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Second chance to see Del Fuegos

February 29, 2012 - Andy Gray

The Del Fuegos may be rethinking the routing of its two-week reunion tour.

The Boston-based band, which earned plenty of critical acclaim and a couple of minor radio hits in the mid-/late-‘80s, only is playing 11 cities on its first tour in 20+ years, and two of those are in northeast Ohio.

The crowd Friday at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland wasn’t bad – maybe 250 people – but the room holds twice that. But the good news is that those who remember songs like “Don’t Run Wild,” “I Still Want You” and “Wear It Like a Cape” have a second chance to see the band March 2 at The Kent Stage (tickets are $20.50).

It’s a show worth seeing. The original foursome – Dan Zanes, vocals and guitar; Warren Zanes, guitar; Tom Lloyd, bass; and Woody Giessmann, drums – joined by a keyboard player clearly was enjoying making music again. And the sound was tight enough to do justice to the originals and sloppy enough to embrace the group’s bar-band/roots-rock legacy.

There was a tension between the Zanes’ brothers back in the ‘80s. Warren wanted a bigger role in writing songs and Dan essentially wanted him to shut up and play his guitar.

Friday’s on-stage banter hinted at those feelings, but it felt more like good-natured ribbing. Between songs Warren was hawking his 2011 solo album “I Want to Move Out in the Daylight!” (which he was selling for half the price of the newly recorded Del Fuegos’ EP). Dan compared the album to an old joke: “I have a folk million seller.” “Really?” “Yeah, I have a million of these in the cellar.’’

Even Warren cracked a smile at that one, and Warren plays guitar with an expression of stern concentration more suited for brain surgery than rock ‘n’ roll. Dan is the polar opposite, a loose-limbed jokester who understands the first rule of being a frontman: if it looks like you’re having a good time, the audience probably will too. They did Friday.

The band played a couple songs from the new “Silver Star” EP, but it was a night for nostalgia with a set list filled with the band's greatest should-have-been hits.


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