Jim Donovan - Night of a 1000 Drums (12/4/09)

I love it when friends get excited about concerts and ask me to come along... it's fun when other people take the concert lead once in a while. My friend John in Pittsburgh was really excited about this show in particular. He had given me a little bit of background on what it would be, but was a little unsure. Little did I know what was to actually happen.

First off, the venue up front was your typical coffee shop / food serving establishment. But you continued through to the back and the environment immediately transformed into this type of Turkish opium den. Pillows and Paisley abounded. The first thing it made you want to do was take your shoes off (which we did). We got a good seat, and by good I mean it was against the wall so we had some place to rest our backs. Much of the seating was just free standing ottomans and pillows. But that didn't matter because people weren't sitting long.

The band took the stage, Jim Donovan was in the back on drums and was host of the night, but he was not the center of attention. There were a couple other gentleman, I would guess were from Africa because of the accents, who were the real MC's. The music was good... Very African drumming and rhythm inspired. My only criticism was the early attempts to involve people in the music through various forms of call and response. People were hesitant to sing-out so early in the night and it made things a little uncomfortable. But not for long.

The best part of the night was the dancing. True we were initially entertained by the few who started dancing the second a hand hit the drum (and who looked like they never got off that acid trip from the 60's), but it wasn't long before we were joining them. I didn't take much in the way of photos because there was a sense of providing a space where people were free to be who they wanted without judgement. I didn't want my taking photos to be seen as paparazzi for something that could have been a joke to some. But to these people it wasn't, and nor was it to our group. A great night was had.

Jim Donovan

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