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Dave Koz
A Concert Review

July 17, 1997

Skyline Stage

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
It was a night when the best laid plans went to crap. My time schedule was tight, and if all went well I would be just on time to catch Dave Koz. Well, my meeting ran late, was pretty stressful, and I cruised down Lake Shore Drive to Navy Pier. Alright, I'm not too late, we'll head to the parking garage and things will be swell. Yea, right. The parking garage was full, so I had to head to a remote lot, and now it was time to get some walking exercise. Now more late, in a really pissed off mood, I was ready to relax to some Dave Koz (you Dave Koz fans are now saying something like "Relax, at a Dave Koz show? What, are you crazy?). My concert prep for this show went like this: Dave Koz, he plays on WNUA, the smooth jazz station here in Chicago, alright, I'll cover him. Then, I get a chance to rap with The Music Dude earlier in the day and say, "Hey, dude, what does Dave Koz play?" He looks at me like I'm an idiot, then says "Saxophone." That was all I knew. Now I now more, a lot more.

Yea, I'm late, so I didn't get to take any photos, which is too bad because as I pissed off some people climbing to my seat I began to realize that this is no smooth jazz saxophone. Dave Koz was all over the place, with an energy level that many rock bands lack, and knew how to work a crowd armed with only a saxophone and a big bundle of excitement.

He's playing, I'm listening, and the women are screaming. Yep, chicks dig Dave Koz, and he's sportin' a really cool gig. Not knowing anything he was playing up to this point, he mentions that the daytime TV people might know this one, "Faces of the Heart," from General Hospital. The daytime serial connoisseur that I am, I finally knew a song, and just as things were starting to calm down, it was time for some scales. Now, you might be saying "What kind of excitement can scales bring at a show?" Well, with each note Dave took a step across the stage, then with each note he took steps down the stairs and into the crowd. The women are screaming, Dave takes a seat next to a lady named Donna, and I'm thinking I have to start taking sax lessons because this is one great way to pick up chicks. Donna is just starstruck, Dave's blasting away, and then he gets up and starts running up and down the isles high-fivin' people along the edges, and makes his way back to Donna. Then this other lady gets up and yells, "She might not know what to do, but I do!" Dave looks stunned, but eager nonetheless, and hauls his butt to Kate. A little interlude and Kate explains that her husband was at home because they couldn't get a babysitter. So, Dave starts playing to Kate, Kate gets down on her knees, and from the sudden bursts of notes from his sax it almost sounded like Dave was getting a little more pleasure than just playing his saxophone.

Well, Dave Koz had a band with him too, and after getting himself back on stage after working the crowd, it was some spotlight time for Dave again, but also his way talented band. Trading licks back and forth with some guitar boxing, as much as I was looking forward to some smooth jazz saxophone, this was so much cooler. Upbeat, exciting, and just full of energy, the show was starting to come to a close, but not without a request. One dude comes up to the stage and asks for "Lullaby for a Rainy Night," a Dave Koz and the boys obliged, albeit with an abridged version (seems Dave hasn't played this one in years - but you really couldn't tell), and then Dave had a different treat.

It seems that this sax dude has an album out called "Off the Beaten Path," with a song called "That's the Way I Feel About You," where he couldn't really find anyone to handle the vocals and have it sound right. So, he took over the vocals himself, and although his vocal talents don't hit the talents of his sax playing, he isn't that bad at all. The crowd was on their feet, Dave seemed actually kind of mad that he had a curfew to stop playing by a certain time, but all in all I was duly impressed.

I guess my initial stereotype of Dave Koz was just way off. Expecting some dude just kind of hanging out on stage playing saxophone, I was treated to a full blown show where you couldn't just sit back an relax - Dave wouldn't let you. It's TWO THUMBS UP for Dave Koz, and he's got a new fan.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!


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