Photos by Mark J. Smith
Why is it that the last couple of concerts I’ve attended had an audience with an average age of what… 50? Well, I guess it’s because the bands in question seem to have been around forever. The crowd for Dave Mason was no exception. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer first came to my attention with Traffic, but has also released quite a few fantastic albums as a solo artist, as well as played with way too many stars to mention.
Mason started the concert with a couple of songs from his first solo album, Alone Together. “World in Changes” was a great way to kick off the show, because although the tour is billed as “Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam,” the show was really a mixture of classic Traffic songs as well as Mason’s solo efforts—the story of his life in music.
Among the highlights was a tribute to Mason’s friend and one of the original Traffic members, Jim Capaldi. Mason explained that shortly after Capaldi’s death, someone came to him with an unfinished song Capaldi had written. After making some changes, Mason finally debuted the song, “How Do I Get To Heaven,” on his 2014 album Future’s Past.
To end the show, Mason explained that instead of being known as the upbeat Traffic song we all love, “Feelin’ Alright” should actually have a question mark after it, as the line that follows is, “not feelin’ too good myself.” He then went into an absolutely fantastic version of the song, reminding me yet again that his voice is still great and, man, can he play guitar. For the encore, he floored the house with a cover of “All Along The Watchtower.”
A great night of music that I, and the audience, grew up on.
– Mark J. Smith