At least a half an hour before the band was scheduled to start, people were lined up clogging the stairway in anticipation of seeing Dan Baird and Homemade Sin perform at Hill Country Live, downstairs in Washington D.C.’s popular Hill Country Barbecue Market. At one point a fan saw Dan Baird and turned excitedly to yell back up to everyone behind him: “There he is!” Baird can elicit the same kind of wild giddiness he always has, from even before the years when he was shown, on repeat, playing “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” on MTV, as the grinning lead player in the Georgia Satellites.
When Dan Baird and Warner Hodges strode across the stage, you just had the undeniable sense you were in the room with a power source. Some fans couldn’t help themselves and were pressing toward them making requests, one leaning above the other, while Baird was still donning his signature top hat and Warner was ducking under his guitar strap. Everyone was ready for the show and people were already breaking out from what you might call normal practices of civil behavior and restraint.
Homemade Sin struck hot right away with “Damn Thing to Be Done ” and then the Georgia Satellites’ “I Dunno.” Their crew member at the merch table said the band never works from a setlist, and just plays what comes instinctively. For someone with more than a dozen records, and more than another dozen songs from bands for which Baird has been the lead guitarist (Georgia Satellites, the Yayhoos) that’s quite noteworthy. Next up the band powered up with “The Other Side,” which is on their recent release Rollercoaster, and then “Myth of Love,” (Georgia Satellites) and “Julie and Lucky.”
When they played the popular “I Love You Period” the whole room was a sea of rockin’ and rollin’ waves of dancers. Baird’s vocals were particularly animated on this one, and the band was clearly as energized as the crowd was.
“Shake it Til It’s Sore,” kept the vibe going strong, and then “Crooked Smile,” was a little bit of a slow down rock version of a love song, and then there was “Younger Face” and “Knocked Out Cold. ”
“Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” was the song that accessed everyone’s collective unconscious and while Hodges and Baird played fluidly and wild, like two rubber band silhouettes on the stage, Sean Savacool on bass and Mauro Magellan on drums were dead on, top notch rhythm driving the music train. It’s worth noting when there’s a good resiliant drummer, and Magellan is all of that and then some.
“Runnin’ Outta Time,” “Sheila,” and Baird was rock steady on his Danocaster, a tele made in Nashville by Dan Strain. (If you’re interested, click one of these here bolded words.) Dan Baird’s more familiar, well-loved Steve Marriott tele didn’t make the trip, and rumor has it it’s gotten finicky in its old age. But the Danocaster was wild and beautiful just the same.
“Nothing Left to Lose,” “Dan Takes Five” (Georgia Satellites), and then they played “Movin’ Right Along.” The night was drawing to a close when they presented “Fall Apart” (on me); another top-of-the-list fan favorite and one of those timeless rock songs with a rare and unique catchy hooks; if you haven’t heard this one, you need to. Right now. And then it was “Railroad Steel” and everyone in the room was dancing and singing til the bitter end. This night was one that left everyone breathless and headspinningly amazed. Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, please keep touring stateside! For more information on shows and merch, click here. http://www.danbairdandhomemadesin.net/