Dodi & Co. opened the show at 9:30 PM. Gatsby's is the venue in which the ladies did their first CD release party. Many Dodi & Co. fans were in attendance for the Dodi set. The group had their NEW album available at the show entitled "Damsels In Distress." The ladies were fabulous with their very impressive harmonies and unusual approach. The ladies were decked out for the event with Marilyn and Nancy in their signature get-ups sans the candles and flowers as the venue was not large enough for Marilyn's typical "decorating." Dodi again impressed everyone with her unbelievable coordination whilst playing three intruments at the same time (12 string guitar - bass pedals and blues harp.)
At approximately 10:30 Marilyn introduced James Lee and he made his way up to begin what would be his FIRST set of music! Seeing James in such an intimate setting allowed the audience to witness his very impressive guitar work. James's vocals were back in tip top shape which was great as the last time James toured in the spring of '99, he had just barely recoved from laryngitis - (as had Peter T.)
James performed favorite selections from his catalogue of 15 CD's including "Fairweather Town", "Jerrico Wind", "Touch Like Magic", plus a few covers including "You Send Me" and "Last Train to Clarksville" from the Monkees catalogue. During this particular show, James sang and played much more than usual without the familiar "funny stories". There were some who missed hearing James's particular brand of humor and some who were happy to hear James play so much MORE music than usual. Most were just happy to see and hear James....period.
The audience danced and clapped along with James for the better part of an hour set of music. James also mentioned that he had just finished a new recording, Two Man Band II with another of his musical friends to be released in the near future.
At the end of the first set James brought Dodi & Co. back up to join him on stage. James called them the "JamesLets" but WE knew these ladies as the "Dodettes" from when a very bouncy Mr. Peter Tork introduced them as "the group formerly known as Dodi & Co. - I call them the Dodettes." The girls then sang back up on "Higher and Higher" at the 1998 festival in Lewisville, NC. The ladies sang harmony and backing vocals on "Last Time" (I don't wanna talk about it) AND "Dirty Job" which James admits was the FIRST time he ever remembered playing this song in public. The ladies apparently selected this song on which to join James. It was a rare treat to be able to hear this song performed live. The culmination of the extra vocals AND percussion in addition to James's fabulous solo talent, was really wonderful. James and the ladies seemed to be having the best time performing. Everyone then took a break to sign CD's and "smooze." And smooze they did.
James's second set included a lot of songs that you never hear James perform in his solo sets during the "Two Man Band" Tours with Peter. There were also some that you never hear him perform period! James knocked out one great song after to a very appreciative crowd. We got to watch James work with the effects box that he has at his feet, which was also interesting. James's voice and guitar filled the room. Dodi & Co., who were at the front of the audience - jumped back up at James's request and sang harmony/back up vocals on SEVERAL more songs as well as adding percusion into the mix. We were told later that ONE of the songs, "Born to Love You," was the first time ANY of the ladies had ever even HEARD the song. These girls are quick to say the least and James seemed very happy with the effects. We overheard him saying to the ladies that he hears so many different harmony parts in his music but rarely gets to perform with other singerS - so he had a lot of fun. The audience did too. The music went on until 1:15 AM and a good time was had by all. It was also funny to watch James and the ladies avoid the DARTS which are thrown if the locals don't like 'ya. - just kidding - check out the photos and enjoy! Thanks James you were wonderful - and thanks to Dodi & Co.!
( PS. There was ONE guy making a video of this event and a load of photos to boot, so maybe those will surface. Included are a few that this reviewer took. Thanks should also be given to the LAAC for allowing space on their site for this review.)