couldn’t pick something to say that fit the overly cheery, somewhat hurried atmosphere.

So, anyway, maybe I will write a poem for the fan page. I have this great idea about Black Tornado

One Response

  1. And though I am more of a Dan Bern fan than a sports fan, he also sang “Oh Sister” which has one of my favorite Dan Bern lines: And where would Willie Mays have been/Without Jackie Robinson?/And who can say what I’d been/Without you to lead the way.

    I think Dan Bern has been on Long Island more than he knows. My buddy Jim Frazzitta and I saw him at the once great, and I think now-departed, Nassau Community College Folk Festival. A well-kept secret I found out about waaay too late.

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