When I grew up, Dan Reed Network had a huge impact on both my soul and my taste of music. The band is still almost intact from the start around 1984. Only on keyboard it has been changes. Their breakthrough came 1988 with the album named as the band. I have seen the band several times during their comeback the last years and they still move my soul and my love for music.
This evening DRN visit Jönköping. A town with a lot of fans and friends of Dan who has lived in Sweden now and then. The outdoor restaurant next to the blue water of the lake Vättern is full of happy people celebrating the summer. It´s hot and so is the band. Dan´s body language is as always powerful, and it express what the text conveys. When the keyboard player, Rob Daiker, needed more monitoring, Dan askes for some more Bruce Lee in his legs at the same time. Possibly there are fewer karate kicks compared to previous gigs, but the energy is there, kicks or not.
An interesting phenomenon with Dan Reed is that he occasionally can “turn into himself” during the songs without losing energy against the audience. It’s like he fills up the energy in his own heart and then throw it out in the audience with full focus. Most artist I watch, lose their presence now and then on stage but not this man. Dan Reed Network’s music is a blender of funk, rock and soul and their sound has always had its own identity. Even if you don’t recognize the band, maybe you remember some of the songs from the radio and MTV back in the 80´s. “Tiger in a dress”, “Ritual”, “I´m so sorry” and more. I wish “I´m so sorry” would have been a part of the set list but not this time.
“Baby Now I”, one of the songs breathing rock, offers a great solo from the bassist Melvin Brannon Jr. Then follow riffs and solos embedded in a medley with songs from a bunch of other artists. Some of them completely out of line if you ask me, but hey, as long as the band and the audience like it, I´ll shut up.
Dan is an audience focused artist and he always works close to his fans in front of the stage. Today it consists of both old dedicated fans and those who are completely new followers. “Rainbow Child”, perhaps the most famous song is as good today as when it was released 1989 on the album Slam. Lot of feeling and classic Network riffs. By the way, DRN will make some gigs celebrating Slam´s 30´s anniversary next year. Starting in Prague at new year, Dan’s hometown nowdays.
When the “Tiger in a dress” enter the stage, the space in front of it, becomes a dancefloor led by Dan and the owner of Tullhuset Piren – Peter. This is a typical DRN move – interact with people in a way that everyone feels like one in the family. Dan Reed can hug the whole world with his spirit of kindness and joy. Love and peace are two of his most preciouses’ values and the song “Stronger than Steel” is a tribute to the strong ties of love. If you haven´t chosen wedding music yet, this is a hot tip. Works equally well at the ceremony as for the first dance. “Save the World” from their last album “Fight another day” 2016, is an example of many lyrics expressing the bands engagement of our planets future and the human kind.
Tullhuset Piren smiles, dances and sings tonight. The evening ends with an acapella version of “Long Way To go”. Magic soundtrack to the picture painted by the sunset over the dark blue water. Dan Reed Network has delivered another gig with joy, heart and dedication. This is also a good summary of Dan as a human being. You can also read an interview with Dan here at Stargazed soon.
Thank you Dan and your network!
Artist: Dan Reed Network
Where: Tullhuset Piren, Jönköping