There’s only a few times in your life where you will hear a sound so mesmerizingly beautiful that you’d like to bottle the essence and keep it around forever. I’ve never felt that way about music, sure enough I have a few favourite artists that I could listen to for hours but it’s rare for someone to touch your soul, to have every fibre of your being relate to their music. This happened for me the first time I was asked to cover a show by Dan Patlansky with some friends at the Joburg Theatre. I’ve never heard about him or his music before and I’m still ashamed of that. It’s safe to say that now, I’m a fan and when I realised that his last show for this year was happening around the corner from me, I knew I had to go.
We arrived at The Barnyard Theatre, Cresta and I took my friend, Nolene with because she was absolutely livid at me for leaving her behind the previous time. The first half of his set was acoustic and corny as it may sound, he’s electric even with an acoustic guitar. His only acoustic album released was in 2013 and it’s entitled Wooden Thoughts, definitely worth listening to. The crowd was mesmerized, no one dared to move or even blink for the fear of missing out. One thing that stood out for me about his show was that people were so enthralled that they forgot to take pictures and that realisation only dawned towards the end. He ended his acoustic set with a Led Zeppelin cover, which according to Nolene who’s a big fan, he did much better than the original. Dan is an absolute humble being, with an engaging nature and such a joy to watch. We had a half an hour interval after his acoustic set and that gave us some time to chat to his manager, Franie Kotze. He has been around the music scene for quite some time, having managed bands like Prime Circle, Springbok Nude Girls and currently managing Matthew Mole as well.
He told us about Dan’s recent special guest’ status for Joe Satriani‘s UK Shockwave tour that strectched over 31 days, 10 countries and 25 shows where he won hearts and gained new fans and respect in the industry. When asked about some of the most expected places they’ve played at and had people requesting Dan to come, he replied with Slovakia and Hungary where Dan is scheduled to headline a festival next year after his recent success there. It’s a tough industry and he sang Dan’s praises for remaining humble, scandal-free (he’s happily married, doesn’t drink, smoke or do drugs) which is a polar opposite of what you’d expect from the stereotypical “rock star”. He still practice 6-8 hours a day when at home and even when on the tourbus. I do believe that his management team, Franie in particular, has a lot to do with the amazing artist he had turn into. Franie was by his side when he opened for Bruce Springsteen in 2014 in front of 64 000 people at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on his High Hopes tour. Dan was personally approved by Springsteen as support act, seeing as Springsteen rarely has guest artists for his shows, a definite milestone for his career.
I still can’t get used to the sheer power of his raspy voice, it sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it. I love him on the acoustic guitar but he’s right at home on electric. We were treated to his hit song, Bring the world to its knees from his 2012 album, 20 Stones that cemented his blues status. He also performed Bright light, big city from the same album and I loved every second of it. Just when I thought he couldn’t surprise me more, he played You upset me by the legendary BB King that took me back to the swing era, a track he covered on his 2009 album, Move my soul. My absolute favourite tracks has to be Stop the messin’ , Bet on me and Still wanna be your man of his latest album, Introvertigo which has the most amazing cover art I’ve seen in a while. I’ve had his album on repeat since the first time I saw him and I still can’t believe how talented he is. The evening came to an end too soon and he adhered to our “encore” chants…twice. It was an amazing evening and I’m certain that everyone had a great time. Dan even got a proposal…from a guy in the audience which lead to bursts of laughter.
PS. I’ll review his album Introvertigo on another occasion.