Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dan Bern Live in Edmonton February 15th 2018

Well it's been over a week already since my buddy Buzzard and I went to the Dan Bern concert at the Almanac here in Edmonton. Dan Bern is a guitarist singer/songwriter and painter from Mount Vernon, Iowa. I was excited to hear that Dan Bern was playing Edmonton having followed him for years especially in the late 90's up til about 2005, it was then that he seemed to fall off my radar. Although he has been busy putting out albums all through the years right up til the present time. And to see an artist like Dan Bern play an intimate venue like the Almanac was going to be pretty damn cool.

Opening the show was local artist Paul Bellows. Paul is another artist that you used to hear his name in the local scene all the time, but again it's been years since I had heard anything about him.

Paul's opening set was pretty good. Though I didn't know his tunes, I thought he put on a good show. But I was there for Dan Bern.

Dan Bern opened the show with a song called "Freight Train Blues" a Doc & Merle Watson cover. And it was right from the first song when I noticed that all those in attendance were big Dan Bern fans, as people were singing along right from the get go. Another big sing along song was "Black Tornado", I didn't realize how popular Dan really was. It was cool to hear everyone singing along with Dan, it even looked like Dan was kind of surprised himself.

Dan was really engaging with the audience, telling some great stories and was funny as hell too. One of the first thing I noticed when Dan hit the stage was the t-shirt he was wearing, which was a Saskatoon Blades shirt. Dan mentioned how it was his favorite t-shirt he owned. The Blades are a Western Hockey League junior team, that surprised me, but would make more sense later on during the show. The show was full of surprises, as I was also surprised by how knowledgeable he was on Canadian culture and politics.

I can see why Dan gets compared to Bob Dylan a lot. Dan has a very distinctive voice and is one hell of a songwriter. Other songs Dan did that I knew were "God Said No", "Shakespeare's Got A Gun", "Jerusalem", "Party By Myself" and "Fascist". There wasn't a bad song played all night, no boring moments or anything, just a stellar show from start to finish. It was about two thirds through the show when Dan invited a gentleman on stage to do a few songs with him, and that man was the General Manager of the Saskatoon Blades Colin Priestner. Colin was actually a great singer as well, who would have guessed. The last song of the night Dan wandered through the crowd singing and playing the guitar and invited opener Paul Bellows out with him where the two of them belted out a song. All and all this was an amazing night of music. A great show. Good times!!!

Dan Bern at The Almanac.

Dan Bern and Colin Priestner.

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