Dan Reed Network – Local Authority, Sheffield, March 11th, 2017
Set List: Get To You/Divided/Forgot To Make Her Mine/Baby Now I (feat. Relax/I Was Made For Loving You/Enter Sandman/Let’s Groove medley)/Make It Easy/B There With U/Slam/Come Back Baby/Rainbow Child/Ritual/Champion/All For A Kiss/World Has A Heart Too/ Cruise Together/Seven Sisters Road/Save The Word/Tiger In A Dress.
Encore: Under My Skin.
After rocking out to songs like ‘Ritual’ over the years in the Corporation on the much-loved and missed ‘Reservoir Rocks’ night and seeing Dan solo acoustic a few times, it was great to see the reformed band rock the Local Authority next door - full on and electric.
I have never seen this room so packed out and it was literally spilling out left and right to the bar and lounge areas – little wonder though since it’s the first time DRN have headlined Sheffield in decades. We get four fifths of the original line-up too that comprises of Dan Reed (Lead Vocals), Brion James (Guitar/Vocals), Melvin Brannon II (Bass), Dan Pred (Drums) as well as new boy, Rob Daiker in the place of Rick DiGiallonardo taking care of keyboards and programmed duties.
What made this night so amazing is that they literally had no set list in front of them whatsoever and instead Dan just asked the fans what they wanted to hear. Now not many would attempt this which goes to show that they must have rehearsed a ton of songs since there’s several to choose from. So in no apparent order at all the band cranked out numbers like ‘Slam’ which he heard people saying now and again; ‘Rainbow Child’; ‘Seven Sisters Road’; ‘Tiger In A Dress’ etc etc…
For some it could have been a massive risk to have taken on the request of the audience and played their biggest hit ‘Ritual’ about halfway in the set with Dan saying, “Okay, but don’t you want to hear any new stuff? No (he jokes)”. No need to worry though since the rest of the material completely stands up to that big number indeed – it would be the fans fault anyway for wanting it so early in the set – Hahaha!
Talking of new songs, we got treated to ‘B There With U’ that Dan said to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to. It was a killer song and got a unanimous thumbs up from the entire congregation in here tonight. Looking forward to hearing the studio version actually. Even Rob gets a chance to shine in his own right where he straps on a guitar and performs ‘All For A Kiss’ which the peeps in here really like.
It was a night packed full of highlights that included Brion James taking to the lead mic. for ‘Save The World’ not to mention him blowing our minds and ears with his guitar soloing that had him singing the notes that he played in perfect pitch and time – very impressive to say the least. Or earlier with the inclusion of a killer medley in ‘Baby Now I’ with numbers by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Kiss, Metallica and Earth, Wind & Fire.
The Dan Reed Network were as tight as hell and the mix in here was the best I have ever heard – credit to the engineer in here and no doubt the band themselves for ensuring they themselves sounded great on and off the stage. This was musically and vocally brilliant in every possible way with a massive slab of rock, funk, pop and beyond. Their entire set had so much energy, excitement and warmth with the boys having the persona to match too that oozed straight out into the realms of the fans.
After encore the ‘Under My Skin’ the guys came straight out to meet the fans, sign autographs and have photos with them too. A grand bunch they are too and welcome back here in Sheffield. “See ya next year”, Dan tells us – we look forward to it, mate big style!
By Glenn Milligan