Dan Reed Network – headline
European Tour 2015 – last show on the tour –
Colorstone – support act
30/10 – 2015
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
During the past few years Dan Reed has been a busy guest in Europe but on this tour he was joined by his Network. In England the band performed toured together with the Swedish Electric Boys but in Malmo Colorstone is the support act. Dan Reed Network hasn’t released any albums since the 1991 release THE HEAT and the band was put to rest 1993 only to reform about 10 years later. The band was pretty big at the late 80’s/early 90’s and is probably mostly known for the huge hit “Rainbow Child”. Right before it was time for the band to head over to Europe the keyboard player Blake Sakamoto announced his departure and he’s replaced by Rob Daiker. Besides that member change the band is intact with its original line-up. Last time the band tour they had recently released the compilation ANTHOLOGY that included all the hits as well as live songs and last year the band toured in Europe. In Stockholm the band was supported by Locomotive but in Gothenburg and Malmo Colorstone took over as opening act. Colorstone is from Malmo and have released two albums and I guess many people were there in order to see Colorstone primarily to Dan Reed Network. The day of the Malmoe show was a Friday and the venue was Kulturbolaget. Since it’s a weekend, the show had to stop at about 11.30 because after that it’s nightclub to 4 in the morning at the club. I met up with the band earlier during the day and was struck by how nice and friendly all of the guys were. They all took the time to sign autographs and take pictures, not many bands are as nice as Dan Reed Network.
I came to the club shortly before the doors were about to open and a short line had formed. It took a little while until the security opened the doors but once they opened it went fast to get in. The only merchandise the band had was the compilation CD and some t-shirt but that was also about it. At stage stood a keyboard placed in the center with mics on each side and unfortunately there weren’t a photo pit this night. So it was time to wait for the first band to begin their show and something that struck me was how many Danes there were in the club this night. And when the clock struck 8 it was time for the night to start.
Two songs were played after which singer Dahlström said it was nice to be on stage at Kulturbolaget performing and it was a blast opening up for Dan Reed Network. The best description of the bands music ought to be classic rock, with influences of progressive rock and blues rock. The singer also said the band was about to try on a bunch of new songs from their coming album. Compared to on album the bands music sounded a little heavier and that was not a bad thing. It was Dahlström that used the stage to move around on and if the sound was working perfect the lights didn’t. The line-up is:
Johan Dahlström – lead vocals
Fredrik Bergengren – guitar
Olle Nilsson – drums
Samir Dounas – bass
Tommy Falk – keyboard
The crowd seemed to enjoy the bands music and everyone clapped their hands and gave the band a positive respond. The musicians were really skilled and cohesive but the ones that stood out were Dahlström and guitarist Bergengren and it were those two that worked hardest connecting with the fans. Since I never heard the new songs before it was hard for me to say anything about the songs, it’s hard to judge something you only heard once but I thought it felt promising. Dahlström wanted the fans to make some noise for Dan Reed Network and then Colorstone fired off their last song for the night. After the last song Dahlström thanked the crowd for their support and altogether lasted the show for about 40 minutes.
I thought Colorstone delivered a solid show and was a great choice of opening act to Dan Reed Network. The band had a good time on stage and proved they could handle a crowd. Colorstone has all the potential to go really far and I think that it’s only matter of time until Colorstone is performing as headline act.
During the show more people had arrived but it was not sold out in any way. The crew on stage prepared for Dan Reed Network to enter and they moved the mics further into the stage and made clear passage out on to the ramp. It all went really fast and since the headline used the most of the opening acts gear it only took about 20 minuets until it was time for the legendary Dan Reed Network to enter the stage.
Dan Reed Network
The members looked all really happy when they came out and smiled as they got ready and fired off “Resurrect”. The show continued immediately with “Under My Skin” after which Reed said it was great to be back in Malmoe again and to be among friends. Reed smiled and kicked off “Forget To Make Her Mine”. The fans sang along in the song which made Reed smile even more and the song was extended with some longer solo parts. Reed said he wanted to introduce the band , who by the way, consists of original members except for Blake Sakamoto. To replace Sakamoto we have Rob Daiker on keyboards he said and after the introduction the band kicked off “Make It Easy”. James did a longer guitar solo in the song and when the song was over Reed said that the band had ended the song the wrong way in Gothenburg so it’s best we end it again and the band played the end of the song once again. The line-up is:
Dan Reed – lead vocals
Rob Daiker – keyboards
Melvin Brannan JR – bass
Brion James – guitar
Dan Pred – drums
Reed thanked and said that it was fun to see that so many people had come to see the band tonight. “Baby Now” woke up the crowd and the fans sang the song together with the band and Reed let the fans sing the chorus on their own. The band had already now played several of their big hits and even though the crowd wasn’t too big they did their best to make the band feel welcome and sang along in most of the songs. The majority of the fans was in their 50-60’s and was probably around when the band had their big break through. There were also a guy in a wheelchair that stood beside the ramp and when Reed saw the guy he went over to him shook his hand and they guy smiled and it looked like this was the biggest day in his life. The song ended with an instrumental jam session and the guys ended the song with transcend it into “I Was Made For Loving You” by Kiss and “Relax” with Frankie Goes To Hollywood until they went back to the original song and ended it. The fans sang the chorus on their own and it was done a few times until Reed was happy with their effort. Reed thanked the fans So Fucking Much on Swedish and when he saw their happy faces he said that we should continue to clap our hands for Rob Daiker on keyboards. Reed said that Daiker had written a song for the fans and that he was going to play it now. It was “Rainbow Child” and needless to say it was the song that really woke up the crowd.
This was the song the fans had been waiting for and everyone in the club sang along in the lyrics and Reed once again walked over and shook the hands of the guy in the wheelchair. Reed moved around a lot and started to work up a sweat, also James and Brannon Jr looked hot. There were quite a lot of space to move around on and the Reed and the other two took advantage of that. Reed started to pull of his t-shirt and when the ladies in the crowd saw that they started to scream so he changed his mind and pulled it back down again. Here did James do a lead guitar part and everyone but Reed and Brannon JR walked to the edge of the stage and those two stayed and did “Come Back Baby” that transcended into “World Has A Heart Too”.
The band seemed to have a really good time on stage and that rubbed off on the crowd. Reed still has an amazing voice and I couldn’t but smile when I heard the old classical pics the band performed as good today as they did back in the days. There are a lot of different descriptions of what kind of music Dan Reed Network plays but in my opinion they play melodic rock influenced by funk. Reed said that in two weeks the band was heading back to Portland again to record a new album and the fans went crazy when they heard that. How would it be if we took a stroll to “Seven Sisters Road” Reed said, the song is taken from the bands second album SLAM from 1989. Reed let once again the fans take care of the chorus and I must say that the band really managed to make some solid versions of their old hits. At the end of the song the fans answered Reed when he first sang “I Wish I can take you” and the fans called back “Down on seven sisters road”.
Reed introduced Pred on drums and said that the next song on the set list was “Stronger Than Steel” and he said that many couples use that song at their weddings and told us he had met a couple who had been married before on separate ways and had that song at their weddings back then. They got divorced and met each other and once again used that song on their new wedding. However he said I want to dedicate this song to all the couples here at the club. Reed, James and Brannon Jr sat down in front of the drums and finished the song. James brought out a ukulele and Reed said that now Brion is going to do something for you and James walked to the center of the stage and played “Chill Out” with James on lead vocals and not Reed. Reed said that James now lived in Honduras where he dived and rescues bees. James took over and said he has a firm that takes cares and rescues bees and that granted James some huge applauds from the crowd.
Sirens was heard from the speakers and red lights flickered on the stage, it was the start off at the song “Cruise Together” however something seemed to go wrong and Reed looked at the rest of the band and said Wait no this is wrong. The band kicked off the song again but stopped, Reed laughed and said that even though it was his band no one was listening to him. The third time around it went right and Reed asked if the fans wanted to sing with him. Reed wanted to thank Colorstone for opening for them this night and said he thought they had done a great job. “Ritual” followed and it’s one of the bands biggest hits, Reed didn’t have to do much singing because the fans took care of that. He once again thanked the fans and said this was the bands 10th show on 11 days and thanks for not forgetting us the continued. We’re going to do record a new album in 2 weeks in Portland he said and then introduced the band once again. The new album is due to be released in May he told us and said that the band was about to come back in June next year. The closing song for the show were “Get To You” and that ended the ordinary 95 minutes of the show.
The fans all screamed for more and the band didn’t disappoint them and came out for encores. James was first man out and did a long guitar solo after which the rest of the band joined forces with him. “Baby Don’t Fade” was the first song out and after another long guitar solo was it time for Brennan Jr to do his thing on bass. The band took of their instruments but Reed said Ok one more song and the last encore for the night were “All My Lovin” sung a capella and with that song the band left the stage. Altogether lasted the show for 1h50 and what a magical show it had been.
It was really fun to see a band that seemed to have genuine fun on stage and that invited the fans to join the fun. Reed still got that magical voice and despite the fact the band had did 10 shows in 11 days there were no sign of any tiredness or such amongst the members. The set list felt solid and it was fun to hear the old classical tunes and trough the slight re-arrangement they managed to make the old songs sounds fresh and current. About 15-20 minutes after the show the band came out amongst the fans and talked to the people and signed autographs. That shows what stars the band is, not many bands would have done that. I really hope to see the band next year and I can’t wait to hear the new album. Hat’s off to the club for booking Dan Reed Network again!
Under My Skin
Forget To Make Her Mine
Make It Easy
Baby Now I
Come Back Baby
World Has A Heart To
Seven Sisters Road
Stronger Than Steel
Get To You
Baby Don’t Fade – guitar and bass solo
All My Lovin – a capella
Thanks to head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.
More info about Dan Reed and his band here