Or, as proved to be the case on Saturday night (4/22), an incredible two-hour late night set of tunes at 3rd & Lindsley from the reunited Mavericks, who are signed to Valory Music Co. and making new music.
The sold-out show, part of a two-night fundraiser benefiting the W.O. Smith Music School and The Recording Academy’s MusicCares, also featured Matt Butcher and Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys.
Apparently everyone else with a ticket had the same idea: show up early and find a place to sit down. Only they all did it before yours truly. The renovated 3rd & Lindsley can certainly accommodate more people these days, but some fire codes might have been violated on Saturday. By the time Mead hit the stage for his retro-styled honky-tonk at 9 pm, the place was packed and strangers were pressed up against one another, dodging servers who were schlepping beers and plates of food to patrons.
At 10 pm (or shortly thereafter), the Mavericks took the stage. Singer Raul Malo greeted the audience with a quick, “Hello, Nashville” and the band–Robert Reynolds, Paul Deakin, Eddie Perez and the rest–snapped into gear with the brand new song “Back In Your Arms Again.”
The band has been busy in the studio, and attendees got to hear a sampling of the first new Mavericks songs in several years. Among those were first single “Born To Be Blue,” a jangly uptempo number that should please the band’s longtime fans and sound pretty distinct on country radio. Also debuted was “Come Unto To Me,” a deeply twangy, sexy rocker with killer twin guitar leads and an almost Eastern European feel to it. Promising stuff.
But the band didn’t skimp on the classic tunes either, delivering energetic performances of “Pretend,” “There Goes My Heart,” and “I Want To Know.” By this point, the audience had shed its inhibitions and begun dancing wildly.
“Some songs you have to play, and some you want to play. This is one of those,” said Malo, before delivering the gorgeous, shimmering “Blue Bayou.”
Malo dedicated “One More Angel” to the late publicist Jayne Rogovin, which segued into the Cuban anthem “Guantanamera” and then into “Twist & Shout.”
“We started out playing in bars so this ain’t nothing for us,” said Malo during the mid-song breakdown as his guitar cable malfunctioned. “We love doing this. Once a bar band, always a bar band.”
The crowd cheered for favorites like “What A Crying Shame” and “Dance The Night Away,” which ended the main set.
For the encore, Malo returned alone and played the devastating “Here Comes To Rain” with only his acoustic, the audience rapt with attention. He followed with “Sweet Dreams,” and brought the band back out for the churning “Every Little Thing.”
As the clock crept past midnight, the band treated the crowd to a second encore that included Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In the Line (Shake Senora)” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Born On The Bayou,” the latter featuring some crazy reverse guitar effects.
The evening ended with the Mavericks’ vibrant run through 1996 single “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” Which, perhaps ironically, left audience members feeling pretty darn good as they headed back out into the night for much needed rest.