America In Concert.
Two Concerts,Two Different Venues.
By Robert M Massimi.Published about 12 hours ago • 3 min read
America at State Theatre NJ.
Seeing America last summer at Seaside Beach was more America, the California sound that the band exudes.Last night at the beautiful State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J., America ran the gambit from great to so-so.
The band opened with "Tin Man", a slow moving disappointing rendition (lifeliss). Next up... a very good "You Can Do Magic". The set-list was the exact same as the Seaside concert. Some songs last night were better than the ones performed last summer. While "Daisy Jane", "I Need You" (a better indoor song" "Greenhouse" "Sister Golden Hair" were more soulful, "Ventura Highway" and the Mamas and The Papas "California Dreaming" were awful; disappointing. The evenings third to last song "Sandman" was maybe the evenings best song. Showing the bands musical prowess, "Sandman" was played with a deep, inward and meaningful feel; it captured the bands 70's sound; what the band was all about during yester-year.
America has performed no less than 100 shows a year since the bands inception. Bringing it every night is difficult for a young band, let alone musicians in their 70's. All-in-all, America gave us a great shoe replete with excellent lighting and wonderful projection. America is a fun band, very much like the Beach Boys. The bands original musicians (Bunnell and Beckly) tell wonderful stories throughout the 90 minutes. The one encore, "Horse With No Name" has great projection to it and had the crowd rocking as did "Sister Golden Hair".
Seaside Heights Beach Concert Series Review.
Formed in 1970 in London, England by Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek and Gerry Beckly, the trio met as sobs of US Air Force personnel stationed in London where they began performing live. Having achieved fame in the 70s, the trio was known for their close vocal harmonies and light acoustic folk rock sound.
In 1971 they released their self titled debut album, which included "A Horse With No Name" and "I Need You". Their second album "Homecoming" included "Ventura Highway ". In 1975, America released "History America's Greatest Hits", which went certified multi-platinum in the US and Australia. After Peek left the band in 1977,they returned to the top 10 in 1982 with "You Can Do Magic". The band was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.
With a wide array of great songs, America played last Saturday night in the Seaside Beach Concert Series at the New Jersey shore. Opening with a brilliant acoustic rendition of "Tin Man", the evening' second song " You Can Do Magic" was a uplifting, breezy version of this great song. With a brilliant young backing band, America was in sync all evening. America's founder's Beckly and Brunnell were very creative in bringing in new young blood to tour with them. With Richard Campbell om bass, Ryland Steen on drums and vocals and Steve Fekete on lead guitar and keyboards, the band gave us Folk, Rock and at times a Metal sound and all of it was impressive!
In "Driving", " Survival", the band dug deep for a hard driving sound. An almost progressive "Greenhouse " and " Sandman" were highlights of the evening. The "Popish" "California Dreaming", "Lonely People" " Sister Golden Hair" were all flawless I. Tempo and arrangements.
While I was disappointed with the uninspired version of "Ventura Highway", the evenings closing song "A Horse With No Name" was the perfect end to what was an incredible musical experience.
About the Creator
I have been writing on theater since 1982. A graduate from Manhattan College B.S. A member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes excellence in both English and Science. I have produced 12 shows on and off Broadway. I've seen over700 shows
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