JS Rocks the Van Dyck

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Posted by Chris Hager on 04/15/02 - 08:37:12
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Jefferson Starship, 5-piece acoustic persona, flew into Van Dyck's Restaurant in Schenectady, NY Sunday night and played two wonderful sets.  Here are the set lists:  Early Show - DCBA-25, Wooden Ships, Eskimo Blue Day, Lather, High Flying Bird, Blessings (by folk singer Claudia Schmidt [sp?]), Baby Tree, Sunrise, Hijack, Have You Seen the Stars Tonight, and Starship.  (Although Mission Control has stated his preference for short, concise reviews, I MUST digress here.)  The set ended at this point, a mere 47 or so minutes after starting.  Paul and the band came back maybe 15 minutes later and explained that the management had requested that the set be shortened to accomodate patrons who had to get up for work the next day.  JS complied.  Paul was then told that the set was TOO short and that they should play some more.  You may well imagine Paul's response, which I decline to share here.  Anyway, JS came back and played All Fly Away and Fat Angel to end the first set.  Paul and All left the stage again to get ready for the late show.   Late show - Mountain Song, Good Shepherd, Triad, Sketches of China, I'm a Dreamer, Let's Go Together, When the Earth Moves Again, Hey Frederick, High Flying Bird (the only repeat from the early show), Your Mind Has Left Your Body, and Greasy Heart.  If anyone is interested in further details, read on, otherwise you can cut me off here.  The Van Dyck is very small, but the room where the band played is a high, peaked-roof, wooden room, and I think this contributed to the great sound.  John Murray deserves kudos for the fine job he did with sound all week, but the sound was especially good here.  He constantly checks the sound around the room to make sure that everyone hears as good a sound as possible.  John also greets as many people as he can without shirking his duties, performing some valuable PR.  As for the band, they were all in top form, but I'd like to note that Slick was particularly hot, pulling up some really effective sounds during some of the extended jams and playing extremely fiery leads throughout.  Diana, under the weather, was a real trooper, giving it her all.  I'm sure the size and acoustics of the room, combined with the fact that the band didn't have to play loudly, helped.  She sounded fine and was especially effective on Hey Frederick, Lather, and I'm a Dreamer.  Prairie Prince did an amazing job under difficult circumstances.  In a room like this, he had to play much softer than usual to avoid drowning out the band.  He did this while retaining his multi-rhythm style.  Paul added some really nice second leads and fills on his 12-string, which added greatly to the arrangements.  Hearing him in a place like this on acoustic guitar is, IMO, the best way to appreciate his playing.  And Chris Smith added some beautiful piano fills to the mix, especially on Lather, that were the special touch that put several songs over the top.  I recommend you attend a concert at the Van Dyck if it is within driving range. It has nice atmosphere, good food, and great acoustics.   I also recommend you see JS this week at a venue near you:  The Keswick in Glenside (near Philly) on Tuesday, April 16, Westbury Music Fair on Long Island on Thursday, April 18, and/or B.B. King's on 42nd Street in New York on Friday, April 19.  Cordially, Chris Hager

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