12/18/09 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Look To The Future, Locket & Key, Family Picture, Positive Friction, Beauty Within, Conscious Evolution, I Dont Need A Riddle, Hot Tamale Baby, I'll Be Gone, Mystic Water, Blue Sky, It's Love Time,* Ring Of Fire,* No Place Like The Right Time, These Are Better Days, Ancient Arms
Encore: There Must Be,** It's A New Day, Walk On The Wild Side,*** Funky Side***

*Jeb on Kent guitar
**Jeb and Tara only
***with the Believers

By Jeff Bauer

I decided to pass on the Believers' opening set and arrived at the Bowery just 5 minutes before DtB hit the stage at 10:40. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Look to the Future in the opening slot but hung around and caught up with Jordy during that tune, Locket & Key, and Family Picture, which I was glad to hear early in the set.

With the opening notes of Positive Friction I drifted back up into the main room and found a sea of happy, smiling faces. The venue was about 5/6 full, big enough crowd energy-wise but also leaving a nice amount of breathing space--the Bowery gets uncomfortably packed at times. I found some friends in their usual spot (on the rail dead-center) and snapped a shot with my cellphone, which I promptly posted to The quality was poor, but what the hell, it was on the Net in real time.

Beauty Within was followed by Conscious Evolution. I was struck how after all these years of playing CE, the band is still able to take this song into exciting, uncharted territory. Next it was accordion time, as Tara fired it up for I Don't Need A Riddle and an incendiary Hot Tamale Baby. I wasn't right up front during this song, so I didn't see exactly what happened, but as soon as this song ended, Tara said, "Who took my scrub?" Apparently someone had grabbed it mid-song. The instrument was quickly located and returned.

The incident was a mere blip, for after a nice rendition of I'll Be Gone, the band launched into a long and quite beautiful Mystic Water. Unfortunately for me, I had to move to several different spots during this song to find an area where people weren't talking; I encounter this problem at pretty much every show at the Bowery. "Duuuude, I totally don't care that someone hacked into your email account, but even if I did, I wouldn't want to hear about it now..."

The crowd seemed to focus a little better on the Blue Sky that came next. Then Jeb broke out his Kent guitar for It's Love Time, and Ring of Fire, which the band may have played by request. As I heard the opening notes of No Place Like the Right Time, I thought maybe the set was coming to an end, but there were two more songs before the band took leave of the stage: These Are Better Days, which I don't think I'd heard in a while, and Ancient Arms, which was played by request.

The long encore started with Jeb and Tara coming out to do There Must Be, which they played by request for my friend Jenny. Then Jeb welcome a friend onstage--I believe his name was Brian--and I wondered which instrument he might be about to play. But instead Brian called his fiance onstage and proposed to her. She said yes, and the happy couple danced onstage while DtB played It's A New Day.

Finally it was time for the Believers--Craig Aspen and Cyd Frazzini--to come out. Surprise, surprise, they did Walk on the Wild Side. While fun, this version didn't have the same impact as when DtB and the Believers debuted on this very stage back in Feb (see my review of 2/7/09 New York, NY). The band had saved the very best for last: a version of Funky Side with the Believers. Craig Aspen's guitar playing gave this tune a depth it hasn't had since 2004, and the band was as energetic as the moment they'd first hit the stage almost 2.5 hours earlier. The show ended after this song, a little after 1 am.

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