I posted this on the John Hiatt message board and so I don't feel like I can copy-paste others' replies...but I encourage Judy to correct the set list and add her remarks! This may run into sevaral posts due to length:
The Ramshead is a nice venue--they have a bar, tavern downstairs, food, their own brewery, plus a decent-but-intimate show room. I promised to mention the wonderful job they did with the colored grout and the tiles in the restrooms (sorry, didn't notice).
They offer a package--free parking in the garage next street over, discount on dinner, and a free draft of their own brew.
Had dinner first--it was already packed by 7 PM. A nice salad of baby greens accompanied entree--house dressing is jalapeno/cilantro vinaigrette; veg was lightly sauteed squash. The fried oysters were very good, with a spicy batter (but the BEST fried oysters in the world are at a little flamingoed place on the beach near Baie St. Louis, between Biloxi Miss. and New Orleans..they are huge, sweet and tender, with the most fragile tempura batter; the best raw oysters on the planet are Malpeque, from Prince Edward Isle which are large, beige, rich and creamy--try 'em at the fab oyster bar in Grand Central Station in NYC (where they have 40 varieties on the menu, see their Romanesque tiled arches in opening credits of "Sat. Nite Live"---but I digress.)
Where was i? Oh, yeah Annapolis:
So we found our seats, about 40 feet from stage; met Zeke/Steve and his pal Gordy, who had just returned from a trip to the music magnet (New Orleans). It was packed; there were folks squeezed in sitting on bar stools, etc.
Signs on every table: "Two Rules: No talking during the performance, and
(Arrgh. My back doc had said no dancing anyway...Still, what kinda crazy rule is that? More in a sec.)
There was a nice dessert menu (who can eat during Sonny's playing??). And for anybody who's a designated driver like me: they serve all kindsa drinks,etc.--but none of the non-alcoholic beers which are on the menu in the other parts of the venue. Weird.
So there was an unexpected opening act, local guy, Jake? Josh? On unaccompanied acoustic guitar, playing his newly-written songs for us. Piggly Wiggly ball cap. That's all i remember.
Then they took the stage!!!!
Sonny seemed pretty loose and relaxed, a good bit of patter between songs, grey untucked silky shirt; Dave the Rave in a dark v-neck sweater, sleeves pushed up, white jeans; KB in shorts...musta been 40 degrees outside but got very warm in the room.
Set list, out of order (Judy who posts here sometimes got the real one--Hi Judy!! Please correct me for the folks):
South of I-10
Native Stepson (a different version than on S. I-10)
Ioanna (first time i heard it; it's unrecorded. I freaked & thought they were playing some new stuff...Wonderful song)
Hell at Home
Key to the Highway (S. introduced it as their theme song)
Gone Pecan (which he said is a phrase kind of like gone around the bend--i still think the song's mood and lyrics support heading out on picnic)
USS Zydecoldsmobile (think this was earlier in the set)
All About You: here, he deliberately TOLD us to get up and "dance, move tables, dance on the tables (but be careful)"!!! In violation of the Rule. So I did--that song always makes me dance anyway; moved over by the suound booth to not block folks' view. I think maybe a couple of others danced too.
(Yes, I hurt; no, je regrette rien)
Last song: Pedal to the Metal
(another one new to me--plays a lot but unrecorded) Stinging pyrotechnics that must have been a good 5 minutes. Tapping the neck while sliding--never saw THAT before!
Congo Square--again, he urged us to stay on our feet and move with the music!! So a bunch of us did (i asked the peeps behind me if they minded, they said go ahead)--ending in blaze of glory.
Amazing, incredible energy & sound from them, words can't express the experience...
A tiny problem with the sound; he made technology jokes & said that the only way to keep it from buzzing was just to keep playing--good for us!
About 20 of us hung around to buy cds & chat with them afterwards; met some really nice folks, long-time fans (Judy has seen him 9 times! Incl. Quebec and RI--Rhythm & Roots, Pam!; the guy who drove up from Richmond, etc.).
Left in blissful daze. Judy & Zeke need to post here too--set sequence, etc.--y'all, share your perspectives!
Cynthia, what a great review! You covered all the bases. I'm going to share a link to it with a couple guys who I know go to the Ramshead--one of them is a bigtime Sonny fan, so he was probably there dancing with you!