NOVEMBER 7, 2014
I've had the pleasure of attending several Dan Reed Network concerts over the years, from the Cat Club in NYC to the Aladdin Theater here in Portland. You'd think I'd know what to expect by now – some great songs performed by talented and slightly eccentric characters, let by the enigmatic Dan Reed himself.
What we got was the music and the people stripped of any unessential gear or sound and an almost magical experience.
The band hit the stage to "Resurrect" with lots of energy and power. The sound was tight with all instruments and vocals coming through loud and clear. It was easy to see the the guys had come to play and they were happy to be with their hometown fans and friends.
We were then treated to a mosaic of hits from the first three albums, highlighted by "Forgot to Make Her Mine", "Make It Easy" and "Baby Don't Fade" before mellowing out with "Stronger Than Steel" and "Cruise Together". All throughout Dan Reed commanded the stage with powerful vocals and a friendly presence while Brion James gave a virtuoso guitar performance, sporting a vintage Jimi Hendrix shirt, his signature dreadlocks and his infectious smile. Melvin Brannon, Blake Sakamoto and Dan Pred were equally impressive providing the groove, funk and driving beat that DRN is known for.
The band amped things back up with one of their biggest hits – "Ritual" followed by a frantic "Seven Sisters Road", the crowd pleasing "Tiger In a Dress" and "Get to You".
An acoustic encore with a medley of "All My Lovin" and "Long Way to Go" rounded out the close to perfect night.
All of the band members have solo careers and/or other interests that keep them busy and they don't tour often. But if you ever get the chance to see them, I suggest you take it.