Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, April 6, 2002
Right: Dash at Mardi Gras 2002. Photo courtesy of official Dash website
Tonight there were two ‘opening’ bands and Dash didn’t hit the stage until almost 12:30 am. Add to this fact that it was a daylight-saving-time-changing night and the result was almost a ‘Spinal Tap’ scenario. Seems that most people were worried about being on the streets at such an early morning hour, having “lost” an hour on the clock. But their loss was my gain, as I got to experience one of the most personal DRR gig’s I had ever experienced. The early-morning crowd was almost entirely hardcore Dash fans (including myself) and the band encouraged requests.
After 10+ years of Dash Rip Rock with Hoaky on bass, this was my first time seeing the band with their new bass player, Andy. So, of course my hopes were high. In the interim between bass players, Dash did employ a temporary bass player, Kenny. But Kenny never really fit in, and the band didn’t truly “gel” like previous incarnations of Dash. The humor element of Dash Rip Rock was missing with Kenny.
In typical DRR style, the band could stop/start on a dime when the requests came. So, of course you got the perennial favorites: “I Don’t Wanna Stop”, “Big Daddy Like Whiskey”, “Rich Little Bitch”, “Johnny Ace”, “Locked Inside a Liquor Store With You” and “Pussywhipped”. In the 13 years I have seen the band, they NEVER repeat a set list, always pulling out an interesting ‘gem’ from their back catalogue of albums; hence, you get such songs as “Houseboat” and “Legacy” which aren’t played as often. However, one of the best features about the show was that Dash played a healthy dose of new material off their excellent new album, SONIC BOOM. Although the album is more textured than your average Dash album, the new songs have proven that they can cut it in the live atmosphere.
DRR also has a reputation of always pulling an interesting cover version of a song seemingly out of thin air. The evenings cover songs were by artists as diverse as the Beatles, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Journey! I was in hog heaven when they played TWO Beatles songs, “I Don’t Want To Spoil the Party” (included on SONIC BOOM) and "Baby’s In Black". How is Andy fitting in as the ‘new’ bass player? Well, his singing on “War Pigs” and “Loving Touching Squeezing” was hilarious! Now, if they can only get him to sing some of Hoaky’s old songs, such as “All Liquored Up”. Kyle left the drumming duties to a roadie to lead the band in a rousing version of “Highway To Hell", complete with funny heavy-metal-singer posing. I had visions of the movie “Rock Star” in my head!
After about two hours, Dash Rip Rock played their “hit”, “Let’s Go (Smoke Some Pot)” and ended the show with “Shake That Girl”.
So, the question remains…how does the new Dash compare?
Sure, all the classic elements of the Dash Rip Rock live experience remain. You’ve got the faves, the raves and the irreverent covers -all played with the energy of high-octane moonshine. And, most importantly, the band has got their live ‘groove’ back thanks to Andy! I’ve seen many a band fall flat on their faces when playing to a less-than-capacity crowd, but Dash overcame the obstacle in spades!