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Review: Dave Mason from Traffic amazing at The Paramount in New York (Includes first-hand account)

Mason’s concert was divided into two segments: in the first act he performed Traffic songs, while the second part of the show featured his solo recordings.

He began his set with “Forty Thousand Headmen,” as he accompanied himself with his black acoustic guitar, which was met with a roaring response from the Long Island audience.

“Thank you. Welcome. It’s nice to be here. It’s nice to be anywhere. We will do a few Traffic songs and then take a little break and do some Dave songs,” he said, giving his fans a synopsis of his show.

For “Pearly Queen,” Mason switched over to electric guitar, which was an upbeat and fun performance. He subsequently interacted well with the crowd and gave them a brief background about himself, sharing his birthday, being born on May 10, 1946, in Worcester, England. He noted that cricket is similar to baseball but it is a lot more boring.

After inquiring as to whether the audience makes reservations or cooks for themselves, he conveniently lead them into “Rock and Roll Stew,” with Tony Patler on lead vocals and keyboards, as well as Dave on soaring harmonies and electric guitar.

“The following song is a classic song that is bound to get requested, but since 2013, nobody has requested it. I’m going to do it anyway,” Mason said, prior to breaking into the lengthy yet remarkable “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” which featured a killer electric guitar solo. It earned Mason and the band their first standing ovation of the evening.

Regarding his accent, he stated that everybody from England sounds like they are from the get-go. He noted that he lived in the United States since 1969. He showed the audience a black and white image of his old house and his band when they were kids, where they built their own stage, thus displaying his humble beginnings. “It was a great time. There were no worries. We made a lot of music in that house. We did a lot of research in that house,” he explained.

“Speaking of research, this bring me to another Traffic song entitled ‘Medicated Goo’,” he said, prior to performing the Steve Winwood and Jimmy Miller-penned “Medicated Goo.”

After taking a sip of water, Mason closed the first half of his show with the psychedelic rock classic “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” which was expressive, nostalgic and soulful, proving that he is one true song stylist. It garnered him a lengthy standing ovation.

Following a brief intermission, Mason returned for his noteworthy solo set, which included such tunes as “World in Changes,” the melodically-beautiful “We Just Disagree,” “Look at You Look at Me,” the lyrically-powerful and moving “How Do I Get To Heaven,” the sultry “Good 2 U,” “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave,” “Only You Know and I Know” and the mid-tempo yet rocking “Feelin’ Alright.”

The Verdict

Overall, Dave Mason put on a superb rock show at The Paramount in Huntington. Aside from being an exceptional musician, he was one talented storyteller who was able to give his Long Island fans an overview of each song, and introduce a new generation of his listeners to his respected catalog of music. Drummer Alvino Bennett was impressive on drums, Johnne Sambataro soared on guitar and Tony Patler was utterly fantastic on keyboards and vocals. Mason’s “Traffic Jam” shows are highly recommended seeing live. He proved that his 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was indeed based on merit. Their concert garnered an A rating.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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