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11/1/02 Touch of Texas, Johnson City, NY

Setlist (courtesy donnabase.com)
Positive Friction, Ones You Love, Me & Depression, Tides Of Time, Standing Room Only, Pretty Boy Floyd, 40 Days & 40 Nights, Ancient Arms, These Are Strange Days, Family Picture, Way Back When, Livin' On Love & Gasoline, Conscious Evolution >Workin' On A Building, Rock Of Ages, Jamestown Christmas
Encore: Don't Make Me Come Over There And Love You,* Whoa Whoa Whoa,* No Place Like The Right Time
*with Jim Lauderdale

Wild Time at the Touch of Texas
Johnson City's right outside of Binghamton, NY and for this trip I was joined by my buddy Dennis, who'd become interested in Donna after listening to some shows I'd burned for him, and trusted me that she was worth the trip. ToT would turn out to be one of my favorite venues.

The Touch of Texas is now the Magic City Music Hall, but on this night it was a flat-out country and western bar/club, the likes of which you'd never find me in during my pre-Donna days. We got in easily enough and the place was huge, absolutely cavernous, with cowboy stuff all over the walls.

Jim Lauderdale opened, and honestly, my mind had not quite opened up enough to be able to appreciate him. Don't remember what he played, but I think most of the members of Donna joined him for a song or two before he made a graceful exit.

The place seemed pretty much full when the band took the stage, and the crowd seemed particularly enthusiastic. Positive Friction was a great start, and the dance floor became the place to be. Trying to remember how they played each song is a little hard to do as I'm writing this quite some time after the fact, but there were a few highlights that are as clear as day.

The first was Ancient Arms. I moved up the rail for this song and watched very closely. Jeb motioned for us to sing along with the "Woah" parts, and I could barely hear Tara over the voice of the crowd. "The rise and the fall is our creation...the rise and the fall is our own creation..." Then the band just latched into a groove during the outgoing jam and for a few moments, everything was one: The band, the crowd, the music, the lyrics, all of it right there at that moment of creation. It was cool to be participating in this song, involved with it as much as the band was, experiencing it in the same way.

That's how it seemed to me, anyway.

I'm a big fan of Tara's singing, and Livin on Love and Gasoline has always seemed to be a perfect song to showcase her voice, which I find comforting. Conscious Evolution, I was learning, was turning out to be one of those songs I'd hear at almost every show, though on this night it rolled sweetly into Working on a Building.

Jamestown Christmas was a first for me, though I thought it was an unusual way to end the set. At the time, I suspected that it was a song the band didn't play all that often, but actually it popped up several times during 2002, and not much since. Jim Lauderdale came out for the first two songs of the encore--Don't Make Me Come Over There And Love You and Whoa Whoa Whoa--and I still wasn't "getting" him (that would happen the next summer at the South Street Seaport, at one of the first shows after the release of Wait Til Spring). No Place Like The Right Time ended the night. I've always thought of that as a country song, and so it seemed like a good final tune for a night at the Touch of Texas. Yee-ha!

My friend Dennis was buffaloed at this show much like I'd been at my first Donna show, and we've been traveling together to see the band ever since. There's a family growing...

Words © 2004 www.donnafans.com. Photos © 2004 Brian Reid. All rights reserved.
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