Dan Seals' entire career has shown that he can cross comfortably between pop and country. He began with a family band when he was a child, played with Southwest F.O.B. and then was the England Dan of England Dan and John Ford Coley.
Now, standing alone except for a four-man backup band called "Bop," Seals proves that he is even more versatile than expected. From the sad, slow sound of "You Still Move Me" to the boisterous "Three Time Loser," which invariably drives the crowd to a stomping, clapping frenzy, Seals moves back and forth, never losing control of the his audience.
Those who attended the early show got a slightly abbreviated version _ about 45 minutes. But his 10-song act reflected a nice mix of his more well-known song and a sampling from his latest album, "Rage On."
Most of the early crowd came back for a second helping at 8. And it wasn't a repeat performance, although he did repeat several of the numbers, like "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)," "Bop," and the brand new "Addicted" (which gets my vote for the most poignant but likeable song ever written).
Even with a few repeat numbers, it was a whole new concert. For one thing, the sound was better during the second show. In the earlier concert, Seals' voice sometimes got lost somewhere in the rafters of the open-sided terrace. Every note and nuance was in place the second time around.
He even managed to surprise the crowd: He pulled out an old England Dan tune _ "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" _ and the audience jumped right in.
For me, though, one of the highlights is the way he chats with the audience. Unlike a lot of singers, he doesn't say much, but when he does talk, he gives the impression he's sitting in your living room visiting with you. It's a polished routine, but it doesn't feel like a polished routine.
In his introduction to "God Must Be a Cowboy," he drew a laugh as he explained how he came to devise his own form of religious music: country western religious. "We tried to get in with Jimmy and Tammy Fae Bakker," he said, "but there wasn't any room. Then we tried to get in with Swaggart, but that didn't work, either, because he just likes to watch. We like to get involved."
By the time the second show ended, it was standing room only in and around the Meadow Terrace. And a look at the avid crowd said the final word about Dan Seals' versatility and broad appeal: They were very young to very old. And they were very happy.