Concert Review: The Dip at the Guild Theater: Menlo Park, CA.

We’ve been waiting soooo long to see these guys! We had tickets for a tour a couple years ago that was canceled due to the Plague, then we were supposed to go see them last week in San Francisco. Unfortunately, life was busy kicking us all in the nuts last week, so we pulled the plug in the 11th hour in hopes that we’d make the Menlo Park show the following Tuesday.

Sadly, more misfortune followed…The Mrs. tested positive for the Plague Monday morning, and the poor lady was knocked flat. But, our daughter had already purchased the tix so the Mrs. insisted that we make a father/daughter night out of it.

We felt bad to leave her all by herself, with nothing but NyQuil and the cat for comfort, but it turned out to be a great night.

This was our first time at the Guild Theater and had no idea what to expect. Well, it was GREAT. Super easy to find, parking was maybe a block and a half away and FREE, the staff was friendly, the bartender prompt and the place was simply beautiful, with a great sound system and acoustics. A+ with a cherry on top for the Guild! And one final note, that I didn’t notice until we were leaving the venue, they’ve got the swankiest AND cleanest restrooms I’ve ever seen in a nightclub. Kudos!

Of course the fact that it WASN’T in San Francisco adds fifty-bazillion bonus points!

The night started out with a tidy half-hour set by semi-local singer-songwriter Jennah Bell, who hails from Oakland, CA – just a hop, skip and a jump up the road from Menlo Park. Neither my daughter nor I had ever heard of her and she wasn’t listed on the bill, so we didn’t even know if there was going to be an opening act.

Jenna Bell, the real deal.

I’ll be honest, singer-songwriters are NOT my thing, especially in a live setting. Don’t get me wrong, I admire the hell out of them for having the fortitude to get up in front of a room of strangers, just a single instrument and a voice, and let it all out. That takes a lot of guts. I just don’t want to listen to it, generally speaking. This being my frame of mind, when she walked out on stage my initial (internal) response was “Oh no…”

Well, let me say, I’m an IDIOT for jumping to conclusions. We really enjoyed her set, and she was just delightful as a person. I can’t put my finger on what it was that made her different from the standard singer-songwriter, but she is. In the best possible way. Her style is unique. She doesn’t sound like anyone else I can think of, a truly authentic, original sound. Her set included two cover songs, and she took a HUGE risk covering legendary songs, but she made them completely her own. (I won’t give any spoilers on the songs, but they’re both massive (vintage) hits that EVERYBODY that knows 60’s music knows) It’s nearly impossible to make a cover of a tune better than the original (not that it hasn’t been done) and I’m not saying hers were “better” exactly, but when you completely turn a song inside out to where it sounds nothing like the original and it STILL sounds amazing?!? Yeah, that’s some talent right there.

Ms. Bell’s set was a really unexpected, pleasant surprise and I look forward to hearing more from her.

Next up, it was The Dip’s time to shine and boy, did they!

Honestly, I don’t really know anything about The Dip, where they are from, how long they’ve been around…but from the first time I heard them, I was hooked. Their sound is hard to categorize- take a little Motown, a chunk of jazz, some crooner-type lounge music and throw it in a blender, with a fine dusting of funk thrown on top and you get close to a description, but only close.

Basically speaking, since that’s really all I know, they are a 7-piece operation. Drums, bass, guitar, guitar/lead vocals, baritone sax, tenor sax and trumpet. Each and every one of these guys were on their game, and as a group they were TIGHT! It wasn’t a high-energy show, but it isn’t exactly high energy music either, more of a slow burn groove, with lots of twists and turns along the way.

Hollowbody tone + Bigsby tremolo = Heaven!

The band played a good hour-plus set, then came out and did another 3 tunes for the encore. My only beef, and this is strictly personal, is that in a couple of my absolute favorite songs, they played them completely different than the recorded versions, like an entirely new arrangement. This can be cool, and they actually did great job with they way they did it, I was just looking forward to hearing them at least somewhat like I knew them… But honestly that is just me being nit-picky, it really didn’t detract from the show in any way. Overall, it was a stellar showing from The Dip, and I will ABSOLUTELY go see them again should the opportunity arise. We’ll done gentlemen!

Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Mason Dixon Survivalist Association

Be a Survivalist who is a “Jack of all Trades”, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).

Dio's Workshop

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

Official Website of Jennifer C Lindquist, Artist

The Boring Old Man

The ramblings of an old weirdo about whatever crosses my mind...

%d bloggers like this: