When you’re looking for it, you swear you passed it. When you finally find it, you still think you’re going the wrong way. You get to the top, and you realize you are actually in heaven, in a “concert venue” sort of way. The breath-taking views and the sound of silence make you wonder if you’re still in the San Francisco Bay Area. It seems I’m not the only one enamored with the place, as Dave told me “…there's no place quite like the Mountain Winery. The view alone is worth the trip up there! It had been many years since our last visit—we’d been to Villa Montalvo quite a bit...but it was awesome to get back up there. It was a special night, a very warm, intimate crowd--who were ready to hear and enjoy the music. What more could we want?”
Some wine, perhaps?!!
The first song of any concert is like the first song of any album…it sets the tone, and that’s exactly what Dave and the band did by opening with Give it Up. The crowd was revved up from the start! A few other long-time DK favorites, like Honey Dipped and Together Again kept the energy level high. David Benoit helped out on Together Again…every time I see him, I’m blown away with his fire and intensity on those ivories! WOW!
The only thing wrong with bringing Phil Perry out to sing Tender is the Night is that I was with my sister. I mean, come on…the view, the wine, the sunset, Phil Perry singing Tender is the Night… and my sis! Perry definitely packed a passionate punch with this one! The crickets helped to round out this song to it’s perfect ending.
Benoit picked up the pace again, performing Beat Street from his latest album, and then a special tribute to Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond with the jazzy sounding Blue Rondo a la Turk. A couple more DK tunes and then came the crystal clear voice of Ms. Kelly Sweet…soft, sultry, and pure. Kelly performed Raincoat and We Are One (the title track) from her debut album. Her voice was like that of a seasoned jazz singer, so it’s hard to believe that she’s only 19 years old. Dave made a claim that he has socks older than Kelly…my sources have confirmed that this is true!
Perry returned to the stage to perform a cover of a Christopher Cross tune, Ride Like the Wind, which can be found on his latest album, A Mighty Love. The performance was just that, mighty! His voice is absolutely phenomenal and with his wide range, he can probably put his own spin on just about any tune to make it like new!
Freedom at Midnight is, for me, one of the most recognizable Benoit tunes. The two Daves have been performing it together as long as I’ve been a fan, so on this night, it kind of brought it all home for me. DK ended the set by asking if we minded if he and the band got a little funky. Ask any DK fan the meaning of funky and you get the same answer, every time! Silverlining…complete with original DK choreography and a standing ovation!
The show was billed as a double feature with the second half being a showcase of tunes from Dave’s latest album At The Movies. It’s so hard to imagine movies without music. It’s almost imperative, as music helps to set the mood, tone, and emotion of every scene. Each tune not only brought me back in time, but with full wardrobe and everyone in character, I was definitely At The Movies (minus the buttery popcorn). Every tune touched the core of my soul, whether or not I’d ever seen the movie it represented. A heartfelt rendition of As Time Goes By; Benoit in his white sport coat for The James Bond Medley (and just when you realized something was missing, the lovely Ms. Sweet appears with a perfectly “shaken, not stirred” martini…for Benoit, of course!); Phil Perry crooning Moon River and It Might Be You (at this point, the crowd rose to their feet with a fantastic standing ovation!); Bill “The Rubber Hand Man” Sharpe, as Shaft! The Pink Panther theme song; Over the Rainbow (complete with the green glow from the Emerald City!); and Kelly singing Somewhere as if she’d been singing it for years! And what show would be complete without Austin Powers (played by Koz)? With the crowd already on their feet, it was the perfect time to end with a (huge) group trip to the Car Wash for a dynamite time!
As the tour comes to an end, Koz describes, “It's been a very fun summer...teaming up with Benoit again--he is such a master on that piano. And after 17 years to be reunited with Phil Perry--that's been a blast. And to introduce a brand new artist like Kelly Sweet to our audience has been a true honor...and to witness her growth over the summer has been inspiring--what a future she's got.”
”Also, to really 'mine' the movie music experience this summer has been very special for all of us...people are listening to this music in a different way--it accesses a different part of the soul, on a deep emotional level. It's been a great honor to play this music live--I just love it.”
As the show ended, I turned to my sister and long-time fellow Kozzer and said “Hey, they didn’t play You Make Me Smile!” HA! Usually I’m a day late and a dollar short! Koz and the band returned to the stage for his signature tune, as well as the band’s heartfelt promise of I’ll Be There next year!
For more information on the above performers, please visit their websites: