04/15-16 Boogie @ the Birchmere (but do it quietly)


Taylor Hicks w/Toby Lightman
Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
7:30pm SOLD OUT both nights

Alexandria II, 16 April 2007 set list:
Opening act: Toby Lightman

Soul Thing Here’s one for Kurt Vonnegut’s Uncle Alex: “If this isn’t nice, what is?” A clear voiced, soulful fellow sings one of his own compositions as his many fans sing along, including one fan sitting in Japan, typing away…life is good. Mellow, restrained, appropriate start for today.
Heaven Knows “when I come home…” repeat 3x, band warming up, Felix gives us a little sugar, straight up version, but it feels good and solid, Boogie plucks the heart strings…nice funk jam segue into…
The Maze Brian G pops in cool and breezy, Taylor’s voice has a clean lemon-line quality today, more Brian G with a classic riff solo, and shut down to new tag: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (song by Bobby Russell), except Taylor sang “The night the lights went out in New York.”
Wherever I Lay My Hat Really easy, laid back version, nice and sweet with a touch of pathos. Or is it the day? T does a small bit in the middle where the band shuts down and he works the lyrics gently and firmly, this is the Taylor Hicks that reels me back in over and over again, tag: Nightshift (The Commodores), tag: Chain Gang (Sam Cooke), this is so sweet and wonderful…
[Taylor straps on a guitar]
Heart and Soul Gentle walking beat line, perfect choice of tone in T’s voice, clear, strong, full of righteousness, Josh lays down a very hot fudge solo with a cherry on top, band shuts down to “livin’ off heart and soul” repeat, band builds to support and jam, definite church organ feel there.
Just to Feel That Way So far, the whole set has a consistent feel, first time I haven’t thought “man, this is like a roller coaster.” But today is a bungalow party with lots of bourbon and good friends. Nice.
[Taylor says to audience: “It’s funny, sometimes we really don’t know where the heck we are.” A Zen koan?]
Hold on to Your Love Calypso, bien sur, but not as frenetic as usual. Gives Brian G time to send his birdlike flute up and away like a white dove…Keyboards, guitar, drums, a glorious mashup…now a meringue vibe! Taylor calls out in English but might as well be Spanish for the tone and timbre. Where’s Tito Puente when you need him? Josh grinds and rubs it out, goes into a fantastic blues repeat with the band climbing and taking off, Tagging here? Need confirmation and update. in the lonely road???, big blues ending, goosebumps.
Run, Baby, Run (Sheryl Crow) Some nights are adrenalin rushes, tonight is shivers and shudders. Taylor is now in full preacher mode, his upper register is agonized, gives us the chorus as powerful salty wave that we can ride or duck under…Brian G gives us the sax version of Taylor’s voice, and back they go for the final chorus, Melanie and Taylor singing and cheersing and taking us higher…
My Friend Loren tickles it, Taylor’s voice dances, and Brian G lays some boogie woogie down, Josh is all bluegrass and rock. Felix bops us down for the ending.
Naked in the Jungle (Van Morrison) Dude, stop making me so freaking happy…jazz-funk, band puts out a nice 60s razzy jam, Taylor doesn’t screech this time, he jams and oozes, lovely. Preacher-like “Speak out” repeats. Loren rips and burns, Taylor back to rally the troops, tight ending. HOT HOT HOT version.
The Deal Joyous and jaunty feel tonight. Very different. Brian G gives us an Amen…
Gonna Move Smooth, easy on the funk line tonight, lots of vocal play, set building from gentle respect to happy celebration of life. Boogie does his bass magic, flunka dumpa dangda da dangda bonk whomp. Melanie in for a bit, Tagging here? Need confirmation and update. rap style tag, couple lines of something, before the big ending. Great version of this song.
The Right Place Gentle, bringing it home version…voice is full and expressive. “be there” 11x repeat, and the perfect, soulful ending joined to Loren’s hint of sweetness…
The Runaround A descending vocal riff “Aced broken hearts” line, the word “Aced” starts high and does a stair-step chord descent, fabulous! Tagging here? Need confirmation and update. ??? Can I Get a Witness (Rolling Stones), harmonica in, train chords, TV sitcom chords, blues chords, Sesame Street or Sanford & Son—ok so it’s Big Boss Man (thanks Amy!). Works crowd up, band gets up and high and free and joyous.
Badge (Clapton/Harrison) Good, strong, straight. The Big Finale. Taylor runs around, plays organ, the band beats us up and takes our wallets. – basenji

04/15 Plain Vanilla Set List as of 10:08 Eastern

Hot and funky tonight. No encore, but Brian L. and Josh stop by to give the boogie a shout out. (And we’re patting ourselves on the back for nailing the long instrumental jam(thanks Hicklett) on “Inner City Blues”, and thanking Josh for confirming it for us)

Opening: Toby Lightman

Gonna Move
Give Me Tonight
Compared to What* (Les McCann)
The Deal
Dream Myself Awake
Wherever I Lay My Hat (Marvin Gaye)
Just to Feel that Way
Hell of a Day > Inner City Blues(Marvin Gaye) long instrumental jam
My Friend
Medicated Goo(Traffic)
Heaven Knows > The Maze**
The Right Place
The Runaround#

* With “Goin’ Up the Country” (Canned Heat) tease. (and “traveling south”??)
** With “Use Me” (Bill Withers), “Want Ads” (Honey Cone) teases.
# With “Willie Brown Blues” (Ry Cooder) tease.


From the Birchmere FAQ:

1) The Birchmere is America’s Legendary Music Hall. What does that mean?

The Birchmere is a Music Hall, which differs from a regular nightclub in that we are completely seated (except Band Stand, see below). Also known as a Listening Room, The Birchmere is geared towards artists & fans who prefer a seated, attentive audience, ready to listen to The Music!

Does this sound like us? I guess cellcerts count as “attentive.” The whole venue is general admission seating, with no slope, so line up early, I guess.

The Birchmere


34 Responses to 04/15-16 Boogie @ the Birchmere (but do it quietly)

  1. Jackie Rock says:

    I was also disappointed that Taylor did not do an encore, however we were told by many of his people that Taylor was not feeling well. This man has been going non stop and it is no wonder he gets worn out occassionally. I went to Ramshead live and it was a completely different Taylor, back to himself and yes with an encore.
    He is the best and I just love this man.

  2. caroljean says:

    I listened on the cellcert last night (first time since AI tour) sound was great and so was Taylor. And ,oh yes, Basenji, you do have a way with words ! Loved it.

  3. EJ says:

    I was there last night (the 16th).

    1) Toby’s bass player confirmed she is opening for him at the Beacon.

    2) As Taylor’s drums-and-keyboard guy (I feel bad I can’t remember his name- he sometimes plays drums alongside Felix during the show) was breaking things down, he recognized me and said hi to me. We chatted, and I told him how much we were all looking forward to the Beacon on Friday, and how people were coming from all over the country to be there. He looked at me anxiously for a moment, and then said (I swear on a stack of bibles I am not making this up nor did I prompt him) “Do you think the audience will get up on their feet at the Beacon?” I replied that a lot of us love to do that, but that we’d gotten some complaints from other audience members about it. He just shook his head from side to side at that. I said “Does the band like it when we get up and dance?”. “YES” he replied, then added mournfully “but I guess you have to follow the rules of the venue.”

    Having been to the Beacon, I am happy to report there are no rules about that there, and at least for the Allman Brothers the audience up front stood and boogied 🙂

  4. Basenji says:

    BTW: Although Taylor didn’t really leave the stage, he announced “Badge” as an encore.

  5. thackeray says:

    And I was describing my description, not the show.

  6. Basenji says:

    Thackeray wrote the bottom set list and it was SHE who described her own list as “plain vanilla.”

  7. graciecat says:

    basenji, you do have a way with words. Love the way you describe the set lists. I feel like I am right there! Keep up the great work! Last night was “plain vanilla” and tonight is was “hot fudge with a cherry on top”. Guess that says it all! No matter where Taylor and the band perform it is the best concert ever! Looking forward to more great news tomorrow.

  8. thackeray says:

    The on-site people for the cellcert got a copy of the planned set list, and it included an encore. They asked both Ted and Brian Less why no encore, and neither knew. There was speculation that it was a venue restriction – strict noise laws, so the show had to end at 10. They said cleaning crew sprung into action as soon as the show ended, so it sounds like it wasn’t related to the audience.

  9. PennyW says:

    I think the crowd could have shown their approval/enthusiasm ALOT more. If I were Taylor, I wouldn’t have done an encore either. Why waste all that energy for such a blah crowd. I don’t think it had anything to do with the notices of being quiet. People don’t look at that. I certainly didn’t. At times, I felt like only the 5 or 6 people where actually Woo’ing him. The show was great! More chit chat, which I love, more cute comments and interaction with the band. And of course, the music was awesome.

    The only thing that would have made it better was having the crowd into it more.

  10. burberry4 says:

    Taylor sounded and performed great. But I have to say I was disappointed that he didn’t do an encore. I mean, the audience probably wasn’t his loudest, but that’s only because the Birchmere asks you to be SILENT during the performance (and still yet there were many WOO’s and screams). So, I don’t know the reason why he didn’t…but I was a little upset about it. Particularly since he’s typically been doing them…
    Oh well.

  11. burberry472 says:

    Taylor sounded and performed great. But I have to say I was disappointed that he didn’t do an encore. I mean, the audience probably wasn’t his loudest, but that’s only because the Birchmere asks you to be SILENT during the performance (and still yet there were many WOO’s and screams). So, I don’t know the reason why he didn’t…but I was a little upset about it. Particularly since he’s typically been doing them…
    Oh well.

  12. AmyMc says:

    It was definately a “different” concert that’s for sure. The audience was very stiff…nobody even moved their heads.. Of course me, and my friends Lilolme and Idolfan082 were bouncing all over our seats and yelling out when we shouldn’t have. Haa haa!

    Taylor did a fabulous job, as usual, but there was no encore and the audience was very um, how should I say this? Boring!

  13. thackeray says:

    That “Quite Please” sign is supposedly on a card on every table. Seems like it might make a good souvenir. Maybe Taylor will get one and rip it to shreds. Or riff it to shreds.

  14. AmyH says:

    Should be a pretty good cellcert if people aren’t allowed to make a sound.

    Jan – GREAT story! I love it. 🙂

  15. AgingHippie says:

    Hmmm – apparently 2 links throws comments into the cyber-ether over here too – lol
    Trying again w/o links

    Hi Pamela
    Just wanted to mention that it seems like other than the HoBs Taylor is picking a lot of places that have really strong music reputations and history. Wonder if these are places he has read or heard about when some of his heroes were playing at them ?
    Seems like that would mean something to him doesn’t it.

    Really liked this from the Birchmere’s website [link is under the pic ]

    “” In music circles, the reputation of the Birchmere is legendary.

    Many careers have been launched from this internationally recognized music hall. On any given night, a star may be born. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and k.d. Lang are just a few of the artists counted as good friends of the Birchmere. The Birchmere is
    **committed to the presentation of the highest quality music **
    in a comfortable and intimate atmosphere. “”

    obviously the emphasis is mine but just Love that Taylor is doing two Sold Out shows in a place like this :]

  16. shar says:

    Bwahahaha!! Someone needs to video the people trying to stay in their seats whne Taylor is doing the Runaround of Give me Tonight, they’ll be squirming around like a 5 year old who needs to go potty, lmao!

  17. phandi says:

    If these are Toby’s last two nights, can we anticipate a duet….????

  18. Cali50 says:

    Jan, I loved your post! How fun to recogize someone from Laser’s Edge. Yes, get that daughter to a concert!

  19. madaboutu says:

    It appears that I got a little confused too in double almost identical posts. I think it said I had already said that and so I worded it differently. Learning, learning!
    This WILL be a very interesting night with the concert . Will people even be able to make it there? How will Taylor react to the “silent” treatment? Maybe he will enjoy a less frantic atmosphere for a change. I think the proof will be in the second night.

  20. AgingHippie says:

    Too bad about the weather – have been there / done that with freezing in line – but it is worth it !

    Just checked out the pics on the website – looks a lot like the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom venue but with smaller capacity – only 500 for Birchmere.
    After 3 GA / SRO shows I was afraid staying seated would be a problem but found you can “dance in your seat ” too ! Taylor seemed to enjoy the HB set up and being an intimate little group of 500 you folks should get one heck of a show . :]

    Cannot remember where I read this but know I saw a blurb in a “published piece” as opposed to a post that Taylor had invited his former English teacher -Susan Whitson – who is now Laura Bush’s press secretary. Would think that might be a small venue for her to be able to “hide” in but really hope she is able to go one of the nights – – seems like it would mean a lot to Taylor.

    Have a great time – hope someone that is seeing both shows will do a comparison for us – – can’t wait to live vicariously through the recaps – LOL

    Jan – no worries – have lost track of where I am before too – loved your story !!!!

  21. Pamela (SoularEnergy) says:

    Just from reading the sign and seeing the picture, it seems that they don’t want you chatting around the table while others are trying to listen to the music. I could just picture myself trying to hear some random band play while the guy at the next table yaks on his cell phone and some others are complaining about what their kids are up to.

    Is this place prepared for Taylor Hicks??? It’s certainly not the kind of place I envisioned him playing in after winning last May. On the other hand, I really wish I was going…

  22. justwatchin says:

    I can’t wait to hear how this works out tonight! Stay seated?? lol…..this I gotta see!

  23. madaboutu says:

    No word on who is opening after Toby is there?

  24. madaboutu says:

    Is tomorrow Toby’s last night with Taylor?

  25. dthomas says:

    Remember the news anchor from the DC area — Taylor had been interviewed on TV, and this guy said he hadn’t listened to the cd…that he preferred the more ‘raw’ Taylor. I saw a lot of people say that he needed to go to a live show. I wonder if he got tickets to one of the Birchmere performances. Sure would love to know what he would say after seeing TH live!

  26. Jan says:

    Sorry, I should have posted on open thread. Please forgive me, I’m learning.

  27. Jan says:

    I would so love to be at the concert. I am so envious of those of you that will be there. Please give us a review. Have a wonderful time. I listened to cell cert last night and it makes me want to be there.

    An interesting thing happened to me last night. My family and I were at a Japanese restaurant and my husband recognized someone who stood in line with us at Laser’s Edge. He went over and asked if anybody at that table was a Taylor Hick’s fan. She started shouting her “Soul Patrols” and before you knew it, we had 4 tables in that restautant sharing their love for Taylor Hicks. Two couples had been to his concert and the others were fans of his music. It was fun. My daughter commented as we were leaving, that either everyone there had a little too much to drink, or Taylor’s concerts must be something else. Well I guess I’ve got to get that girl to a concert. LOL

  28. graciecat says:

    Might I add “so the talents of the artists can be fully appreciated” as everyone on stage is integral to making the show the great success it is! Taylor has certainly chosen a wonderful group of extremely talented artists to accompany him on this tour. Excellent work Taylor and the entire band. Break a leg!

  29. graciecat says:

    This should prove interesting. I am really enjoying the recaps and set lists to see how they change from city to city as does the audience. I am glad that the Taylor Tour is performing at a variety of different and diverse venues as it provides Taylor and the band something new to look forward to each time. This is a perfect opportunity for fans old and new to really hear his amazing vocal range. Sometimes “silence is golden” so the talents of the artist can be fully appreciated. Regardless, there will be a “hot time in the old town tonight.” Enjoy all!

  30. AmyMc says:

    I’LL BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. MaryS-NJ says:

    Last night Taylor asked that everyone get up for The Runaround, so I think he likes people to move – within reason and depending on the venue.

  32. emeralgem says:

    One question…Does Taylor know that he prefers his audience to remain seated?
    Can’t wait to hear how this scenario pans out for Taylor and ALL the fans that will be attending.

  33. juliegr says:

    Good morning all!!

    Well a Nor’easter — complete with driving rain, cold winds, and swirling clouds is happening in Alexandria Virginia today. But the HEAT IS ON beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere tonite!!! I’m not worried ~~~ I don’t care! The Sherrif —— Taylor Hicks —— is in Town!!!!! Wonder if Taylor will sing The Deal tonight?

    Cheers Everybody Cheers

  34. simplycarol says:

    OK, I must comment on this…Gah! I just want to see how quiet they can keep us. Well, I won’t be there…but I will be in spirit! BTW, I was CarolinHouston on Gray’s. Now I’m simply…carol!

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