Dan Reed Network – headline act
Greatest Hits Reunion Tour 2014
Degreed – support act
Sweden 28/5 – 2014
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Dan Reed Network was formed back in 1984 and comes from Portland, USA. They got signed by Mercury Records and the debut album S/T came 1988. The band toured as support act to Def Lepard on their Hysteria tour in America and released their second album 1989 called SLAM. The bands last and latest album THE HEAT was released 1991 and the band continued to tour heavily on the last album. Some of the bands most known hits are “Rainbow Child”, “Ritual”, “I’m So Sorry” and “Mix It Up”. DRN’s music are best described as a fusion between hardrock/funk rock/funk metal. In 1993 the band decided to take a break but singer Dan Reed continued to release solo albums. It was on New Years Eve 2012 that Dan Reed announced that he and the band was teaming up for a come back tour and the tour set sail in 2013. Last year the band also told that they were going to put together a compilation album on pledgemusic. The album was going to include all of the hits on on disc and more rare material as well as live songs on the other disc. It only took the band one week to gather money to finance the album on pledgemusic so in other words were the fans eager to hear what Dan Reed Network was up to this time. ANTHOLOGY was released in March this year and dates for a European tour was announced. The tour kicked off in Malmoe Sweden at Kulturbolaget and I was really eager to see what Dan Reed Network of 2014 sounded like. As opening act in Malmoe and Gothenburg we could see Degreed. I met up with Dan Reed Network earlier during the day and the entire band was really nice and took the time to talk to the fans that had gathered outside the venue. It feels like Kulturbolaget is my second home because of all the time I spend there and it’s always fun to visit the best rock club in Sweden.
I came to the club at 7 o clock and as time went by more and more people arrived. The majority of the people in the venue was middle aged women but I could also see a couple of guys that had dusted of their original vintage tour t-shirts from 1990. The lights went out at 8 and it was time for Degreed to make their way on to the stage.
The band is a four piece act and they played two songs after which the singer thanked for the applauds and said it was nice for a Stockholm band to be playing in Malmoe. He said it was an honor to be opening for the legendary Dan Reed Network. Degreed’s music was pure melodic AOR and it was obvious that the band had been on a stage before. They seemed to be very comfortable meeting a live crowd and the audience seemed to be liking what they heard and saw. Especially the bassplayer/singer and guitarist did a great job and is worth an extra credit. Degreed was the perfect opening act for Dan Reed Network. The show lasted for about 30 minutes before it was time to say good bye to the Malmoe crowd and it felt like both the band as well as the crowd was satisfied with the show.
While Degreed played the audience had increased and now everyone was waiting for the evenings headline to enter the stage. After being away for so long Dan Reed Network had a lot to proof and it felt like many with me was really eager to see if the band could fulfill our expectations. Back in the days I saw the band live as support for Rolling Stones and on a solo show at a festival called Hultsfredsfestivalen here in Sweden. Everyone was now waiting for the crew to prepare the stage and it was easily done because the band only had their instruments and amps to get in order nothing more. There weren’t even a backdrop behind the drums. The club went dark at 9 and so was it time for the headline act to conquer the Malmoe night.
Dan Reed Network
As well as the band had entered the stage the show began and the first song was “Cruise Together”. “Under My Skin” followed instantly and the fans tagged along for the ride from the very first note. Even though the crowd wasn’t huge they did their best to show the band their love which the guys felt. The band members are:
Dan Reed – lead vocals
Melvin Brannon II – bass
Blake Sakamoto – keyboards
Brion James – guitar
Dan Dred – drums
It was clear that the members loved being on stage together again and they laughed, smiled and seemed to really be enjoying their time in the spotlight. That mood rubbed off on the fans and the club felt like a really happy place after a few songs. Dan Reed asked if the fans had fun and they all shouted yes. “Forgot To Make Her Mine” taken from the debut album ST followed and Reed thanked for the massive support. Reed said that they were going to try a thing and he let everyone member play their own song and when everyone did that at the same time it sounded horrible. Reed laughed and stopped them while saying that this didn’t sound good at all, let’s play the same song and fired off “Baby Now I” which are one of the bands biggest hits. The audience went crazy and sang along with Reed throughout the entire song. Reed ran around on stage and out on the ramp in order to get the crowd going. Reed then thanked for the applauds and said that it was clear that he wasn’t 25 anymore and that he got really sweaty running around like that. Reed wanted the fans to give it up for Degreed and then it was time for one of the biggest hits to be played in “Rainbow Child”. The song is taken from the second album SLAM from 1989 and the crowd went totally mad when they heard the first notes to the song. Personally I was quite surprised that the band fired off their biggest hit so early in the show but the crowd didn’t seem to mind at all.
Reed joked around with the band saying that they had to tune their instruments and while they were doing that he was going to quote Gandhi. When Reed and the band was ready it was time for more music in “Come Back Baby” and after that was it time for James to do a guitar solo. “Make It Easy” followed and once again you could feel that the band really loved to be performing live together again.
The song is quite funky so bassplayer Brannon II was quite busy handling the bass. Reed’s mic broke down in the middle of the song so Reed went of stage while Brannon II and James took care of business continuing the song. Reed stopped the song saying it was time for the audience to contribute with some singing and shouting. Reed told the fans what to scream and they followed him. He laughed and said that isn’t it sad that we seem to have such a boring time on stage and the band laughed with him. James kicked off the following song “Baby Don’t Fade” with a guitar intro and it was followed by the amazing “Ritual” where the fans kept on singing the first intro long after the song had ended. It seemed like Reed was really moved by the amazing support the Malmoe crowd gave the band and the club now was overwhelmed by love and hamrony between the band and its fans. Reed had the crowd in the palm of his hands and the sing a long in “Ritual” was the biggest ones I’ve heard at Kulturbolaget for a long time. Now was it time for Brannon II to take us along on a bass solo tour and I was once again blown away how skilled these musicians are. When the solo was over went Reed over to Brannon II saying something to him. Brannon II went over to the center of the stage again with his bass now behind his head playing a solo. Sakamoto took his cellphone and took a pic of Brannon II while he was playing with the bass behind the head. Sakamoto also took a selfie together with the crowd. Both Sakamoto and Pred did shorter solos before it was time to continue the song. All of this above happened it “Ritual” so you can imagine that the song was really extended.
Reed said it was an honor to be experience all this love and support after over 20 years away from Malmoe. He said that the audience was amazing and he felt blessed to be on stage here this night. He dedicated the next song “Stronger Than Steel” to all the love birds. When the band began to play the next song Reed stopped them and said that they were playing the wrong song. The band stopped and the all talked amongst each other and then they kicked off “World Has A Heart”. “Seven Sisters Road” followed and in the song Reed looked at Pred and said that Pred had given him the evil eye. Usually Pred is a nice, calm guy so I have to check out what he was meaning with giving me that look Reed said. Apparently Reed was laying too low in the mix he said and that was Pred was hinting about with his evil eye. “Seven Sisters Road” kicked off once again and Reed said that Pred now looked much happier. Reed said the fans should sing the chorus which they happily did before it was time to kick off the last song in the ordinary set which was “Get To You”. Reed also let the crowd sing a long in this song and it was the perfect way of ending the ordinary set. Reed also thanked once again for the overwhelming support they got from the fans. The band went off the stage with a face but was called back after a few minutes because the eager crowd wanted to hear more.
Reed was the first one to run back on stage and when he came up he said that he had to take up jogging again because it was hard to keep on running around like this. “Tiger In A Dress” was the first encore fired off and the audience was supporting the band as heavily as they had done during the entire show. Reed said that it had been great being performing for the Malmoe fans and walked over to the edge of the stage with the rest of the band who had taken of their instruments and together they sang “Long Way To Go” a capella. That was an amazing way of ending the concert. Sakamoto took the mic and said that this didn’t sound too good. Reed said that the band would be back and introduced the members. Everyone waved to the fans and that ended the show.
There are absolutely nothing negative to say about this 100 minutes together with Dan Reed Network. The band put on a stunning show jammed with love, laughter and great music. All of the members seemed to be having a great time together on the stage and it was only to lean back and enjoy the work of such talented musicians. Reeds voice sounded amazing and he has managed to keep his voice in perfect condition throughout the years. I had wished for the band to play some new song but that is just one minor remark. My expectations were highly fulfilled!
About 30 minutes after the show came the band out amongst the crowd and signed and talked and mingled with the fans. How many artists do that nowadays? Humble stars and the ones that lasts.
Under My Skin
Forgot To Make Her Mine
Baby Now I
Come Back Baby
Make It Easy7
Baby Don’t Fade
Stronger Than Steel
World Has a Hart To (intro)
Seven Sisters Road
Get To You
Tiger In A Dress
Long Way To Go (a capella)
Thanks to Emma Svensson head of press at Kulturbolaget for help with media pass.
Thanks to the security/staff for the nice treatment.