Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Zombies Concert Review

Forgotten Hits Reader Brad Joblin send us this review of The Zombies concert he saw in  Ridgefield, Connecticut last week.

This is the big reunion tour that features not only Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent (who have been back together again touring and recording a new album for the past couple of years) but also original bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy.  Guitarist Paul Atkinson passed away in 2004.)

The showcase focal point this time around is the performance of their "Odessey and Oracle" album in its entirety.  (By the time this record was first released in 1968, the band had already split up.  One of their biggest hits, "Time Of The Season" was released as a single the following year ... and soon The Zombies had the #1 Single in the country ... but couldn't even tour behind it!)

The Zombies are making select stops around the world to perform this special set of music.  (In fact, they were right here ... well, 90 minutes away ... last Friday Night at The Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana.)  A complete list of tour dates can be found here:

(We had the chance to see them a couple of years ago when they performed at The Arcada Theatre ... as the opening act for Burton Cummings!!! Man, what a night of music THAT was!)

FH 2013 Concert review here:

Here is Brad's official report ...


Last night, at The Ridgefield Playhouse (Ridgefield, Connecticut), The Zombies treated a nearly sold-out crowd to absolutely the finest musicianship.

Quoting Rolling Stone from last summer: 
"Nearly 50 years after The Zombies released their landmark Odessey & Oracle, the four surviving members who recorded that album will reunite to perform their classic LP live and in its entirety. Singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent will be joined by bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy this autumn when the original Zombies reform to perform Odessey & Oracle live for the first time; the band initially broke up in December 1967, four months before their 1968 masterpiece was released.  Guitarist Paul Atkinson, who also featured on Odessey & Oracle, passed away in 2004.  Guitarist Tom Tooney, drummer Steve Rodford and ex-Argent bassist Jim Rodford will fill out the current Zombies touring lineup."

The first act of the show included The Zombies hits and some great new tracks from their album released days ago called "Still Got That Hunger", which includes some very catchy tunes, especially the track "New York".  Listen to a 30 second preview here:

This is the actual set list from the first act:

After an intermission the band returned, now joined by Hugh Grundy, Chris White and a special guest, the genius keyboard player from Brian Wilson's band, Darian Sahanaja, who added special support on vocals and keyboards, including a Mellotron M4000D.  Promptly, they commenced the powerful and dead-on performance, track by track, of "Odessey and Oracle", nearly 50 years after its release.  The magic was still there and made even more enjoyable by the outstanding sound mixing by Zombies FOH engineer Dale Hanson.  From the first track “Care of Cell 44” to the classic last track "Time of the Season" we were blown away. 

Set list for second act:

The Zombies enjoyed the company of Paul Shaffer backstage and they talked after the show late into the night.  Clearly Paul admires these guys, and rightly so.

Backstage at The Ridgefield Playhouse.  Left to Right: Hugh Grundy (original drummer), Rod Argent (original keyboard player and vocals), Colin Blunstone (original lead singer) and Paul Shaffer.  Photo Courtesy of Brad Joblin (c) 2015

Brad Joblin
Ridgefield, CT

VERY cool, Brad ... thanks so much for sending.

Have you read Carl Wiser's interview with Colin Blunstone?  You'll find it on his Songfacts page here: