March 22, 2014

Concert #223 - British Rock Symphony at the Bridges Auditorium in Claremont (March 23, 2000)

I went to the concert with high expectations, and how could I have not, when the event was announced to feature a full symphony orchestra, a gospel choir, a rock band and a few vocalists of the highest caliber, brought together to play some of the musical gems of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Who. A few hours later, I went home with a strange mix of utter disappointment and joyful exaltation. The disappointment stemmed from the total absence of a symphony orchestra and gospel choir, while the exaltation came courtesy of the truly amazing performances put on by Billy Preston and Darlene Love.

During the first half of the show, I was not a happy camper, as I could not get over the deceitful way the show had been advertised. While I was brooding in my seat, Mike Messer, a New York singer I was not familiar with, sang a few oldies - he wasn't bad, but I had no patience for anyone who wasn't a world star.

Then, after the intermission, out came Billy Preston and in no time he brought the house down. Playing with religious fervor, banging on his keys with abandon and soulfully belting out "Get Back" as well as his own hits "Will It Go Round In Circles" and "That's The Way God Planned It", Billy put on a show that, with its intensity, could have raise the dead.

Billy Preston
A fabulous-looking Darlene Love came out toward the end of the show and unleashed some of the greatest vocals I've ever heard, bar none. If my memory serves me well, she sang "Ruby Tuesday", "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and one or two more songs.

Darlene Love
Mike Messer
The house band featured Simon Townshend on guitar and vocals and his son Ben on drums. Simon made a good impression on me.
Simon Townshend
The Bridges Auditorium in Claremont
The Bridges Auditorium in Claremont

No comments:

Post a Comment