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The Greg Proops Chat Show With David Cross and Dave Grohl @ Largo 3/18/09

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The voice rang out through warm Largo darkness, "FREE BIRD!" Jon Brion sighed like he was stuck on a bad blind date,but he'd asked for it when he began his set by announcing that he'd be taking requests. Opening for the Greg Proops Chat show the multi-talented musician was foolish if he thought his audience was mature enough not to do that. Shaking off the malaise Brion launched into the most beautiful instrumental version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's hit I had ever heard. Jon Brion managed to make the guitar sing as if it had been possessed by Ronnie Van Zant himself.

As the song picked up, did Brion launch into a blistering guitar solo that traditionally ends the song? Pshaw, that would have been obvious. Instead Jon Brion sat down at the piano and pounded out the guitar solo with a force that blew everyone's hair back. When the song ended there was a moment of silence before the audience erupted into applause. With a grin Brion left the stage, leaving us all there to wonder if that was the opening act...we're in for quite a show.

The ebullient Greg Proops walked on stage a few minutes later and delighted the audience with tales of his recent tour. Was he off in exotic climes, riding elephants, and hiking the Himalayas? No, instead Proops enthralled us with tales of the hell that was entertaining potash miners in Regina, Saskatchewan, depression that hangs over Peoria, IL, and questioned why Delaware was even a state at all. (Which is something I had been pondering myself. I often wonder why it doesn't just get absorbed by Maryland.) By the end of fifteen minutes, Proops had his audience gasping for air and wiping tears from their streaming eyes. Showing no mercy, he then brought out the big guns: his guests comedian, David Cross and the legendary drummer, Dave Grohl.