Wayne Toups & Zydecajun

wayne_toupsBand: Wayne Toups & Zydecajun

Venue: Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA

Date: Sometime in 1996

Not unlike you, oh faithful reader, I had never heard of Wayne Toups before I saw him perform in concert. To be honest, I highly doubt that I’ve listened to his music since, either. No offense intended, but Zydeco/Cajun music, while toe-tappingly good and fun to groove to, isn’t exactly a mainstay in my personal music collection.

So, why the heck would I go to a show and see a band that I quite literally knew nothing about? Because I was on the guest list, of course. At the time, my dad worked for Dean Markley Strings, a major guitar string manufacturer, and he was doing his civic duty by bringing strings and assorted other swag up to Wayne Toups’ guitarist who was most likely an endorsing artist of the company’s strings. Being the good son, I gladly accepted my dad’s invitation to accompany him to the concert and once the doorman confirmed that “John +1” was on the list, we were in.

wayne-toups2_wm_wm1While I am fairly certain that the band played well and Wayne performed admirably, I have absolutely no recollection of what occurred up on stage that night because I was utterly transfixed by the seemingly singular event that was happening with the audience on the dance floor. Of all the shows that I have had the pleasure of attending throughout the course of my life, I had never seen the crowd behave in this fashion. As soon as the lights dimmed and there’s that good minute or so of darkness along with a palpable feeling of anticipation in the room, I noticed that nearly everyone in attendance paired off on the dance floor. The very second the band started playing their first number, all of the assembled dancing couples began two-stepping around the room. To my eyes, they appeared to be moving in unison, as if they were all a part of some synchronized dancing routine. It looked like a lot of fun to be moving around like that; I wish I had joined them but I didn’t know how to dance like that. I have never forgotten the crowd from that night. They were magnificent.

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