The other night, I took the trek out to the dusty city of Dayton, Ohio to see one of my favorite musicians, David Mayfield. The odds were against him. First off, it was a Wednesday. Second of all, the show was announced a week before. Lastly…. the show was in Dayton. With all of these factors only about 50 or so people showed up to see an almost flawless performance.
You may remember me talking about David in my post about Cadillac Sky. When the band split, David went his own way forming The David Mayfield Parade so he didn’t have to give up the business. The band’s appearance is very similar to C-Sky’s, a bunch of chubby bearded men, except David brought on an addition of two lovely ladies (Kristen Webber-Fiddle and Shelby Means-Upright Bass), and they are quite lovely.
I got my first taste of the man before the show started. I saw him walking into the small bathroom of The Canal Street Tavern. I walked in after him and he offered for me to use the urinal first (what a sweet man). After telling him I was only in there to wish him luck, he offered to take a picture next to the urinal, so I now have a captured memory. He then proceeded to go into the stall… and come out about 20 minutes later.
The show began with the drummer Joe Giotta doing a jazzy drum routine. He was then joined by each member who added on to his phat beat. Finally David runs out wearing skinny jeans (he’s the biggest man I’ve ever seen wear them, and he somehow pulls them off better than the average man), sportsjacket, and a yellow button down; he looked right out of a band in the 1950s. Next he pulled a somersault on the stage and jumped right into the Cadillac Sky favorite, “Trapped Under the Ice”. When it came to the call and response “I am a monkey in a cage” David would watch the crowd and yell in someones face if they weren’t singing. “YOU’RE NOT SINGING!!!’
What really astounded me was how talented the whole band was. He always made sure they were given time to show off their talents by letting them break out into long solos while he would lie on the floor and pretend to sleep or dance. They did two accapella performances which showed off all of their singing talents, as well as lead guitarist’s, Wes Langlois, whistling abilities.
David is as much a comedian as he is a musician. In between each song he had a routine ready for us. Often times it was a planned thing that I’m sure he says show after show, but Mayfield showed his sponaneity by making fun of the louder members of the crowd. “Can we get this man a microphone? He’s really… adding a lot,” Mayfield said to a particulary loud moustached man who often let himself be heard.
Although the whole show left me in awe, the ending was nothing short of phenomenal. David noodled around on his guitar and showed us things that I and I’m sure most members in the crowd had never seen before, like playing using the tuning knobs instead of frets. The band then came out and joined him for an explosive redition of “Rye Whiskey”. As the crowd sang “I’d never come up again,” David ran on the highest ledge in the club, unbuttoned his shirt, and let his belly hang. He stayed out long enough to provide a photo-op and proceeded to his changing room.
After a short encore cheer the band walked out with a single guitar. Mayfield had the crowd circle around him and Wes and they played “Breath of Love” unplugged. The crowd who knew the words sang along. By the last chorus, the whole crowd was involved. When it was over, the band went around hugging and shaking hands with all who attended.
There are some who argue that live music is a spiritual experience. When the crowd and performer connect and share the same energy, a metaphysical bond is made. That encore performance was support for their argument.