2/7/09 Bowery Ballroom, New York NY

Way Back When, Beauty Within, Me and Depression, I Don't Need A Riddle, Garden of Eden, Blue Sky, Ring of Fire, Funky Side, Temporary Misery,* Everyday, Locket & Key, Family Picture, Meant to Be, Silverlined,** Higher Ground,* Killing a Man, Broken Record,* Walk on the Wild Side,* America, No Place Like The Right Time
Encore: If You Only Could,*** It's So Beautiful

*with the Believers
**with Craig Aspen of the Believers
***Jeb & Tara only

By Jeff Bauer

I got inside the Bowery just in time to see the Sim Redmond band removing its equipment from the stage, and figured I had about 30 minutes until DtB hit the stage, which I spent chatting with friends and catching up with Jordy. I continued to speak with him through Way Back When and Beauty Within, but by the first chords of Me and Depression I was headed toward the band.

The Bowery is a weird, two-level venue with a lot of nooks and crannies. I shuffled my way around and found a spot way up front but off to the side from where I could see most of the band but more important could hear well. The Me and Depression seemed to have a lot of energy for a song so early in the evening, but then again, that tune usually does. It was a clear sign of things to come.

I had fun dancing on and off to I Don't Need A Riddle, Garden of Eden, Blue Sky, and Ring of Fire. I was going to take a break during the Funky Side that came next, but John Vanderheyden was dancing nearby and his energy was so contagious I simply couldn't NOT dance. The band took off on this one, too. Though I sometimes don't get as enthusiastic about this often-played song as I used to, this particular version was smokin'.

Next the Believers (Craig Aspen and Cyd Frazzini) joined the band for Temporary Misery. Jeb promised us they'd be back later, and boy, they sure were. But first DtB played Everyday, and really stretched it out a bit on the improv section of that song. Of course the place went nuts for Locket & Key, for which the band has produced its first MTV-style video, and even more so for Family Picture. After that, Jeb said something like "We've got a request for this next song" and they went into Meant to Be, a rarely-played song off Silverlined.

Then just Craig came back out (on mandolin) for Silverlined, but unfortunately, from where I was, I couldn't hear him in the mix. I moved and was able to hear both Craig and Cyd for Higher Ground, the Believers song they've played several times while onstage with DtB. The Believers left the stage for Killing a Man; somehow I got the distinct impression that this song is one of bassist Jay Sanders' favorite, with what I call the "meltdown" jam into chaos at the end.

The Believers must have caught their breath, because they came right back out for a version of Broken Record that was performed in an aggressive, almost punk style, which is how DtB used to perform this song when Tara first debuted it.

Next, the Believers stuck around and Jeb said something about the band having prepared the next song just for the New York crowd, and that he wanted us to help out with the singing. I had the good luck of being right on the rail in front of Tara when this happened, and the Bowery went absolutely batshit upon recognition of Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side. The first half of the song was a full-out singalong, with everyone I could see joining in on the chorus. But during the second half, the band and the Believers flat out jammed this tune, making it the musical highpoint of the night.

I wasn't expecting much after that, so I was very pleasantly surprised when Jeb said, "This one's for Luigi, cause he's from South America," and the band launched into America (Luigi is the person who drives DtB's bus). They played this song energetically and for a LONG time, just about outlasting my ability to dance to it. No Place Like the Right Time was a classic bit of DtB to end the set comfortably.

For an encore, first just Jeb and Tara came out to do If You Only Could as a duet. During the quiet parts of the song, the Bowery was damn near silent; this pretty much NEVER happens in a NYC venue. Then the full band came back out for the new Jeb tune, the title of which might be It's So Beautiful.

It was an incredible night; I am not a big fan of when DtB has special guests, but the Believers most certainly enhanced this show, and the Walk on the Wild Side was out of this world. The best part of it all: A soundboard recording of this performance was made, and should be in circulation soon. Thank you Donna the Buffalo!!

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