WOW this was a night to remember. I got to shake Steve's hand! But yes, I've washed it since..
So my friend said he's never had any problems getting a reservation on the spot at the Blue Note before, so we didn't, and instead showed up two hours early to the first show (of two), only to find that everything was taken up and we'd be in the non-reservation standing-room-only area in the waay back of the place. So we decided "ok, we'll kill some time and go to the later one instead and make sure we're first in line for the non-res seats at the bar." But as it turned out, there was a party of 3 guys in the reservation line who had two friends back out last minute, and they offered us the spots. But the best part was that they were first in their
line, so all of the sudden we go from our chances of a decent view being bleak to getting first pick at ANY table in the place. Needless to say, we got some darn good seats and views, although Gadd had music stands set up that blocked views of his hands and torso.
Taking to the stage
Chick introducing his wife and singer, Gayle Moran
Steve listening to Chick tell a somewhat funny joke
About the show: Everybody was in top form, and there just isn't much else to say. Pretty much we got what we were expecting. Chick, Steve, Anthony, Frank and Ravi blended together incredibly well, almost to the point that it recreated on the spot the magic of the original recordings. My friend I went with commented midway through the night, "remember how we wanted to see a video of them recording this stuff?" The set list was:
Waltz for Dave
Soft and Gentle
Hymn From the 7th Galaxy
Leprechaun's Dream, parts 1 and 2
and Hymn again
Steve was in top form. In recent times he's been playing very very simple beats a lot of the time (granted he's not exactly playing much jazz fusion anymore), and although some of his parts were streamlined from what he did 30 years ago, he was just as much going all out and getting really loud! Man when he plays forte, he plays quadruple
-forte! he played some slight variations off of what we've all heard before, which was nice because it shows that he's still finding new tricks within his vocabulary.
But then his solo came along near the end of Sicily, and holy cow.. both my friend (who is a bassist who's heard more Gadd than me!) and I agreed that it was one of his best solos.. EVER. It was very very very very goodness. Assuming that version of sicily makes it to the DVD (blue note's 25th anniversary), I will guarantee that it will become known as one of his best.
After the first playing of Hymn, the band made it seem like that was it, although of course we knew it wasn't. But they were talking amongst themselves as to what to play, to which I screamed "NITE SPRITE," which led to others shouting out in agreement, and sure enough they played it. Gadd got another long solo in that, which although I don't remember as well, I know it was very very good also.
After that Chick let us know that the band had been a bit unrefined in their execution of the next song, Leprechaun's Dream, and who can blame them? They were playing the full thing, fermadas and all (but no strings..that was done on a synth). Steve was late on one hit in the beginning of Pt 1 and Chick gave a big smile his way. Gadd also tuned his snare up in the middle of the song without moving the beat one bit. But then at the beginning of Pt 2, Steve got to go into another solo, which he played in a marching style. That was the longest of the night and was just as impressive as the first two. I don't remember much of what he played, other than he was doing some tom-double-bass fills I'd never seen/heard him do before.
So yeah.. stick a fork in me 'cause I'm done. The best show I've seen in my life.