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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Dan Reed

Network - Reunion Concert – Live in Portland, Oregon, December 2012

Review by Larry Toering

This concert was an additional show prior to the group’s scheduled reunion performance on New Years Eve at the Portland Marriot Grand Ballroom which took the form of a different shape in a VIP ticket. This was booked as a “sound check rehearsal” but with all the bells and whistles that went with it, as well as being broadcast live on the internet. They also performed an acoustic set before the band took the stage to perform the full electrifying show. This was nothing short of amazing after twenty five years apart, some of whom hadn't even seen each other in twenty.

For the acoustic set, Dan Reed and guitarist Brion James sat down on the stage with guest musicans Rob Daiker and Bart Hafeman, both of whom have close ties to the band and work together themselves. They're absolutely fantastic musicians. Between the four of them they provided a real special treat, as it actually classifed as semi-acoustic because Rob Daiker also provided spot on electric guitar embellishments. I have to say he is brillant indeed. I took away a huge breath of fresh air in him, and Bart Hafeman, as well. He, too is an amazing musician and spirit. Those guitar lines provided by Rob Daiker were both very clean and somehow spooky. I was also impressed by how well Dan Reed's voice has held up all this time, and I'm talking flawlessness. But that was even further proven as the night went on. As they are an act from Portland, of course there was no better place to hold such a special event. They were welcomed with great homecoming spirit. Many friends and family attended, including faces such as Tommy Thayer of Kiss, who is from this area, as well. This provided that special intamcy that isn't offered every day, and everyone clearly appreciated the experience.


Larry Toering
     

There was a lot of time to mingle as they did the sound check and warmed up a bit, but as soon as they gathered with the other members of the band, Melvin Brannon Jr on bass, Blake Sakamoto on keys, and Dan Pred on drums, they went right into the performance. That showing made it seem like they had never parted. It really was that tight, with only the occasional que missed. When they did miss one of those cues, Reed was always there to point it out with both seriousness and playfulness. It didn't take but a few songs before the entire crowd realized they were not there to waste any time entertaining us. I don't recall one song that I didn't know, but then I attended one heck of a lot of their shows from their early days. Those early shows all led up to Dan Reed Network hitting world stages opening for some of the best acts around in the early 90s, including The Stones, Bon Jovi, Joe Satriani and others.


Larry Toering
 
Larry Toering
   

When a show like this is offered to me there is no way I can pass it up. I'm so glad I made the decision to attend, as they did a great job in bringing back special memories about those great times back in the day. They're such fan friendly guys that it makes all the difference. Most of the tracks had a bit of space to breathe as they were transported to a new era. It was magical how they did this without improvising too far away from the original versions, just like they used to. Nothing was lost there at all, but much gained, actually. If I could change one thing, it would be the opportunity to see them perform the next night with The Hit Machine (also from Portland) which I had but could not make. Still, I take away a much more relaxed memory from what I did witness, and I would not trade that for anything. In fact, I have to thank them for it, because it was one for the record books. This really was simply one of the greatest nights of music and atmosphere I've ever spent, and I will never forget it.

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Larry Toering
     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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