Rockin' Road Report -- Jon Goes to the Dogs.
- 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
-- 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
Roll with the Changes
Have faith, believe
The story BEHIND the Bammies Walk of Fame:
Journey to the Stars
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