I just returned from the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California and here is the recap. I was able to go with three friends of mine, which was great, since originally I was only going with one. Thanks to Ginger Ambrose from the CDB Volunteers, who sent me a couple of extra meet and greet passes, there was room for more so my buddy Mike and his wife Melissa went along with Scott, who had never had the privilege of seeing the CDB. It's always fun to bring a newcomer to the music, because they inevitably become fans, and even better when they get to meet Charlie. It's like never having tasted chocolate then getting to meet Willie Wonka at the factory.
The show started at six and right on schedule the Outlaws opened up the show with Ghost Riders in the Sky. They played a few of their hits including Green Grass and High Tides, along with a new one called Rippin through Kentucky, Almost Home, and Trail of Tears. They closed their set with Hurry Sundown. It was a great set, although it seemed short, and I may have missed a song or two from the set list. Hughie Thomasson and company were in great form, and were joined on two songs by David Muse from The Marshall Tucker Band and Pat McDonald from the CDB, who added two the drum corps (they play with two sets) by banging on the bongos. This is a great guitar band, and worth catching these guitar virtuosos play it like they meant it. It was cool to see Hughie Thomasson leading his own band, since the only time I'd seen him before was as a sideman for Skynyrd. Check out Outlaws tour dates at their website, Outlawsworld.com.
Next up was the incomparable Marshall Tucker Band, who started their set with This Ol' Cowboy. Doug Gray was on vocals and in between songs joked with the sizable crowd about his age (59) and his ex-wives (>1). They have a new album coming out June 19th called The Next Adventure. This is what was posted from a similar set on the MTB message boards, and it seems to jive pretty well with what we heard:
This Ol' Cowboy
Dog Eat Dog World
Fire on the Mountain
Can't You See
Chris Hicks played guitar and sang on a solo song he has worked up called Dog Eat Dog World for an album to be released by Sony. He's an outstanding musician, with a real feel for the blues. We had to leave right after Fire on the Mountain to go backstage and visit with Charlie, so unfortunately missed some of the MTB set.
We lined up by one of Charlie's tour buses called the TPR II (Twin Pines Ranch, I guess) and waited in line for a while with other lucky folks, to meet Charlie and get some pictures signed that were handed out by none other than Mr. Dean Tubbs. There was a a curtain opened to the stage, so we had a glimpse of the MTB playing Can't You See.
We were moved to a crowded trailer to wait to meet Charlie as the MTB played for the masses, and slowly made it up to Charlie, who was kind enough to sign the pictures Dean had presented us. We snapped a quick picture and made it out of there with just a little bit of chit-chat with Charlie. I mentioned how I was sorry I hadn't made it to the fan club party last week, and Charlie said I should come next year, something I really hope to be able to do one of these days. Mike wished him a happy birthday, and Charlie thanked him and pointed out that his birthday had been in October, but he'd been out of the country and they just celebrated it at the fan club party. A side note here, that if you ever want to go to a BBQ and private party with the band, that it would be possible if you would join the fan club. It's every year in June in Charlie's hometown. That kind of accessibility is one of the many reasons I love the CDB and try to keep this site up.
After that, we were shuttled out, and Mike was able to snap a picture of the Marshall Tucker Band finishing their set.
By the time we got some garlic fries the show was about to begin, and it opened with a bang with Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye. Here's the complete set list:
Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye
The Pledge of Allegiance and In America
Floreeda Road (with David Muse from the MTB on Sax)
Long Haired Country Boy
How Great Thou Art
Rocky Top -- Charlie on Fiddle
The Devil Went Down to Georgia
The South's Gonna Do It Again (with the Outlaws and the Marshall Tucker Band)
Notice that Charlie played a few songs from the Full Moon album, including Money, which was a first for me to hear in concert.
Also worth mentioning was the incredible drum solo by Pat McDonald in Floreeda Road. Pat is a maniac and it is amazing to see him work the skins in such a large venue that seemed to tax their ample sound system. Not to take anything from the rest of the band, but to see people unable to keep their seats for a drum solo was quite something. It proved why the CDB doesn't need two drummers when this one can play as well as any three, and stats from the US Geological Survey registered it a 4.7 on the Richter Scale. Fans are looking forward to the release of the CD with a studio version of Floreeda Road and another Chris Wormer vehicle -- The Flight of the Bumblebee. That should be interesting!
The show wrapped up with Charlie bringing all three bands together to play the CDB standard The South's Gonna Do It Again, and it was like watching a nuclear bomb detonate with all the musicians playing at once.
It was the closest thing to a Southern Rock Symphony that Northern California has heard.
Hopefully, it won't be the last.
More pictures of the event. are available here.