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Kalamazoo Review - WARNING: LONG!! (does contain set list)
Posted by Sarah on November 08, 1998 at 16:45:54:

Just another sleep-deprived, band-crazy devoted fan reporting in from the Kalamazoo show! Starting to sound like a familiar pattern, but it's been 18 hours since the show and I'm still Flyin.... hard to sleep last night, hard to wipe that stoopid grin off my face. As I drove home last night I don't think the wheels of the car were touching the ground .... I'm pretty sure I floated inside instead of walking.

Are the guys in Silvertone the NICEST, most fun and accomodating musicians or what? Is Chris the most patient autograph-signer and most patient "sure, I'll stand here and pose with each of you slightly crazed fans while your slightly crazed friend snaps a photo" guy? And the crew members are friendly too! But hey, I'm skipping ahead to the after-show .........

My friend Barb (who lives in Kalamazoo) and I (who grew up in Kalamazoo but now live in a Washington DC suburb) got to the State Theater a little after 7. Typical downtown Kalamazoo - we were able to park less than a half-block away! The State Theater is an old full-size movie theater (I remember seeing HELP! there when I was 8 years old). The original interior is still intact, complete with wrought iron balconies and twinkling stars and a few puffy clouds turning the ceiling into a night sky.

The first surprise was finding out that our seats were FRONT ROW slightly right of center (my dad had told me second row), so we were in a prime position to admire Hershel's playing. The next fun thing was meeting Mara & Erika in person instead of just online. We had a nice long chat before Shawn Mullins took the stage. He played an inspired set, I liked his music better than the cursory listen I gave it in Tower Records last week. He played his heart out and his band was more than competent, particularly the keyboard player.

At the intermission I met Kathie, also someone I had chatted with by email, and how fun it was turning out to be to meet these people in person. Isaak fans are great folks (but then we already knew that, didn't we?!?) Chris and the boys took the stage at around 9:20 and here's the rundown:

I'm Not Sleepy
Speak of the Devil
Somebody's Crying
Return to Me
Wicked Game
Go Walkin' Down There
Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing
Forever Blue
Black Flowers
Put Out Your Hand
Diddley, Diddley Daddy
<encore, Chris changes into Mirror Suit>
Super Magic 2000
Blue Hotel
<encore, set up for mini acoustic set with Kenney UP FRONT>
Don't Get So Down On Yourself
Only the Lonely
<back to full rocking power>
SF Days
Bonnie B

The show lasted about an hour and a half. Folks who had been at the Chicago show said that Chris didn't tell as many stories at the Kalamazoo show. I think maybe he was really tired or slightly under the weather, as I could swear that his voice dropped out while hitting the long high note during Blue Hotel. (ok, maybe it was the microphone, but I'm not convinced). Or maybe he was bummed out (as was the audience) by the oppressive presence of the Fun Police, who absolutely WOULD NOT allow people to stand up in front of the stage and dance. Chris invited everyone down to the front at the beginning of Go Walkin Down, and by the middle of the song the security guys were forcing everyone back into their seats. Sheesh, what a bunch of Wet Blankets!!

But it was a great show - and to be sitting in the front row was absolutely one of the highlights of my life! The security guys kind of gave up during the encore so some folks made it up onto the stage (go Erika! go Mara!!) After the show finished, I BEGGED one of the crew members to grab the set list hanging on Kenney's drum kit. The guy finally did so, but I think it was at great peril, probably he was breaking some kind of union rule; I was extremely grateful and thanked him profusely! We went out into the lobby and were hanging back, waiting for the crowd to die down at the autograph table when out walked Kenney!! So EW chatted with him, he gratiously signed my set list and tshirt and posed for a photo, giving me a great big Kenney hug ....SIGH .... it was wonderful!!! And then out walked Roly ... OH MY GOD!!! My big chance to talk to Roly!!! I've never been able to get near him after a show! He was SO NICE!!! Again, gratiously signing my tshirt and posing for a photo (Holy Photo-Op, Batman!!). And then to top it all off, out walks Hershel. We had a nice long talk with him - and he rounded out the trio of Silvertone Nice Guys by signing whatever we put in front of him and posing for photos - what a doll! All three of them!!

By this point the action at the autograph table was cooling down, so we went over there and Chris signed my set list, tshirt and hat. A couple of minutes later he was done signing and he very gratiously posed for photos with the 10 or so women who were hoping for that opportunity (YES INCLUDING ME!!!) And this time I had the presence of mind to put my arm around him and hang tight - WOW!!!!! It was thrilling, even if I was suffering from my usual case of Oh My God It's Chris I Can't Think of ANYTHING Intelligent To Say ... What a DWEEB I am when I get near that guy!

After the photo shoot, we begged one of the theater guys to open the display outside so we could raid the posters, so I came away with a large-size version of the SOTD cd cover. We then chatted to Randy (Hershel's guitar tech and Ross and were able to get a Hershel pick and a Chris pick ..... at that point we knew we had had just about the luckiest night of our lives, so we headed home.

And I flew back today, on an airplane, even tho I'm reasonably sure I could have just floated back on post-concert lala brainwaves...... I can't wait for the show this Thursday. It says right on my ticket for the 9:30 Club "NO TABLES / SEATS / CHAIRS" .... gosh, I guess we'll all just have to DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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