Friday, November 20, 2015

Dave and Ronnie at TCAN

The word came down through Walter that college friend Dave Keyes would be playing at the Natick Center For the Arts on 11/19, accompanying Ronnie Spector.  Perhaps a little hesitation at first ... 60s girl group doo-wop is not my first cup of tea ... but this was something we'd been waiting for for a while: our friend DaveK playing in a venue that worked for a lot of college friends in the area!  And only Godzilla could have stood in the way of our being there.

Barb arranged a great place for us to meet for dinner and we all showed up, some delayed by rush-hour traffic.  Dave showed up too and clued us in on the fact that he'd been playing with Ronnie for years and what kind of band would be on stage.  Bummer that his well-rehearsed (as would be the rest of the show) piano solo would not be included, but I was glad to hear that he'd be on the right side of the stage, since our seats would be tucked into that corner.  And Al clued us in to the fact that they would have beer there.

Headed on over a bit before the show, found our seats and settled down.  The converted firehouse that's TCAN, in the center of the traditional outer-Boston suburb of Natick, which is on the commuter rail line and so is being gentrified, is an ok place for a music hall.  The place was packed; most of the people there were "arts" types who couldn't care less who was playing as long as they furthered some agenda.  But a lot were Ronnie Spector devotees (most importantly the folks up front), and they led us all in having a good time.

Seth Glier opened with a few originals, with his accompanist Joe contributing great harmonies, sax, and harmonica.  Then Ronnie and Dave came out and rocked our souls.  Dave was right in front of us (stage corner right) with a big Yamaha piano, and they had a cracker section of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar.  They also had another keys guy on organ at the far end of the stage, three singers (one of whom picked up a few instruments), and Ronnie headlining it all and taking a seat between the songs while she gave us the back story.

They did a nice job with the back story, showing some slides and videos on the screen of her and her sister and cousin making their way as The Ronettes in the entertainment world of the early 60s.  You had to fill in between the lines and realize that she must have been (and must still be!) a tough woman to have made it.

My review?  I recognized a bunch of the songs and enjoyed them all.  The rhythm section was dead-on, and the backup singers were the most entertaining part of the night for me.  And Dave's structural bits on piano were fantastic.  The band was great and made the whole night rock.

Afterwards we had a chance to hobnob for a long time, both in the hall and out on the sidewalk, where old friend Larry showed up.  We'd all known each other 40 or more years ago and were stunned to be able to get together with so many of the people from back then.  This was truly a wonderful, blessed night!

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