Steve Miller Band
With Jimmie Vaughan
Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
Monday, June 1, 2015
Dads from all over North Texas scooped up their wives Monday night and boogied down to Verizon Theatre to be a part of a very special event: Seeing Steve Miller Band live in concert. What they got was a set that knocked socks off from Sachse to Crowley.
The good ole boys came decked out in camouflage NASCAR tees tucked into their finest pair of pressed Wranglers and swung their hips in the aisles next to their Sugar Babes, who broke out the denim skirts and bedazzled boots. This was a particularly special night seeing how it featured an opening set from blues man Jimmie Vaughan. Yes, that Jimmie Vaughan, the Dallas native, older brother of Stevie Ray and former frontman of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Steve Miller Band's stage setup was bookended by two neon winged horses that closely resembled the famous red pegasus that was recently revived and installed in front of the Omni Hotel. Miller, in turn, regaled his throng of goateed dad bods with the story of how he formed his first band, the Marksmen, while growing up in Dallas and attending St. Marks. The story goes that since his mother wasn't available to drive the band to all of its shows, Miller found it easiest to simply teach his older brother to play bass so that he could shuttle the Marksmen to and from gigs every weekend.
Oh, the good old days.
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Miller's voice, planted these days in a raspy middle register that could probably last a thousand years, delivered plenty of tracks from his most famous album, The Joker, mostly toward the middle of the show. The casual fan may have been a little mystified by the fact that the band did "Space Cowboy" and "Gangster of Love" before going finally getting around to the "The Joker," whose lyrics famously make reference to each of those titles, toward the end of the nearly two-hour set. The front man, clad in a gray v-neck, sport jacket and sunglasses at night, followed up the song that everyone came to hear with "Fly Like an Eagle" (which keyboardist Joseph Wooten absolutely murdered) and "Rock'n Me," which compelled some of the finest skyward fist pumps from some of the happiest baby boomers in DFW.
The set had kicked off with feel-good material in the form of "Jungle Love" and "Take the Money and Run," after which Miller welcomed Vaughan onstage for a medley that, while perhaps unfamiliar to many in attendance, was a fitting tribute to bluesmen past. "Saint James Infirmary" was an old folk song before it was made popular by Louis Armstrong. "Blues With a Feeling" was first recorded in 1947 and most famously redone by guitarist and harmonica savant Little Walter. Versions of "I'm Tore Down" have been done by everyone from Freddie King to Eric Clapton, and Vaughan's crisp blues licks were a godsend on all three.
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The rest of the set ran the gamut from the Miller's equally brilliant psychedelia ("Serenade") to more radio-friendly numbers in 4/4 time ("Dance Dance Dance"). But he and the band keenly stayed away from a pure replication of Greatest Hits 1974-1978, sprinkling in deeper cuts like "Lovin' Cup" and "True Fine Love" to keep up the bluesy theme.
The set closed just like it opened, on a high note with a two-song encore of "Swingtown" and "Jet Airliner." It was a perfect way to send the dads and moms home buzzing, perhaps ready for a good old-fashioned night cap. After all, your parents had just as much fun in their day as you do now, and Monday's Steve Miller sighting was just the dose of rock 'n' roll they needed after raising you.
Take the Money and Run
Living in the USA
Shu Ba Da Do Ma Ma Ma Ma
Saint James Infirmary (with Jimmie Vaughan)
Blues With a Feeling (with Jimmie Vaughan)
I'm Tore Down (with Jimmie Vaughan)
Jet Airliner (acoustic teaser)
Wild Mountain Honey (acoustic)
Gangster of Love (acoustic)
Dance Dance Dance
True Fine Love
Fly Like An Eagle
Jet Airliner (Encore)