Ya know...you had your chance.
I made sure to put out the word to all the readers of the weekly DanceNet newsletter and the DanceNet website and many of you still missed out on the coolest swing dance band. I feel sorry for you. Many of us found our way deep into the heart of the People's Republic of Cambridge to catch my favorite dance band, Indigo Swing, on this great night on the town at the House of Blues in beautiful downtown Harvard Square.
The band was scheduled to start at 9:30 pm (or so said the House of Blues' website) but there was some private function up there and they spent alot of time kicking them out. The band was told to play at 10:30. Those of us in line to get in got to schmooze with the band members as they strolled up Winthrop Street from dinner.
What was different in Boston? This band is very well known in the San Francisco Bay Area; everyone follows them around to dance to their music. Since everyone who shows up really wants to dance, the band doesn't try to fill up the time between songs with stories and jokes and commentary: everyone just wants to dance. On the road, however, they want to connect with the crowd, particularly in a place where many people don't dance. They move around the stage more, they talk more, and they interact with the crowd more to draw the non-dance crowd in. For us dancers, it didn't detract from the great dance tunes that got us hopping on the dance floor.
The House of Blues stage area reminds me of the Hi-Ball Lounge in San Francisco, except NO chairs and tables so there's plenty of room to dance! (and no strip joints on either side of the club!). Dancers took up the front half of the room (away from the bar) and provided the floor show with their constant lindy turns. Who was there? Off the top of my head, The Weiss Man, Front Page Man of the Boston Globe Calendar magazine, Dave Weissburg; Emily Belt and Patricia Brennan drove two hours from Northampton to be there; Lindyman Larry Micol; Tony & Aurelie Tye; Mark Freedman; Jack Lynch; a new dance-a-holic, Marilyn Freedman (no relation to Mark); Claire Schlosser, the prettier half of the Boston Swing Dance Network; Mohan; and a few others (oh, including Renee....uh...oh shoot, what was her last name, whom I finally met).
And of course, there was the band.
Yup. They're still my favorite dance band. A few songs were played faster than their usual repertoire, but this is a dance band. Every single song was played and sung as to transfer maximum energy and enthusiasm to the dancer. Way cool. They started at 10:30 and played until 12:45 am with a short break. The dance floor was always busy. I noticed Tony & Aurelie doing the most comfortable rendition of the Balboa that I've seen in Boston; very smooth and no work at all. The only bad time was when the non-dancers wanted to get into the act and managed to take more than their share of floor space and started to kick and bump people. Those of us who took Bob Thomas' How to Take Up Floor Space Without Touching Anyone were able to clear out our own space. It was way cool when Johnny Boyd brought the microphone down to the floor and sang one of his ballads with all the swing dancers twirling around him.
Lotsa of fun. I forgot my contacts, extract shirts, my dance shoes, and a towel. I must have had alot of fun because I needed them all. :-) The leg cramps lasted at least three days afterwards. Emily and Patricia said it was well worth the two-hour drive to see the band.
Indigo Swing is headed to New York City after this. I think they're playing at (what used to be) the Continental Club on Irving Place. If you missed them up here, you can always drive down to the City to see them. Me? I saw them on both coasts now, three times in all. They've gotten better each time. They were also selling their CD's at $15 ($2 off the web price) AND I was encouraging everyone to get the band's autographs.
...truly an awesome band.
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