Sunday, February 24, 2019

Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey at The Federal Bar, 2-24-19 Concert Review

"Early In The Morning"
Just before the doors opened for today’s concert at The Federal Bar, The Kinks’ “Lola” began playing in the house. This is because a lot of people attending the concert, as well as those performing, had been at last night’s celebration of The Kinks which was put on by the Wild Honey Orchestra. In fact, when introducing opener Millie McGuire, concert series host Gary Calamar referred to today’s show as the after party to last night’s celebration. I have a feeling as I hear more about it, I’m going to kick myself for not attending. But today I was lucky enough to experience another incredible day of music. Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey of The dB’s did an absolutely fantastic acoustic set as part of the Mimosa Music Series.

At 12:24 p.m., Gary introduced Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey by creating a silly rhyme: “I’m a little nervous, and who can blame me, when I’m introducing Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey.” They opened the set with “The Company Of Light,” a song from Chris Stamey’s Fireworks album. Peter and Chris both played acoustic guitars, and had no other musicians backing them for this show, which was wonderful. It was a real treat to see them perform their material this way. At the end of “The Company Of Light,” Chris requested more of his vocals in his monitor, and after the briefest of checks, they went right into “She Was The One,” from Mavericks. Their voices sounded so bloody good together. They followed that with another tune from Mavericks, “Taken.” They delivered a sweet, pretty rendition of this love song. I wish my girlfriend had been there to enjoy this with me, to hear lines like “Everyone should be as lucky as I am/Everyone should be as happy as I am,” for that is exactly how I feel.

Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey then reached back to the earliest days of The dB’s, performing “Cycles Per Second,” which was on their first LP, Stands For Decibels. This tune worked surprisingly well in the acoustic setting. There was a moment where it sounded like Chris was asking Peter what the last verse was, and Peter responded, “I don’t know.” But they figured it out immediately. It was a really good rendition. They followed it with another tune from that album, “Big Brown Eyes,” which got a big cheer the moment they started it. “You give me something to think about/I’ll give you something to live without.” They then returned to Mavericks for “Geometry” and “The Child In You.” Peter introduced the latter as a song “written as a birth present.” It’s kind of an adorable song, with plenty of good advice, and Peter whistled during a part of it.

After a bit of tuning, Peter thanked the audience for its patience. They then did a cover of “Darlin’ Be Home Soon,” my favorite Lovin’ Spoonful song. Sure, they needed to glance at the lyrics occasionally, but this was a great version of the song. They followed that with an absolutely wonderful rendition of “From A Window To A Screen,” from Repercussion. Then Peter joked that he had wished the next song would have been used by a coffee company, and they began “Early In The Morning,” a fun, completely delightful song from Here And Now.  Following that, there was a bit of confusion regarding which song they were doing next. Chris told the audience, “It’s a sing-along,” to which Peter responded, “It is?” No, it wasn’t. The song they did was “Inventory,” one of my favorite tracks from Peter’s recent solo album, Game Day. Peter then said, “Now we’ll do that song of Chris’.” Chris joked, “No introduction needed.” And they played “Van Dyke Parks,” and, yes, the audience did sing along. The crowd was totally into it, laughing through most of the song.

The album from which they pulled the most material at the show today was Mavericks, and near the end of their set they played “Here Without You” from that one.  They followed that with “Storm Warning,” a song from Repercussion. I love this song, and the line “If this is hell, you’re well-rehearsed” made me laugh. Peter did some more whistling during this one. They went back to Mavericks one more time, delivering a good rendition of “Angels.” They wrapped up the set with a cover of The Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me,” showcasing their incredible vocal talent. Seriously, their voices were gorgeous on this tune. What a way to finish the show! Their set ended at 1:30 p.m.

Set List
  1. The Company Of Light
  2. She Was The One
  3. Taken
  4. Cycles Per Second
  5. Big Brown Eyes
  6. Geometry
  7. The Child In You
  8. Darlin’ Be Home Soon
  9. From A Window To A Screen
  10. Early In The Morning
  11. Inventory
  12. Van Dyke Parks
  13. Here Without You
  14. Storm Warning
  15. Angels
  16. Let It Be Me
By the way, I took a photo of the set list while they were setting up, and Peter Holsapple said to me, “Don’t post that until after the show.” He then told me that at another show someone had actually taken the set list off the stage before the show even began. That must have made things a bit difficult. Not cool. The written set list included two songs they ended up not performing: “Hollywood Waltz” and “Close Your Eyes.”

Anyway, here are a few photos from their set:

"The Company Of Light"
"The Company Of Light"
"She Was The One"
"Cycles Per Second"
"Early In The Morning"
"Let It Be Me"

The Federal Bar is located at 5303 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, California.

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