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Howlin' Wolf Show (New Orleans) - December 31, 2001
Here's a super review from Frank Crispigna III of Wisconsin.
My wife, Julie, and I arrived in New Orleans on Saturday evening (12/29/01). After checking into our hotel, we immediately walked over to the Howlin' Wolf to scope out the venue for the concert. The bar is two stories, and the second story was sold as Premium $50 Seats, with an open bar for New Year's Eve. I met Howie, the owner of the Howlin' Wolf. Howie is very charismatic, and a great guy ! After talking to Howie, I was a little concerned to find out that up until that night, only 70 tickets were pre-sold for the Producers' Concert.
My wife, Julie, and I arrived at the Howlin' Wolf at 8:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The doors were set to open at 9:00 p.m., and we already were plenty excited to see our favorite band. As we were waiting in line for the doors to open, I saw this cool-looking guy walking down the street coming our way, and I knew he looked really familiar. I stepped out of line to shake his hand, and low and behold, it was Mr. Bryan Holmes ! Bryan and I shared a few laughs (he actually remembered me from the show they did this past June in Oshkosh, WI), and he was blown away to find out that someone would travel all the way from Wisconsin to see the Producers ! I asked Bryan if I could buy him a beer, but he said that he wanted to crash before the show.
After the doors opened, we went upstairs to take our seats. We were fortunate enough to get a table in the front row, overlooking the center of the stage. The bar filled to about 200 people by the time the opening band, Hotstream went on stage at 10:25 p.m. Hotstream wasn't bad, fronted by a pretty talented Lead Singer. Unfortunately, all their songs sounded alike. At about 11:00 p.m., I went downstairs to see if I could see any of the Producers, knowing that Mr. Famous usually arrives early for the gig. Who do I run into, but Mr. Famous himself !! Wayne and I exchanged stories of past gigs, and he introduced me to his wonderful wife, Cindy. By this time (11:15 p.m.), Hotstream had finished its set, and Wayne went looking for Van & Kyle (Bryan was setting up his drums). I wished Wayne luck, and hoped I would see him after the show. I estimated that approximately 500 - 600 people had now arrived for the show.
The guys came on stage about 11:50 p.m., looking ready to party ! Following is the play list for the evening, with my comments interspersed:
Twenty-three songs, in roughly two hours. Lots of energy; lots of laughs; lots of cheers !!
My wife and I went downstairs to try and catch up with the band. We saw Bryan as he was walking backstage, and he waved us back with him. Well you can imagine my shock and joy when we were ushered into a room containing my favorite band members, and their spouse/girlfriends !!
Over the next hour or so, my wife and I got to share just a small part of life with each Producer. Each and every one of them is a gentleman, and could not have been more appreciative or hospitable to us. Kyle thought it would be a great idea for me to get a picture with the band, and rounded up the other members to make it happen. Unbelievable !!
My wife and I left the guys, knowing that each was exhausted from a long day, and longer night. As we walked back to our hotel, it struck me. How four guys, all incredibly talented musically, could be such truly good friends, and such truly good human beings !!!
I will remember that night and early morning for the rest of my life, as I will always remember the very first time I saw the Producers in concert and met them for the first time, in 1982.
Frank Crispigna III
Copyright © 1997- 2003 by Paul Schulz. All rights reserved.
I'm Paul Schulz in Columbus, Ohio and I'd like to hear your stories about The Producers. Maybe I'll put your experiences on the Fans page! firstname.lastname@example.org.