If you happen to be a member of one of the unfortunate families who
has not yet had a Dan Zanes & Friends experience, then you need to
go to his website right now, and buy tickets for the next show anywhere near you. Go now!
was my second time seeing Dan & co. at the beautiful, old Herbst Theater in San
Francisco, and it was just as good as the first time, if not better.
Last time, Hazel was a little freaked out by the crowd of rambunctious
kids, and rode the show out in her dad’s lap, while 5-month-old Violet
dozed in the sling. But this time around, Hazel, Violet and their
friends jumped, twisted, clapped, sang, and ring-around-the-rosy’d
their way through the whole set, from start to finish. It was a live
music-loving parent’s dream come true, and it was freaking adorable. It helped that the show itself, from the set list to the setting, was awesome.
Dan & co.’s spring tour is in support of their latest album, the Grammy nominated Catch That Train,
but the songs played yesterday were hits from his newest and oldest
albums, and included the anthems “All Around The Kitchen”, “Sidewalks
of New York” and “Wonder Wheel”. The dance-friendly “The Fine Friends
Are Here” and “Let’s Shake,” both from Catch That Train, were
conspicuously absent, but the little known “Sail Away Ladies” was a fun
surprise, and the booty-shaker “House Party” had everyone on their
feet. The band’s founding members – Dan, the lovely Barbara Brousal,
the crowd-pleasing Father Goose, and cute Colin Brooks – were on hand,
as well as new members John Futi on accdordian and Saskia Lane on
upright bass. They invited San Francisco’s Orange Sherbet
and Oakland’s Westlake Middle School Band to join them on stage for a
song, in keeping with their tradition of showcasing local musicians at
their shows. Dan kept the crowd engaged with his laid-back, friendly
chatter, and he wore the “leader of the band” badge with an easy going
pride, but the real star of the show was the music. People of all
ages were standing in the aisles clapping, dancing and singing out
loud. There were a few embarrassed first-timers, awkwardly clapping
and looking around to see if anyone was watching them, but the majority
of the crowd, myself included, was rockin’ – and didn’t care who saw.
you have the time and the opportunity, don’t miss Dan Zanes &
Friends when they come to your town. Your kids will thank you for
taking them, and you’ll be thanking your kids for the opportunity to
go. Cockadoodle doodle doo!