Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts
Date: Sunday April 22, 2018
The Dixie Dregs have been around for over 40 years. They were formed in the mid-70s by High School friends, guitarist Steve Morse and bassist Andy West. They were later joined by drummer Rod Morgenstein, violinist Allen Sloan and keyboardist Steve Davidowski. Over the years, different members have left and others have joined the band. This year Steve pulled together the original Dixie Dregs lineup to perform live for the Dawn of the Dregs Tour!
The Dixie Dregs is an American rock group from Georgia that play a mixture of Southern and Progressive Rock with a classical overtone. As the band admits, there is very little singing done by the band (actually the only time they talked was between songs). It has been over 40 years since Danny Zelisko, then Evening Star Productions brought the Dixie Dregs to Tempe, Arizona at a small club called Dooley’s. That was the only other time I ever saw the Dregs. I was originally impressed by just how good these musicians were. During that time, it was the start of punk music and any idiot that could beat a drum, play a note on a guitar or could somewhat sing were calling themselves a band. It was refreshing to actually see and hear real artists like the Dregs.
It is now 40 years later and Danny Zelisko Presents has brought the same line-up back to the Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts. It was a sold-out show and a lot of the people there looked like they might have been at the 1977 shows. It was both a reunion for the band and a lot of the fans. The show was divided up into 2 sets with as 20-minute break, to allow the audience to refresh their drinks. During the first set, the band talked about a longtime friend, Twigg that has since past. They dedicated the next song, “Twiggs Approved” to him. For this song, Allen West played a special bass. Steve Morse is one of the great guitarist of our generation. He is not as flashy a say Prince, but just an amazing guitarist. And Allen Sloan on violin is just great.
The second set started with Allen Sloan coming out by himself and telling us that the violin solo he was going to perform he wrote for one of his kids. Part way through Allen’s solo, he was joined by Steve Morse to complete the song. Then the rest of the band joined. The show consisted of greatest hits of the Dregs. From the setlist below you can see the mixture of songs from all of their great albums. After a short break, they came back for a 2-song encore and played one of my favorite songs, “Night of the Living Dregs”.
For over 2 hours we were enthralled with the talent of these fine musicians and the crowd appreciated it. By the encore, everyone was standing and cheering and hoping for more. If you get a chance to see the Dixie Dregs it is an amazing experience. However, be aware that they do not sing or dance during the entire show. Instead you get fabulous music performed by some truly talented musicians.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman, 2018, All Rights Reserved
Dixie Dregs Setlist: (Album)
Divided We Stand (Unsung Heroes)
Free Fall (Free Fall)
Holiday (The Great Spectacular)
Assembly Line (Industry Standard)
Twiggs Approved (Dregs of the Earth)
Take It Off the Top (What If)
What If (The Great Spectacular, What If)
Country House Shuffle (The Great Spectacular)
Moe Down (Free Fall)
Odyssey (What If)
Violin Solo (Allen Sloan Composition)
Northern Lights (Free Fall)
Go for Baroque (Unsung Heroes)
Day 444 (Unsung Heroes)
Refried Funky Chicken (The Great Spectacular)
Leprechaun Promenade (The Great Spectacular)
Wages of Weirdness (Free Fall)
The Bash (Night of the Living Dregs)
Cruise Control (Free Fall)
Night of the Living Dregs (Night of the Living Dregs)
Bloodsucking Leeches (Industry Standard)