Friday, March 27, 2015

Chuck Negron Concert Review

We've heard from several of you that you really enjoy Shelley Sweet-Tufano's concert reviews ... in fact, Scott Shannon was even kind enough to drop her a line telling her so!!! ... so today we've got another one for you.
This time around, she focuses on Chuck Negron ... who is also one of our concert favorites.  Enjoy!  (kk) 
It's Mohegan Sun time again!  In the Wolf Den is Chuck Negron!  
The last time I saw Chuck at Mohegan, Floyd Sneed played, too.  Floyd has had some recent personal losses in family, as well as losing former Three Dog Night bandmate Jimmy Greenspoon ... so Chuck's drummer, Frank Reina, will be appearing tonight.  It was a thrill to see Floyd, but our 60's artists only choose the best ... so Frank is tops.  
I find myself enamored with lyrics at this show.  Starting out with 'Family of Man', I hear:  "deciding the fate of the family of man." I danced to this song, sang along with this song, but tonight THESE words pop out.  You know what?  Music can decide and / or explain the fate of the family of man.  That thought assures I will NOT be listening to rap music.  If that is the fate of the family of man ... I don't want to know.  
Chuck gives tribute to Jimmy verbally and vocally.  'Shambala', 'Liar', 'One Man Band' and Paul Williams' contribution 'Just An Old Fashioned Love Song'.  Chuck is recovering from a bout of laryngitis which, if I hadn't been told he experienced, I would never have known.  He must be tired out just from that, aside from the close four concert schedule he is finishing up.  His joke about "I'm always glad to be here at Harrod's", pays tribute to road and jet lag.  
Back to my lyrical status:  "Coming down in three-part harmony".  Words from 'Just An Old Fashioned Love Song'.  Wow ... really??  What perfect words for Three Dog Night with their three lead singers.  
'Pieces of April' gives us the words "I keep them in a memory bouquet".  I started thinking about all MY memory bouquets.  What about yours?  Can you reflect and bring them up to the surface again?  
"I want to let go of this mic stand, but I'll fall right over."  hahaha.  These are not lyrics, just Chuck being humorous and tired ... and still giving a great performance.  As he introduces this next song, he says it's so old, it's from Roosevelt's New Deal.  Not quite.  More like Johnson's Folly and the counter-culture with 'Easy To Be Hard' from 'Hair'.   
"OK. I'm gonna take a quick nap."  As his head hits the mic, he starts to chuckle.  Oh look!  CHUCKLE!  Perfect word choice.  I can understand the need for a quick snooze as we now go into 'Eli's Coming' with a different beginning arrangement by Howard and Danny.  It would be qualified in the 'advanced' class of music; very intricate and involved.  Chuck often says, "Eli must have been VERY bad to get this warning."  I am thinking that Eli never stood a chance of sneaking up on anyone or anything if this song preceded him everywhere he went.  Can you imagine having this song blaring out every time you went out a door?  Poor Eli!  Such bad karma!  
'Never Been to Spain', 'Celebrate', 'Mama Told Me Not to Come' (which also hit the R&B charts when it was released) and 'One' roll out.  One of Rob Grill's favorite lines was "Open up the window and let some air into this room," which is a tribute to 'Mama' and the wisdom she tried to impart.  
The final lyrical discussion in this review is from 'One'.  "Two can be as bad as one."  Oh yes indeed.  Sometimes being a One is a much better choice than being a lonely Two.  I am sure that almost everyone reading this can relate on some level.  Hmmm, the power of the poem!  The lyrics of the song!  
There is nothing I can really say about our final song:  our friend Jeremiah.  I mean he WAS a bullfrog.  Of course he was just a "straight shootin' son of a gun", which could make him more of a danger than Eli.  I don't think Jeremiah was afraid to say it as it is, or was.  
Chuck and musical team -- it was great and I want to applaud you, Chuck, for your patience in the autograph line.  Mark and I could not stop rolling our eyes as the fans could not use their cell phones correctly to take pictures, kept you posing with Grandma ... then Grandpa ... then one with Grandma AND Grandpa.  Oh how about the whole family?  etc,  etc, etc.  I confess that when the man ahead of me pulled out four things for Chuck to sign, I laughed and said, "Oh let me go home and get MY album!  It shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours.  I'll hurry back!"  The look Chuck gave me made me crack up in hysterics.  I could barely get out the words, "I'm sorry.  I couldn't resist.  You've been SO patient."   
Please remember that a good audience and fan is JUST as important as a good performer.  Finally, a thank you to my friends whose reserved seats from Chuck and Amy got bungled by the very young / new Wolf Den seating staff.  I pulled them into line with me to get them inside and then they got their seats straightened out; at which time they pulled me into their reserved section.  You didn't have to, but thank you!
-- Shelley J Sweet-Tufano