DICK DALE : LIVE 2012 : A MYSTERY ISLAND MUSIC REVIEW
BRADLEY MASON HAMLIN
Dick Dale Live
Auburn Even Center: Auburn, California
January 21, 2012
[Editor's note: All photos captured from the Mystery Island camera phone, sometimes with wild children on shoulders; sorry for low res! xx Lucy].
The Tribe at Mystery Island caught Dick Dale live in concert at Auburn, California’s Auburn Event Center on January 21, 2012. Tickets were only available by cash in Auburn itself, so we took the gamble and drove up just a couple of hours before the show.
However, who can deny four smiling California kids that just wanna see the King of the Surf Guitar?
After a short wait, and some careful calculating by the promoters, they were able to squeeze six more into the hall. Thereby, making the Mystery Island crew the last six paying customers to see Dick Dale on this 2011/2012 U.S. Tour!
Opening for Dick Dale was Auburn, California’s very own surf band: The Pyronauts!
The Pyronauts surfed up the stage with a great mix of oceanic classics and originals. They even took a turn with “Surfer Girl,” adding groovy guitar choreography. The Pyronauts are definitely a legit instrumental combo that we’ll be keeping an eye on. Check them out if they hit the shores of your town or if you’re cruisin’ through Auburn.
Nicky and I have seen Dick Dale throughout the years, and I even asked her to marry me at the first Dick Dale show we saw together, so going to see Dick is very much like an anniversary for us, and he never disappoints.
From the opening notes of Sam Bolle’s wild surf bass – creating the perfect raging swell – you’re hooked. Add Jimmy Dale’s tribal cool-cat drumming as his dad takes stage – and the tsunami takes off as Dick Dale rips into “Nitro.”
Dick Dale has never sounded better. He is at the top of his game, post kicking cancer in the ass twice (literally), and playing harder than ever.
Dick Dale was born on May 4, 1937.
Think about that.
His shows aren’t any shorter than gigs I saw decades ago. If anything, they’re longer as he covers material from all his albums, and the best part is no two shows are exactly alike. Dick spontaneously takes Jimmy and Sam along for the ride and they miraculously keep that beat pumping like no one else can.
I always loved Ron Eglit playing bass for Dick Dale, but he moved on to the current roster of The Surfaris after Jim Pash died in 2005.
However, the surf bass is in good hands with Sam Bolle, possibly the best use of that instrument I’ve ever seen, just incredible.
And how about Jimmy Dale?
First time we saw Jimmy on drums he was just a little kid, but already keeping the beat.
Now he’s almost through being a teenager and playing like a madman with unbelievable skill.
And that’s all it takes to rock your world. Three guys with total expertise and total genuineness. The real deal.
Dick was also in rare vocal form last night. He always sings a bit, but in this closing show of the season we were treated to vocal renditions of: “Belo Horizonte,” “California Sun,” “Fever,” “House of the Rising Sun,” “Summertime Blues, and “Ring of Fire.”
He closed the show with an amazing rendition of “Amazing Grace,” dedicated to our troops, and the first A+ sneak peek from his forthcoming new album.
I told the kids, just before Dick Dale walked on stage, “This is the closest you’ll get to church in this family,” and the gospel came among us like a tiger loosened from captivity – just to set our spirits free for one more night.
And after the kids fought to see past giant people's butts and Roxy got kicked off my shoulders by the management, Dick Dale called our youngest tribesman, Tommy, up front to give him a guitar pick and Sam Bolle waved people aside so Roxy and Tommy could see the miracle in progress right from front stage. After the show, Dick recognized Roxy as the brave blond up high with no earplugs and made sure she got a special signed pick. Now that is some Dick Dale awesomeness.
At the merch table it was great talking with Dick and Lana Dale and Dick told Roxy a fun story about the time he stood on top of Space Mountain, playing the guitar, and how afterward the Dick Dale skull insignia was created. He didn't want her to be afraid of the skulls. He didn't know she lives in the house where Eddie Crossbones was born, but that's okay.
We'll send you a comic book, Dick!
And lastly, the final awesome highlight was having our son Max get his Dick Dale album signed! [See top picture above].
Then it was my big moment, finally a picture of BMH with the King of the Surf Guitar ... and the camera ran out of power.
Oh well, we'll just have catch Dick Dale during the next perfect storm.
Thank you: Dick Dale, Jimmy Dale, Sam Bolle, and to the beautiful Lana Dale for keeping the Dick Dale machine running smoothly. You are the best.
You can check out everything Dick Dale @: DICKDALE.COM
"Dick Dale Live 2012" by Bradley Mason Hamlin
© 2012 Mystery Island Publications. Edited by Lucy Hell. Published: 01.23.12
Photos of Dick Dale, Jimmy Dale, Sam Bolle, The Pyronauts, and Lucy Hell (below) by Mystery Island. All rights reserved.
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