Yes, it was the first gig and it made me think of something a great L.A. session player told me when I was first getting started in the studios. He said, ?Aspire to 100%, expect 90% and accept 80% and you'll be OK". Well it certainly applied to the situation at hand. Being that it was our first concert, I knew there might be a few glitches here and there but that's part of the charm of a live concert. There's a different energy level for live gigs. You can't go back and re-record or overdub -- it is what it is. There's just no way to replace that one take feeling of excitement that you get in front of a live audience.
Dan, as I expected, was right on the money! He was obviously in his element and I mean right dead center! His voice was strong and he was playing his butt off. Come to think of it, I've rarely seen Dan have an off night in all the years I've worked with him and this certainly wasn't one of those off nights. His extended acoustic set was great and the audience let him know it.
Now as I mentioned earlier, Dan has always assembled some of the best players available for his back-up band and this was no exception. We'd had enough rehearsal time to burn everything into our memory banks and I had no doubt that every one of us would rise to the occasion and that we would soon become a formidable rhythm section that would think and respond like a single musical unit. And when we kicked off the electric part of the show with "Part of the Plan", I knew by the time we hit the first chorus that our energy level alone was easily taking us past the 80% mark. I also knew this band would be doing only two kinds of shows on this tour, either very good or great.
By the time we were closing in on the end of the set list, with just a few more songs left to play before the big electric circus once again packed up and left town for the next destination, I was reminded that this was what it was really all about. Those two special hours out of the day! All the traveling and hotels and life on the road in general were worth it just to have those two hours of music every night. To be able to play great music with great musicians and with the support and encouragement of an enthusiastic audience, for me, that"s the whole enchilada, man.