The Infinity, Norfolk CT, 07.08.2011


Al, Dave, and Mike Lindauer (sp?) performed at The Infinity, a restaurant and performance venue in Norfolk, a town in the northwestern corner of Connecticut, USA, on Sunday, August 7th 2011.

The set list is at the end of this message.

Please note that I have tried to exclude apostrophes and quotation marks. My keyboard messes them up.

I decided to go to this show, which is a three hour drive from my home in northwestern New Jersey, at the last minute after seeing Jared’s post asking for a person who could pick up and store Dave’s sales merchandise until the next time Al and Dave are performing in the northeast.

This area of Connecticut is beautiful, with lots of rolling hills, small towns, and true New England character. There must have been a white clapboard church with a narrow steeple pointing into the sky about every two miles. And little country stores. And cows and horses. Sometimes the horses were pulling open carts, painted white with red trim. And lots and lots of Bed and Breakfast Inns, one of which I stayed at.

I learned that Norfolk has the highest elevation of any town or city in Connecticut, and gets quite a lot of snow in the winter, even when surrounding towns don’t get snow. But on this day, it was HOT there. I was glad that my room had an air conditioner, though the Bed and Breakfast itself didn’t have any general air conditioning. I learned that in addition to me, there were two couples staying at the same B&B that night, and like me, both couples were going to the Al and Dave show at the Infinity. This B&B gave a 10% discount to those who show a ticket to an Infinity Show.

When I arrived in Norfolk I called Dave to let him know that I was in town and available to provide any help he needed before the show started. He called back shortly to say he and Al were still on the road, and were running late due to heavy, slow traffic on the Mass Turnpike, but he wouldn’t need any help from me before the show. He had also told me earlier that The Infinity provides its own salesperson for merchandise, so he wouldn’t be needing me except at the very end, to take the CD’s home.

So I enjoyed the Inn for a little while, cooled down in my room and washed the sweat off my face, and then went to the Infinity where I had made a dinner reservation. I didn’t know anyone else who was going to the show, so I ate my dinner in a leisurely manner while reading my current mystery novel, then went to the box office to pick up my ticket. It was 7:20, and Dave was supposed to open the show at 7:30.

I went up to the box office to pick up my ticket, and gave my name, Carol Vermilyea. At this point all hell broke loose. The man behind the counter said: Carol Vermilyea! You’re the Carol that Dave has been searching for. He’s been looking all over for you! He’s out looking for you right now! Here is the sales table. Here is the money pouch. Dave says you know what to do.

Totally bewildered at this turn of events, I walked behind the sales table and tried to figure out what was going on. There were Dave CD’s laid out, several stacks of Uncorked, and also a few copies of Al’s CD Down in the Cellar, next to a big stack of Sargent Al posters. There were two bags of Dave Nach guitar picks and some other paraphernalia.

I was able to find a sign saying that the Dave CD’s were $20 each, but no information as to what was being charged for the Al CD or the Sargent Al posters. Customers started showing up at the table, and of course the customers wanted the things that I didn’t know how much to charge for.

Fortunately, Dave showed up at this moment, and said: Carol! You’re here! Did you get my messages?

I had not gotten any messages from Dave, so I was now even more bewildered than before. But, looking at my phone, I saw that I had two voice messages and one text message. All from Dave. I had not heard the phone ring in the very noisy restaurant. Since I was not expecting to be needed, I had not set the phone on Loud or placed it on my dining table.

It was now past the time that Dave was supposed to be upstairs opening the show. He rapidly explained that he and Al had been even more delayed on the road than they had expected, and that The Infinity was not, in fact, providing their own sales person. This was why he was trying to find me. He explained that the Al CD and the Sargent Al poster were being sold by Ron Scott, who was also on the tour with them, so I didnt need to worry about those. Dave then dashed upstairs. I took care of a few customers, but as soon as the show started there was no more sales traffic. The box office man, also named Ron, offered to hold onto the money pouch so I could watch the show, so I went on upstairs and joined the audience.

Dave had mentioned to me that since it was the last night of the show and he still had lots of his guitar picks left, he might tell the audience that he wanted everyone to come to the sales table, meet him in person, and get a pick. He did in fact do this.

Dave and Mike played 3 songs, then Al joined them.

The Al part of the show got off to a slightly rocky start with some minor sound problems. I could see Al grimace when he first started singing and I noticed that the sound was not very good, so I figured Al was not happy with it. At the end of the first two songs, both Al and Dave asked for sound changes, and did lots of strumming and humming to try and get the sound right. I dont know whether there had been any time for a sound check before the show started. What was supposed to be a four hour trip from Ogunquit, Maine had turned into a trip that took between six and seven hours.

Al also had a couple of times when he forgot lyrics. After the lapse he explained that the performers had driven from Maine and it had been a very long day. In fact, Al said, this was the last show of a seven day, seven show tour in seven different states.

At this point, the audience began to get more involved. Someone asked where in Maine Al and Dave had come from, and that started a conversation between the audience and the performers, which I think helped everybody. Sort of like in the Jackson Browne song where Jackson sings to the audience: You can sit there and wait or you can pull us through...the audience did indeed pull Al and Dave through, after a tiring week and a very tiring day. Requests were made, and there were generally lots of supportive interactions, applause and cheers.

Once Al announced that they were about to play the last song before intermission, I ran downstairs and prepared for the onslaught. And an onslaught it was! Customers were at the sales table asking for their pick and making purchases even before Dave got there.

The line went way out the door of the little room where the sales table was set up, as far out into the hall as I could see. The customers kept coming and coming. There were also customers waiting for Ron to show up to sell the Al CD and the posters. All in all, total bedlam. After a while the person from Infinity came in and said: you have 10 minutes, Dave. The line was still longer than I could see. Dave and I tried to speed things up. Then the Infinity person came in again and said: You need to be on stage now, Dave! Dave dashed upstairs and I continued selling and giving out picks, for probably another 10 minutes, telling customers that Dave would be back at the end of the show to meet them and sign CD’s.

The second act went much more smoothly than the first. There were a couple of requests, one for Apple Cider, and I’m not sure which the other one was.

After Apple Cider, Al commented that he particularly liked the lines:

You have the most appealing surface I have seen
Bring it over here, lay it down by me...

He said he thought these line were much more elegant than just saying...let’s have sex.

After Soho (Needless to Say), Al had started his usual between-song patter when he stopped and said: someone is waving at me.

It turned out that the waving person was a sweet 8 year old boy with longish blond hair named Paul, who loves Al’s music and had in fact made the two previous requests. I had met Paul and his parents at the sales table earlier. Paul had a cast on his arm, having broken the arm playing soccer at the beginning of the summer. The injury had limited Paul’s summer activities very much, so his parents had told him he could pick something he wanted to do during the summer that would make him happy. He said he wanted to see Al Stewart!

So Al called on Paul, and Paul asked Al if he was going to play Princess Olivia. Al said he hadnt planned on it, but if Paul wanted him to, of course he would play Princess Olivia. It was really quite touching. (After the show, both Dave and Al signed Paul’s cast.)

After Princess Olivia, Al mentioned that speaking of princesses, someone had asked him what he thought about Kate and Wills.

Al gave a long answer to this question, which I don’t think I quite remember, but here is my best effort. He said he had a problem with Kate and Wills, that being that they were actually Germans, as is the whole Windsor family, starting with Prince Louis Battenberg, a German who Anglicized his name by changing it to Mountbatten, thus making it okay for him to stay in England once it became clear that England was going to war with Germany in 1914. Al then said: and besides, my ancestors the Stewarts fought the British. Al said something to the effect that four generations back from his grandfather there were Stewart Kings of Scotland. But then he said that they weren’t very good Kings, so it was best that Germans became the royals of England anyway. Anyone who knows English and Scottish history well can probably clarify all this.

After the show the bedlam continued, with lots of sales for Dave and quite a few for Ron. Al had been set up at a signing table in a separate room.

There were two special needs young women at the show who were Dave fans. They were with people who appeared to be parents or guardians. Infinity staff asked if they could bring these two young women to the front of the line, and of course Dave gave them extra attention. That was a nice moment.

As the flood of customers slowed to a trickle, I covered the table while Dave had his photo taken with a young man who was wearing a “Step Up” shirt and was obviously a major Dave fan. Dave said it was the first time he had seen anyone wearing the Step Up shirt. It looked very good on the young man who was wearing it.

I had a chance to talk with Mike for a few minutes, and learned that in addition to being an excellent bass guitarist, he owns a recycling business. He had prepared for this business by getting a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry. Since my daughter is a graduate student in Organic Chemistry and has just passed her Oral Comprehensive Exam, I was quite interested in Mike’s story. My daughter is a pianist. There must be something about organic chemists that inclines them toward music as well.

Once there were no more people waiting to buy stuff or talk to Dave, we packed things up. So many CDs had been sold that there were a grand total of about 15 for me to take home!

I ducked into the room where Al had been signing CDs for just a minute to say hello and ask him about Ivan the Terrible. His line of fans, too, was finished, and he was talking with one of the Infinity Chefs, who wanted to know how Al and group had liked the dinner she had prepared for them. Apparently she had made a special cake just for the performers as well as dinner.

By this time I was very tired and ready to go back to my B&B and get some sleep, and everyone else looked about as tired as I felt. We all said good night and I left with my half full box of CD’s. I had a good nights sleep in my lovely air conditioned room, and a delicious hot breakfast the next morning before I headed home through the beautiful New England hills.

SET LIST:

I’m not sure I have every single song, or all the songs in the correct order. But here is my best attempt:

Dave and Mike:

Midnight Sea
Descartes in Amsterdam
Fragile Thing

Al and Dave, with Mike for several songs:

House of Clocks
Genie on a Tabletop
Palace of Versailles
Night Train to Munich
Child’s View of the Eisenhower Years
On the Border

INTERMISSION

Dave and Mike:

Love Keeps Going On
Not What I Expected
Grateful

Al and Dave, with Mike for several songs:

Warren Harding
Time Passages
Midas Shadow
Apple Cider Reconstitution
Soho (Needless to Say)
Princess Olivia
Year of the Cat

ENCORES

Sheila Won’t Be Coming Home, with audience participation (singing and clapping)
End of the Day.

--Carol