Thoughts on the 4/25 Dudley Manlove Quartet Performance

Gibson LP GoldtopOn Saturday April 25, the Dudley Manlove Quartet performed at a benefit event for a local agency called “Water First”, whose mission is to provide clean water to the world. The event was held at Hale’s Palladium in Fremont, which is a fantastic large room with a great stage. We’ve played there on a number of occasions for private events, and it’s always a lot of fun. This was the first public DMQ performance with our new drummer Garey Williams, who did a wonderful job of driving the relentless groove for the band. We selected Garey a few months ago as a result of an audition process. He impressed me as being really prepared for the audition, and he had a very comfortable approach to performing the parts. It was an added bonus when, during the run-through of “Copacabana” he said “…the drum part on this song is almost a soca beat…”. Soca. I hadn’t heard that word in some time. Back when I was in Jumbalassy, we performed a wide variety of original and cover versions of soca songs.

One of the wild card at private events is whether the crowd will politely observe and applaud, or if they’ll hit the dance floor and get into the energy of the night. It was obvious from the moment we hit the stage that this was a crowd in the latter category. What followed was exuberant dancing, singing along, and wild applause following every song. We even coaxed an audience member onto the stage to sing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” with us.

During the set breaks, we were approached by many people in the crowd, who wanted to share their appreciation of the band’s performance. That is such a nice feeling. We’re good musicians, and we know when we’re having a good night. The part that makes it so special to is to hear that people are having FUN listening to / dancing to / singing along to our performance of the music. That makes our jobs so much more fun!

For this show, the client requested a bunch of 70s and 80s hits, so our set list was stacked with some favorites :

(set 1)
Copacabana
Night Fever
You Sexy Thing
September
Just Like Heaven
Working For The Weekend
Don’t You Forget About Me
What I Like About You
Never Gonna Give You Up
Let’s Go
Venus
White Wedding
Separate Ways
Any Way You Want It

(set 2)
I Ran
Power Of Love
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Centerfold
Let’s Dance
Rio
Sister Christian
Melt With You
Little Red Corvette
Take On Me
Video Killed The Radio Star
Don’t Stop Believin’

I noticed during the first set that something was a little strange with my amp settings for the higher-gain patches. One disadvantage of using the AxeFX onstage is that you can’t just reach over and adjust things without digging into a few menus. I didn’t have enough time between songs to dial up the patches and make those adjustments, so it had to wait until the set break. It’s a minor inconvenience, and could have been avoided if I’d thought to test those patches during soundcheck. It had been a while since we played “I Ran” and I was glad to have made those adjustments before we kicked off the second set with that song.

At the end of the evening I managed to load out in record time. We had friends who had come to Seattle to attend the Friday 5/24 DMQ performance AND the 5/26 1 Uppers performance, and they were staying at our house. I wanted to get home after the private show so I could visit with them. I arrived home on time to find everyone still wide awake, and happily drinking wine (and watching hockey).

So, another fine performance with the DMQ crew, and the public debut of Garey. All went quite well. I’m looking forward to the next one!

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