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12/9/04 Brookside Restaurant, Amenia, NY

Setlist (courtesy donnabase.com)
Way Back When, No Place Like the Right Time, These Are Better Days, Family Picture, Killing A Man, Johnny McAfee, The Real Deal, If You Only Could, America, Ancient Arms, One Drop Of Rain, Everything Is Alright, Just Like Tom Thumb Blues,* 40 Days & 40 Nights, Rock of Ages, Each & Every Direction, Movin' On Up (Theme from The Jeffersons),* Seems To Want to Hurt This Time.
Encore: Mother, Ring of Fire, Part Time Lover, Living in the Promiseland**

*first time played
**Jeb on acoustic

Photos of this show

Interesting night in the middle of nowhere
Seeing as this show was going to take place on a weeknight in a small venure in a small town, I was hoping for something a little special, and the band was happy to oblige. The Brookside Restaurant in Amenia, NY is 20 miles from the nearest highway, and DtB performed in a large room attached to it. I'd say there were 75 - 100 people there.

The band went on real early, 8:30-ish, with a relatively standard Way Back When. Jeb made some jokes about how he'd always wanted to go to "Armenia" and then it was Tara's turn to sing on No Place Like The Right Time. Though the crowd was enthusiastic, it was a little awkward at first because no one was dancing, which left a huge empty area right on the rail.

This was overcome with the next song, These Are Better Days, and the room stayed filled with smiling dancing faces for the duration. Family Picture was next, and which I like this song, I hear it quite often, and so was glad it was played early in the set.

The highlights for me started with the next song-Killing A Man-which seems to get more intense each time I see Donna play it. Jeb's guitar work on this was absolutely blistering. After Johnny MaAffe (Johnny Male Cabri), Dr. Jim sang George Jones' The Real Deal for us, which I hadn't had the privilege of seeing him do before.

Next I immediately recognized the opening to If You Only Could, which is a particular favorite of mine, mainly for the lyrics and Tara's delivery. Some might think this song is a little negative but I find it powerful and beautiful, and it had been quite a few shows since I last saw it performed.

Before playing America by request, Jeb said something to the effect of "We're going do this song for you but don't make too much of it, it's just a song. We're normal people." I can only assume he was trying to say that they weren't making any political statement with it; this was the first time Donna played America since the election, and only the third time all year. The Ancient Arms that came next was played at the request of "the New Paltz Stalker," who turned out to be not one person but a group of enthusiastic women.

After One Drop of Rain and Everything's Alright, there was a long, long pause, with Jim getting out a stack of papers and shuffling through them on the top of Kathy's keyboard. My radar sensed that we might be about to see something new and different, and I was right. I immediately recognized the first few notes of Just Like Tom Thumb Blues, and even though this is obviously a Dylan tune, I couldn't help but think of the times I'd heard Phil Lesh "sing" it. This song's got a lot of words, and even though he had to occasionally glance down at his notes, Jim nailed it.

During 40 Days & 40 Nights, some guy in a costume--perhaps it was the pagan god Pan, but looked like a half human/half goat to me--appeared and started dancing around, mostly on the rail. The song was smoking. Goatman stayed in costume and dancing for the rest of the night.

A little while later, I could hardly believe my ears when the band played Moving On Up, the theme from The Jeffersons. The band ended the set with Everything Seems to Want to Hurt This Time, which has been solidly in the rotation since the presidential election.

The encore consisted of four songs: Mother, played by request; Ring of Fire; Part Time Lover, which was a little sloppy but a lot of fun; and Living in the Promiseland, for which Jeb played acoustic because he'd broken a string on PT Lover. Overall this show was well worth the trip to what for me is the middle of nowhere.

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