Thankfully, after going 8 rounds with Leukaemia, Dan Baird managed to knock it right out of his body and is back doing what he does best - fronting one of the finest rock and roll bands around. This this time, he's brought his deputy back to open the show with the rest of the band like he did last year on the Bairdless sin tour.
Yes, so first on was Joe Blanton and Homemade Sin who have the same line=up as last year with Sean Savacool still on bass and having actually played with the boss now, as well as expected Warner E Hodges on Geetar and Mauro Magellan on drums and of course Joe sings and plays Geetar too. They open with Wearing Me Out: a big bold kiss-off to a girlfriend who has nagged him once too often as those guitars start to warm up.
Bad Old Days is both full of regret and good and bad memories of what they got up too way back when. Warner said at the end he really doesn't remember them that well, unlike his guitar playing that is as always unforgettable. Along For The Ride is exactly what these guys are all about - getting on that bus and going out and making everyone smile and play air guitar with them.
Joe then brought some young long haired kid out to play acoustic guitar on Don't Let Me Fall. I think he said he was Don Beard or something like that - not a bad player at all and what a great song with as expected a good bit of joking between Warner, Joe and "Don" afterwards.
Joe introduced the next song by telling the band Let's Rock and damn, they didn't half rock and Mauro certainly rolled a fair bit too. They got the kid back up for Forgetful Heart and I have to say it was good seeing Dan having fun playing the acoustic as the song got going before they properly freaked out on Wild As Sin that was just great with some good freaky guitar.
Then Mauro gave us a big surf-style drum solo intro before Warner joined him and the band stayed surf style for the first verse of Country Roads before they exploded and everyone joined in, shouting the chorus back at them on a great rocking hoe-down version of the old classic.
During the break Mauro could be seen chatting to various ladies in the audience while Dan and Warner tuned up but it wasn't long before they came on to play a full 2 hour set that opened with a good sing-along to Two For Tuesday that started almost acoustic and slow before building and building and setting the bands bar as high as usual.
We then got the first of the new songs that had Dan singing how he Doesn't Know about Love and it sounded like classic Homemade Sin with some sizzling guitars and great lyrics. It's also where my notes disagree with the setlist posted at setlist.org for the first time.
Dan then reacted to a note Warner played by going onto the opening bars of Born To Be Wild and about three lines in they brought it a stop with Dan telling us they'd never played that before and asking Sean if he could have played the whole song before Warner told us what it was like having John Kay as a neighbourhood dog walker.They finally played You Broke It off of the band's latest album Screamer and it's a really good reworking of that old phrase about you Broke it you own it etc.
They dipped into the back catalogue for Golden Light, which prompted loads of people to sing along and of course play air guitar. They then went properly Southern Rock on us for Dixie Beauxderaunt that had plenty of call and response as we all yelled Come On Dixie as those guitars just burned and Warner did all sorts of tricks.
It was back to the new album for Up In The Kitchen which it sounds like is where the band does much of its plotting and hanging out these days.
Dan then whispered that the next song was by some band called the Georgia Sats as they launched into Open All Night that really got everyone rocking along. I have the next song down as Carried Away which is probably wrong but more accurate than the setlist on Setlist.org before they all acted like they'd just snorting a couple of grams of speed each on Running Out Of Time as the ending sped up as the drugs kicked in.
Joe Savacool then played a really cool Bass intro for Dan Takes Five that was also played at a totally fast and furious pace. Dan then dismissed the band and went solo on Another Chance - well for most of the song before Warner slowly walked back on for the last verse and Joe Blanton joined them on the last chorus.
It was back to the full band for what I have down (obviously wrongly) as Our Town but I think it was another of the new songs. Warner then got to sing Something Like Love with Dan and Joe providing the backing vocals and it almost seemed a bit slow.
They did a very cool version of All Over But The Cryin' that was followed by a good lesson about the golden rule on (I think) Shake It Til It's Sore. Mister and Ma'am had plenty of southern down home advice within the lyrics of a very cool song from the latest album.
Then it was time for a mass sing along to Keep Your Hands To Yourself that had everyone going and we kept it up on Crooked Smile as the band were really giving it their all. In between songs, Dan was asking Warner how long they had left as he is apparently the only band member trusted with a watch. Julie & Lucky had their normal melodrama and Joe Blanton joined in on backing vocals and making sure we all clapped along too.
Love You Period was as glorious as ever with a long bit of audience only singing of the chorus before they went properly wild on the show stopping and concluding riot that was Damn Thing To Be Done that several astonishing Warner Solo's later went into a totally balls out Going Down The Road Feeling Fine and well everyone in the place was feeling more than fine by now as they finished and said good night at the end of another brilliant Dan Baird show.
Dan then went and took a seat by the merch table so he could personally say thanks to us all for showing up and having fun with the band. It is pretty much guaranteed that if you go and see them live you will have Fun and lots of it.