They should have been huge. But they’re still a big draw. Rushonrock catches the Dan Reed Network as UK headline run gathers pace.
O2 offer arena pre-sales. EE throw in free sport. And Vodafone pride themselves in great value bundles. But when it comes to party rock fused with serious funk only one network truly delivers: the Dan Reed Network.
Dialled in from the start, the veteran frontman’s enduring connection with an adoring crowd is only part of what makes these treasured shows so special. Reed has surrounded himself with a band of brothers who share his gleeful vision of the perfect release from reality. This is supercharged entertainment built on a songbook that continues to stand the test of time.
Reed’s revelation that a new Network record will land in 2020 – following a series of select gigs celebrating Slam’s 30thanniversary – was music to the ears of the bouncing masses. In truth, this band should have many more masterworks under its belt but a sensational second coming continues to be a cause for wild celebration.
Reed has retained the unique vocal range that propelled the Network to the cusp of international success in the early 90s and his wingmen remain peerless: Brion James (guitar), Melvin Brannon II (bass) and Dan Pred (drums) live and breathe the anthems that continue to soundtrack a sumptuous setlist.
Best mates, as well as blinding musicians, the Network’s core quartet could rattle out 90 minutes of heartwarming nostalgia with their eyes shut. But there’s no danger of any drift and no sense of simply going through the motions. A delightful mid-set jam – wrapping up Metallica, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and more within a meandering version of Baby Now I – was perfectly pitched and rapturously received. Reed and his buddies can do it all.
And they did most of it before an 11pm curfew called time on a memorable show. Under My Skin, Rainbow Child and Ritual were the obvious highlights but Champion – from 2016’s Fight Another Day – more than whetted the appetite for that new Network record.
Reed will be back in the UK in the new year, opening up for Thunder, and those acoustic sets are guaranteed to impress. But there’s no doubt the veteran frontman is at his best, and his most endearing, as part of a Network. A network of friends. A network of fellow artists. And a network that doesn’t require any special deals or ill-advised gimmicks. For quality, reliability and customer satisfaction, choose Dan Reed Network every time.