BoDeans Kickoff Their Summer Tour on Fire
After being off the road for four months and having a new slide guitarist (Ben Peeler – The Mavericks/The Wallflowers) join them onstage for only the second time, one might have expected the BoDeans to be a tad rusty as they kicked off their summer tour at The Kessler in Dallas, Texas last night…but that was far from the case. The revamped band was firing on all cylinders, as they traditionally do, treating fans to a mix of both old and recent material.
Tucked away in the South Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff, the intimate surroundings of The Kessler proved to be a perfect venue choice for the band. The quaint theater was buzzing with all the excitement and energy of a sold-out arena and its acoustics allowed fans to nearly drown out the band on their classic sing along songs, “Good Things” and “Still the Night.” Frontman Kurt Neumann couldn’t help but feed off the energy of the crowd, often smiling ear to ear and even wandering over to dance next to an extremely “spirited” fan.
In addition to the classics, the band also played several tracks off of their 2012 album, American Made, including the show opener “All The World” and “Flyaway.” The real treat of the set though was a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” Set to a war march drum beat, the band took the passion of this song to a whole new level.
Speaking of emotions, the band’s encore actually got off to a tearful start with Neumann’s touching introduction to “Stay.” A song about his children and his desire to have them stay that “perfect” age forever and not grow up. Why must you say goodbye/Why don’t you stay awhile/All of the time will fly/You only make me smile/Come on now/Stay awhile. Neumann talked about coming home from the road and having his kids line up against the wall to be measured. ”After I’d make the pencil mark above their heads, they would get all excited and rush off to their Mom, ‘I grew! I grew!’ Meanwhile, I’m left there holding the pencil going, ‘But you promised me you wouldn’t.’”
As the band brought the night to a climactic close with crowd pleasing versions of “She’s A Runaway” and “Closer To Free,” I realized something. Over the years, these songs stopped being just BoDeans songs and became “our” songs. The magic, emotions and memories of the tunes have resonated within us over the years and every now and then we are fortunate to have the band bring these songs to life right in front of our eyes. Thank you, BoDeans…for keeping your promise to ‘stay awhile.’
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