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Sunday, June 27, 2004
Grand Excursion
Port of Dubuque
Dubuque, IA
The Shiz, Betty & the Headlights and Kansas
Sound: Steamline Productions
Operated by Doug
Assisted by Brian
Stage Tech: Tom "Hog" Hilber
Same Ol' Situation - Motley Crue
Unskinny Bop - Poison
Youth Gone Wild - Skid Row
Still of the Night - Whitesnake
You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi
Separate Ways - Journey
Runaway - Bon Jovi
I Can't Drive 55 - Sammy Hagar
Talk Dirty to Me - Poison
Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
Nothin' but a Good Time - Poison
Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
Rock of Ages - Def Leppard
Hot For Teacher - Van Halen
Home Sweet Home - Motley Crue
Once Bitten Twice Shy - Great White
Cult of Personality - Living Colour
Ah Leah - Donnie Iris
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Breaking the Chains - Dokken
Lay It Down - Ratt
Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Leppard
Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
A Word from Josh:
Event organizers offered us hotel rooms so I brought members of my family and made a weekend of it. We arrived in Dubuque on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed seeing many parts of this fascinating city that I had never seen before. We saw lots of beautiful old building and houses, some of which sit high on some majestic bluffs. Just driving around those neighborhoods made me realize that you can't live here if you are afraid of heights. We enjoyed the city so much, it's hard to believe that it's actually a part of Iowa. Before dinner I walked down to the site of the show and met the local sound company crew. Back at the hotel, we made good use of the swimming pool, exercise room and hot tub. On Sunday morning we slept in, watched TV and went swimming again. And I still found time to slam my head into a mini-van back hatch door while walking through the hotel parking lot. Well, you see, the sun was in my eyes and I didn't notice that the door was open. Yes, it was painful and laid me out for a couple of minutes, but occasional cranial trauma comes with the territory of being so freakishly tall. The rest of the day the left side of my forehead bore a red, swollen badge of stupidity. The live music got underway at 1:30 in the afternoon with a performance from The Shiz, a fun party band from Madison including a couple of members who I work with at Ward-Brodt Music Mall. At this point it became apparent that the venue was set up in such a way that the general public would not be allowed very close to the stage. About a thousand seats were set up in front of the stage surrounded by an orange security fence. Those seats were being reserved for VIPs during the Kansas show, thus would remain empty throughout the first three bands, save for a few "connected" individuals, while hundreds of people watched from behind the fence. It felt really weird and all day band members and music fans expressed frustration over the situation. Lead singer Betty of the day's second band Betty and the Headlights immediately took matters into her own hands by taking her wireless microphone out to the fence so that she could be close to the people who were trying to enjoy the show. Her strong soulful voice worked well for the band's bluesy pop rock mixed in with some funk and newer hits. The stage manager for the event was a nice fellow named Mike and it turns out that he blows a pretty mean blues harp as he sat in for a song with the Headlights. Our show started promptly at 5:30 and went pretty well. "You'll have to be really loud so that we can hear you!" implored John of the distant crowd that continued to file in behind the fence. During "Once Bitten Twice Shy" John took a cue from Betty as he walked out to the fence to lead the traditional sing-along section. At another point, John relayed an observation made earlier by Shane. "It's better to be in Iowa opening up for Kansas," he said, "than to be in Kansas opening up for Iowa." I was not surprised that one of my favorite songs "Tom Sawyer" went over particularly well. Not only does it appeal to the same kind of prog audience that would come to see Kansas, it was also acutely appropriate for the Grand Excursion which celebrates the riverboat culture of the Mississippi River relying heavily on the works of Mark Twain. If they invite us back to play here next year, we'll write a heavy rock anthem called "Huck Finn". With a couple of songs left in our set, the cloudy skies suddenly grew more menacing as we watched stage crew people scurrying around putting tarps over much of the sound equipment. This did not discourage any of the many rock fans who seemed to be enjoying our performance and our show ended strong. Of course, the big headliner for the evening was the legendary Kansas, one of my biggest musical influences growing up, although they don't like to hear that because it makes them feel old. But, then again, as front man Robby Steinhart bellowed after their first few songs, "Who says you can't rock when you're... 52, 53 and 54 years old!?" Well, rock they did, blasting out such epic prog rock classics as "Paradox", "Icarus, Borne on Wings of Steel", "Magnum Opus" and "Song for America". The show actually got off to a mixed start as Robby's violin malfunctioned on the set's first song "Belexes". But, once that was fixed, the unmistakable Kansas sound was complete. Lead singer Steve Walsh was in very good voice as they played their most popular songs toward the end including "Point of Know Return", "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry On Wayward Son". A light rain did start falling during the concert, but it didn't get heavy until after it was over. Thousands went home happy, including yours truly.      --Josh

Were you at this show?
Would you like to comment on it?

"Hey u guys are really good. I hope that u guys can come back to Dubuque so I can see ya again. U GUYS ROCK!!!!!!"

"Well now i can relate to how John feels when he has to rush from a Illinois show up to a CP show in the same weekend.......Saturday nite i drove down to Rockford to meet up with Poison and Jewelz to support another local Milwaukee band (the bands are friends so no worries)we stayed in a hotel (NO DUI'S FOR US!!)then at 9:30am i was on the road back to pick up my family to head out to Dubuque!!!! The ride isn't all that bad if ya like corn fields ;) we arrived in Dubuque around 2:00 checked in at the hotel and headed down to the festival it was a nice set up right on the river with tons of food and beer (Budweiser though) yuck!!! rides and attractions etc. right away we saw Josh who had a big red bump on his head (long story) the stage was pretty cool but the seating set-up sucked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the festival commitee had reserved at least 30 rows of seats so the crowd had to watch the bands from the sides and behind a waist high fence! Security was tight and tons of it (you would of thought the president was arriving)but John pulled some strings and talked them into letting the CP fans that made the trip to come into the gated area and up to the stage, which was great since we had so many kids there who could not of seen from behind the fence(my kids, Josh's, John's cute nieces) The guys sounded great, but the sound system seemed off alittle and Dave was having alittle trouble but got back to his normal groove in no time! the crowd was large and stand-offish at first but after 3 or so songs they moved closer and closer within 6 songs alot of ppl. had moved as close to the fence as they could and were singing, head banging, and dancing, but the distance between the guys and the crowd was still bothering John so he jumped off the stage with mic in hand and went to the fans, and they loved it!!! As the show ended the "new fans" wanted more and even handed us paper over the fence to get autographs!!! We went back stage to help tear down the equipment and as soon as the roadies had to set up for Kansas we were asked to go to the VIP tent for the bands where they offered free soda, beer, munchies, desserts etc. my kids thought that was so cool to be in the VIP tent of Kansas!!! :) so all in all the night was really fun, we got rained on for 10 minutes or so but kept right on dancing! Jas no more "cherry pocketed pants for me" and no more whoopie cushions for you!! :) ;) :) the kids are still laughing about that one!!!!!!!!!!!! P.S GOT A $200 SPEEDING TICKET ON THE WAY HOME!!!! OUCH!!!!!!!!!!"

Laurel Canyon:
"To sum it up, after CP's show, I had people coming up to me saying 'THOSE GUYS ROCK! Haven't seen them before, but will DEFINITELY see them again!'"

"When we arrived at the festival, we noticed an area was enclosed in front of the stage. But thanks to John, us cp fans were allowed inside to see the band play up close and personal. Even during the show, John mentioned that he's not used to the crowd being kept away from them. When CherryPie hit the stage, it was like a thunderstorm in itself. From the first song to the last, it was non-stop rock'n!! John worked the crowd with his dazzling and assertive style. No wonder the crowd yearned for more. With two outstanding bands, CherryPie and Kansas, this was a momentous night. And thanks again, John, for making it a special one too."

Eric Holmquist:
"Hey good opening set guys. Hope to see more of you guys soon.
Eric (Kansas Crew)"

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