It was one of my first days of college at McNally Smith College of Music. I was a freshman, 17, and had no clue what the hell I was doing. I walked into the auditorium for a class called “Artist & Industry”. Being me, I had no clue what this class was but it was a requirement so there I was. That day was the day I fell in love with Davina & The Vagabonds. Artist & Industry was a class where students got to see someone perform and then do a little Q&A session. We had musicians from all over the country in all different genres but it was Davina & The Vagabonds performance that hit me a little bit more than the others and something just clicked as I watched her perform that day. It’s like, just seeing her perform and hearing her talk was the validation I needed to know that I was exactly where I needed to be and I was doing exactly what I was meant to do. Fast forward about thirteen years. I’m no longer that freshman with no clue what I was going to do but now I find myself in a pandemic that has taken away my one true love (live music) and I’m kind of starting to feel lost again. Thankfully, Davina & The Vagabonds were performing down the street from my house and I knew that that performance was just what the doctor ordered.
I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to go ahead and say this again: Crooners Supper Club in Fridley, MN is doing concerts right. With socially distanced tables in front of the stage and then a place for people to view the outdoor concerts from their car, you are able to enjoy a show here within your comfort level. From the top notch staff to the amazing sound and set up, I just really can not praise this venue enough for adapting and keeping the music alive. I know you’re not hear to read about the venue so I’ll move along to the show but, again, I just want to praise Crooners for everything they are doing right now.
Okay, the show. As soon as I saw the lovely Davina, I got butterflies– the kind you get on a first date. I was so excited to see her but also so nervous that maybe things have changed in the thirteen years it had been since I last got to witness her (and her band’s) genius live. Davina sat down at the gorgeous piano on the stage and jumped into a set that instantly brought me the comfort in my soul that I’ve been so desperately in need of.
Davina’s sound matches her look. It’s timeless and classic but has a little bit of an edge to it. Her voice straddles the fence of being ultra-smooth but also having this little pep in it that I feel like words just can’t describe. Beyond her amazing voice is her amazing piano skills. Watching Davina play made me want to rush home, sit myself down at my piano, and just let loose and learn every piece of music in my house. Her talent is extraordinary but it’s the way she performs that is really the icing on the cake. She has fun with it. From the way she adds little pieces of flair with her hands throughout to the way her legs dance underneath the keys. I feel like my passion for piano has been dwindling lately just because of everything else going on in the world but, watching her last night absolutely changes everything.
I have to be honest, Davina stole the spotlight for the entire performance but I would be remiss to not mention her amazing band. Usually one member of a group stealing the spotlight is a bad thing but, in this case, I feel like the band is perfectly trained for it. The men behind Davina, all dressed up in black and white, let Davina run the show but also gave the listeners a constant reminder of their talent. From little ornate runs of notes from the horns and bass to little intricate sounds coming from the drumset, the band may have allowed Davina to take the spotlight but they never fell out of focus. Each member of this band brings something to the table and seeing a group like that play together is a thing of pure magic.
Although Davina’s vocals are probably some of my favorite vocals around, multiple members of The Vagabonds took a turn singing a track and kept the performance flowing. Sure, I could have spent all night just listening to Davina but the different voices brought different vibes and really elevated this performance.
Davina & The Vagabond’s music clearly had me captivated but it was the personalities on stage that really had me in awe. Everyone was just having so much fun on that stage and you could feel it. The smiles spotted on stage were infectious and were reflected in the smiles of the audience members. Sure, we couldn’t all be huddled in a crowd and dancing around together (thanks, Covid) but that didn’t stop the energy throughout the parking lot at Crooner’s from being fun, joyous, and everything that everyone needed.
There were a million amazing moments throughout last night’s performance but me telling you about those moments, those jokes, those smiles, will mean nothing to you but all of those moments meant everything to myself, the rest of the audience, and the performers and it’s that feeling that made last night an absolutely perfect night.
Venue: Crooners Supper Club
Smell-O-Meter – The great outdoors
Average Age of the Crowd- 35
Crowd Surfers- None
Dance-ability- 7 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Passed Out People- None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Davina and the Vagabonds- 1
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 9.2 out of 10
Show on Deck- Jon Weber at Crooners!
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