Monday, April 16, 2018

Feel Good Music Makes For A Fun Filled Evening Of Entertainment as '60's Legends Lou Christie and Felix Cavaliere Share The Stage At The Arada Theatre on Sunday, April 15th

Lightning Strikes … Rhapsody In The Rain …

And that was just on the way to the theatre … as a cold, wet snowy / rainy mix fell on St. Charles Sunday Night.  (C'mon already … it's April 15th!!!) 

But the weather didn't dampen the mood of the fans who came out to see two of the most distinctive voices of the '60's … Lou Christie and Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals.

At Lou's request, we got to the theater early, allowing us to visit a little bit before the show, only to find his band still warming up while the crowd was held at bay outside the theater doors.  (Lou uses a pick-up band everywhere he goes, left to the charges of his Musical Director Ron Wilson.  Sunday's local line-up included our FH Buddy Bobby Abrams and a killer horn section that really complimented the group's overall sound.)  His two female back-up singers (known as The Crayons) augment the songs perfectly (although one of the ladies may have been feeling a bit under the weather Sunday Night as she left the stage for a while, right as Lou was about to introduce them to the audience.)

He put on a very entertaining show … great story-telling and sprinkled with some very humorous body language throughout the set.  He covered all of the hits:  "The Gypsy Cried" (#15, 1963); "Two Faces Have I" (#3, 1963); "Lightnin' Strikes" (#1, 1966); "Rhapsody In The Rain" (#16, 1966); "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" (#5, 1969) and "Beyond The Blue Horizon" (my personal favorite, #72, 1974) and also did some '60's standards like Mel Carter's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" and The Association's hit "Never My Love."  Overall a very entertaining set that moved along quickly and garnered several standing ovations along the way.

photo by Frannie Kotal

Lou's having a lot of fun with his new "It Should Have Been A Hit" web page.   

You can check it out here:

Up next were Felix Cavaliere's Rascals.  Felix was a last minute fill-in for Bobby Rydell, who broke his hip about a week ago.  (Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that … Arcada Host Master Ron Onesti explained that this show was originally conceived as a double bill of Fabian and Bobby Rydell, the Sound of Philadelphia, circa the early '60's … and two of the premier pin-up boys from the American Bandstand era … but then Fabian had to back out in order to have some sort of a procedure done … so Lou Christie was asked to step in and take his place.  (Lou and Bobby share the same manager … so it seemed like a no-brainer … until Bobby fell and broke his hip!)  In stepped Felix Cavaliere, who has played The Arcada a number of times in the past, and now found himself headlining the show.

Felix did his usual hit-filled set of Rascals music … these guys had sixteen Top 40 Hits between 1966 and 1970 and Felix performed most of them, including the #1 Hits "Good Lovin'," "Groovin'," and "People Got To Be Free," along with their Top Ten smashes "A Girl Like You" and "A Beautiful Morning," as well as fan favorites like "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore," "You Better Run," "Come On Up," "Mustang Sally," "Love Is A Beautiful Thing" and more … many of which were "medley'd into" extended jams featuring the likes of "Higher And Higher," "Thank You Fa Lettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin" and others.

Felix has been providing the groove for 55 years now and doesn't seem to have lost any of his enthusiasm for the music or the joy and challenge of enticing his audience to get up and dance and enjoy that music.  He'll be joined later this year by fellow Rascal Gene Cornish for a series of shows so I'm curious if this will revamp his set list a little bit and, if so, in what way.

You can keep us with all of his upcoming appearances here:

VERY Special Thanks to Lou Bilotti for all the great pix ... again!!!  
Thanks, Lou ... you're the best!  (kk)