Wayne, Van, Kyle, & Bryan
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Howlin' Wolf Show (New Orleans) - December 31, 2001

December 31, 2001 Howlin' Wolf, 828 S.Peters Street, New Orleans. Show time is 10 p.m. Doors open at 9:00. Tickets are $20 for the mosh pit, $50 for the balcony. For road trippers, there is a Courtyard by Marriott across the street.

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:

  1. What She Does To Me -- Van on Lead Vocal
  2. Auld Lang Syne -- Kyle on Lead Vocal  (It turned midnight during this song, and Kyle's girlfriend Tanya, and Van's girlfriend Pam, joined their men on stage for a New Year's kiss -- Kyle & Tanya's was incredible !!)
  3. Operation -- Kyle on Lead Vocal
  4. Here's to You -- Van & Kyle on Lead Vocals
  5. You Make the Heat -- Kyle on Lead Vocal
  6. Certain Kind of Girl -- Van on Lead Vocal
  7. What's He Got ? -- Kyle on Lead Vocal
  8. Oh Darling (Beatles) -- Kyle on Lead Vocal
  9. Juicy Miss Lucy (Beatles) -- Van on Lead Vocal
  10. Merry-Go-Round -- Van on Lead Vocal
  11. Dear John -- Kyle on Lead Vocal
  12. I Love Lucy -- Van on Lead Vocal
  13. Life of Crime -- Kyle on Lead Vocal, Bryan on the delicious speaking solos (This was the first time I'd seen this done in concert, and it was a rush !!!)
  14. What's New Pussycat ? (a Tom Jones tune)  -- Van & Kyle on Lead Vocals 
  15. Dankeshein (a Wayne Newton tune) -- Van & Kyle on Lead Vocals  (They jammed to these while they were waiting for Wayne to get his keyboards set up for the next song). 
  16. Primitive Man -- Van on Lead Vocal  (Awesome song -- Wayne was great on Keyboards, and Van showed us some of his incredible guitar prowess at the end of the song).
  17. You Go Your Way -- Van on Lead Vocal
  18. The End -- Van on Lead Vocal  (Van's guitar solo was awesome).
  19. Renaissance -- Kyle on Lead Vocal
  20. She Sheila -- Van on Lead Vocal  (This was, and remains, my favorite Producers' song. The band's performance of this song kicked major ass !  Everyone was great !!!)

    Encore - The band took a small break, and then was cheered back on stage to do some encores.  As ususal, the encores are a blast, with band members often-times changing instruments.  We were not to be disappointed tonight, either:
  21. Mustang Sally -- Kyle on Lead Vocal  (Kyle's vocals were way cool, and Van was simply smoking on the guitar solo).
  22. Hard Day's Night -- Bryan on Lead Vocal (Bryan, hard as he tried, was simply spent from a long night on drums and backing vocals.  Kyle stepped in and was huge in support of Bryan on lead vocals.  Featured Mr. Wayne Famous on Drums.  This song was one of my biggest joys of the night -- seeing my favorite band laughing and back-slapping each other; it was just unbelievable !!).
  23. I'm Down -- Van on Lead Vocal  (Wayne had a Keyboard solo that left me speechless).  

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

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 Copyright © 1997- 2003 by Paul Schulz. All rights reserved.

Created: 12/2/2001 / Changed: 1/6/2002 5:28:53 PM

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! schulzp@rrohio.com.