This review was written back in 2012, but never saw the light of day. I hope you enjoy it.
My goal in writing this blog is to share my listening experiences, both good and bad, so you can save time and money in your search for musical enjoyment. Each album or concert will be rated on a 5 star scale. If an album or performance scores a zero, I recommend that you clench your wallet in your fist and walk away. If an album or performance scores a 5, I urge you to rush out and buy the recording, or a ticket to the concert immediately. During each review I will indicate my source, (CD, LP, Cassette, Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.,) and the equipment that was used, or the venue where the concert took place. In addition to the individual reviews, I will also create a list of my all time favorite albums by genre. I look forward to your comments. Feel free to tell me what you really think.
I’ll get things started by re-introducing you to a blast from the past-The King of Synthesizer-Pop himself, Mister Thomas Dolby (http://www.thomasdolby.com/). “Wait, you say, isn’t he the guy who had a hit back in 1982 with “She Blinded Me With Science?” Yes, one in the same. I can hear you laughing, as you say, “but I didn’t even know he was still alive, let alone making new music. “ Well, that makes two of us.
“So”, you ask, “why are you starting your blog by writing about a musician whose biggest hit was from 30 years ago?” Here’s why.
My friend Cliff called me last Thursday night, and told me that he had bought two tickets to see this guy Thomas Dolby perform at “The Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis” www.ramsheadtavern.com, and asked me if I wanted to join him. Cliff didn’t remember who Thomas Dolby was, but figured he must be good since he was scheduled to perform two shows. I had always wanted to see a show at “The Rams Head”, and had spent many nights listening to both the song “She Blinded Me With Science”, and the album “The Golden Age of Wireless”, so I said okay. I was glad I did.
First let’s start with the opening act. Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ben Belcher couldn’t have been an odder pairing for Thomas Dolby, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying their set. I was expecting to hear some rock and roll, or pop, but instead got a dose of some excellently played, and authentic sounding Bluegrass music. Aaron Jonah Lewis played the Fiddle, Harmonica, and Guitar, while his partner, Ben Belcher, played an awesome Banjo. I liked them so much that I even bought a copy of their CD “Live at the Mad Hatter” recorded in Farmville, VA in 2008. I’ll let you know what I think about this album in a future blog.
After a 15-minute break between sets, Thomas Dolby took the stage. He played a nice mix of songs, both old and new, with an emphasis on his October 2011 release “A Map of The Floating City” (see the attached set list for the complete list of songs). The acoustics were great, and our seats were perfect. We were only about 15 feet from the stage.
Dolby was very interactive with the audience, and shared some interesting details behind his songs. For example, Dolby told us how Magnus Alfred Pyke, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Pyke , (The man who shouts “Science” on the music video of “She Blinded Me With Science”) told Dolby that it really bothered him that he (Pyke) was more famous in the United States for being in Dolby’s music video, than for being recognized for his fame as a scientist and TV personality like he was in England. Dolby still has several samples of Magnus Pyke’s sound bites stored on a memory card, and played back several shouts of “Science”, and “She Blinded Me With Science” to the delight of the crowd. Dolby also explained how when asked why he said “She Blinded Me With Science” in the form of a question, Pyke explained that due to his scientific brilliance, it would be unfathomable for some girl to blind him with science.
In closing, I’m happy to report that Thomas Dolby is alive and well, and worth catching the next time he’s in town. I’d also like to recommend the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis as an excellent venue to catch a show.
Performance 4 out of 5 Venue 4.5 out of 5 Sound 4.5 out of 5
So what is the last concert that you’ve seen?