LIVE: Dan Zanes & Friends @ The Egg, 11/20/11
Dan Zanes recent return to The Egg was a kids’ show celebrating his latest CD outing, “Little Nut Tree.” But the show could have celebrated any one of the other post-Del Fuegos albums that he’s released over the past decade, from “Rocket Ship Beach” to “76 Trombones.”
Zanes and his friends perform for kids of all ages from ages 1 to a 100. He’s made his career doing just that. And marvellously well.
On the Sunday afternoon in The Egg’s larger Hart Theatre, the pit seats – directly in front of the stage – were removed and a sea of romping, dancing children and their parents occupied the space.
Zanes and his friends – Colin Brooks (pulling double duty on drums and rhythm guitar), Saskia Sunshine Lane (plucking the upright double-bass) Sonia de los Santos (strumming the guitar & mandolin) and Elena Moon Park (playing the violin) – all performed splendidly and kept it lively for the kids.
Sporting a huge smile as he commandeered center stage, Zanes alternately sang songs and told entertaining stories to his audience. Whether playing the mandolin, banjo or guitar, his fluid lines and mastery over those instruments shined through the several dozen original songs that made up the set list.
What about the kids?
Well, taking into account the short attention span of today’s children, for the most part they were happily transfixed by what Zanes and his crew were doing on stage throughout the show. Some kids were dancing to the tunes, while others were keeping the beat by tapping their hands on the edge of the stage. And many were even singing along to a song or two.
Just try to keep a kid entertained for more than five minutes today. It’s almost impossible, so that alone speaks volumes about Dan Zanes as a performer and songwriter.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk