The first time I saw Dan Zanes was on an episode of Sesame Street. The segment made an impression because a young girl was playing the ukulele, and she reminded me of my friend Shamie’s younger sister. Shamie comes from a musical family, and I actually thought that it might be her sister. I never did get around to mentioning it to her before I found out that it was Dan’s daughter. Then we saw his videos on Noggin and, later, Playhouse Disney.
Two months ago, I was searching for the lyrics to “Malti,” Gogo’s favorite Dan Zanes song, and I noticed that there was a tour. There were two shows close to us, but once I saw that there was a show at Carnegie Hall, my mind was made up. How cool would it be to be able to say that your first concert was at Carnegie Hall? I e-mailed Shamie, who lives in the city, wondering if she’d even heard of Dan Zanes, and she immediately responded that she and Jacob, her son, were up for it.
We made plans to meet half an hour before the show, but wonder of wonders, we were half an hour early!* So we went to the Starbucks down the street and let the big kids have a snack and run around a bit (Zuzu was asleep on my back in my Albert Storch).
The show was fantastic. I might have gotten a little more out of it had I been familiar with the latest CD, but I learned a few new songs. One of the guests was a group called the Rubí Theater Company, and one of the women was wearing her baby in a ring sling, which was very cool to see onstage. And Father Goose was awesome! He's like Shaggy for kids. Oh, and I can’t forget Natalie Merchant…it was great to get to see her. I’ve had “Loch Lomond” in my head since Sunday.
When Dan announced that Barbara had had her baby and that both she and the baby were there, I was kind of hoping she’d be wearing her baby, too, but she came out alone. (I guess it would be difficult to wear the baby and play guitar at the same time. She did bring the baby out at the end.) Of course, they sang “Malti.” If they hadn’t, I don’t think I would have ever heard the end of it. Gogo was so excited about it, she couldn’t do anything but smile. She didn’t even sing along.
The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. They mostly milled about (Shamie and I sat on the ends and left the middle seats up, so the kids would have room to dance), but I think there was some dancing and hand clapping. I, of course, got very into the music and probably made a fool of myself: dancing in my seat, clapping, tapping my feet, and singing along as well as I could. I had an absolute blast!
After the concert we went out for pizza and I finally looked at the concert program. It turns out that Dan was autographing the new CD afterwards, and we missed it! I was heartbroken. We don’t have any of his CDs because we couldn’t decide which one to get; the videos played on Playhouse Disney are all from different CDs. We’re now definitely getting the latest CD, Catch that Train!, and we’ll have to get Family Dance to get “Malti” (or Muffy Muffy, as Gogo calls it). The only question is do we put them into the rotation now or let Santa bring them?
*We are notorious for being late when meeting up with Shamie. Usually Pete is with us. He wasn’t with us for the concert. Hmm…I think we know who causes the lateness. ;)