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850Rockin' Road Report -- Jon Goes to the Dogs.

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  • mnm
    Jan 9, 2005
      It was a dark and stormy night... well, okay, it was still daylight
      when I left the house and the rain had stopped for the moment, but it
      was a generally icky January day as I drove across the bay to catch a
      rare solo performance by Jonathan Cain. He was appearing at the 14th
      annual "Stars to the Rescue" show benefitting the Animal Rescue
      Foundation. The bill was eclectic with everything from ballet to
      country music to comedy to acoustic rock and roll.

      I was at the show with one of my JPP partners in crime Leslie and her
      husband Todd, and we had very good seats in the center of the balcony.
      (Floor seats being a bit too pricey for our budgets.) We settled in to
      watch the first half of the show which opened with highlights of the
      2004 St. Louis Cardinals season. Such things probably went over a bit
      better when ARF founder Tony LaRussa was the head coach for the Oakland
      A's, but whoever put it together at least had the good sense not to
      feature any highlights that might have come at the expense of the San
      Francisco Giants. :) The show moved from there to a dance performance,
      country performer Julie Roberts, and a riotous performance by comedian
      Vicki Lawrence. The first half of the show ended with an acoustic
      performance by Kevin Cronin and Dave Amato who put a different spin on
      the familiar REO tunes.

      Jon was to be the first performer up after intermission and the awards
      presentations to special ARF supporters. We stayed in our seats during
      intermission and watched as the crew brought out a grand piano for his
      performance (no, not The Whale, just a plain black Yamaha piano.)
      After the awards were given out, Tony LaRussa introduced Jon, and he
      came out on stage joined by a dozen girls from the San Ramon High
      School Choir. He opened his set with "Back to the Innocence" and then
      introduced a song he dedicated to "all the pet dogs that have passed"
      called "Man's Best Friend." During the song ARF volunteers came on
      stage with a number of dogs that are used in their Visiting Animals
      Program -- a program that brings dogs and cats to residents of assisted
      living centers. He followed that up with a medley of Journey tunes
      which were interesting to hear in slightly different arrangements than
      we are accustomed to. He closed out the 30-minute set with "Best of
      What I Got" backed by "The All-Star Band" that was used throughout the

      Jon was followed by Anastasia Barzee, a Broadway actress, and the show
      closed with Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Not being a huge country fan, I
      was only vaguely familiar with their work (and Amy more so due to a
      cousin being a fan of hers) but they put on a fun, loose set backed by
      the All-Star Band. Vince Gill was particularly amusing saying he would
      have been a rocker "if I weren't so fat. Could you imagine my butt in
      spandex??" The highlight of their performance, however, was the
      Grammy-nominated song "It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew
      Your Ass Out All Day Long". It sounds like your stereotypical country
      tune, but is one of the funniest things I've heard in a very long time
      and the crowd loved it.

      The show ended with all the performers returning to the stage and
      closing out the show with Vince Gill leading in a doubly appropriate
      performance of "Hound Dog" (Saturday would have been Elvis's 70th

      Jon's Set list:

      Back to the Innocence
      Man's Best Friend
      Journey Medley:
      -- Lights
      -- Faithfully
      -- Open Arms
      -- Who's Crying Now
      -- Separate Ways
      -- Send Her My Love
      -- When You Love a Woman
      -- Don't Stop Believin'
      Best of What I Got

      Kevin Cronin/Dave Amato Set list:

      Ridin' the Storm Out
      I Can't Fight This Feeling
      Take it on the Run
      Music Man
      Roll with the Changes

      Have faith, believe

      The story BEHIND the Bammies Walk of Fame:

      Journey to the Stars

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