Friday, August 10, 2018

Another Shelley Concert Review: Tommy James

Look over Yonder
What do you see?
The sun is a’rising
Most definitely.
Three days after seeing Tommy James in concert, a friend contacted me to say this song kept running through her mind and they felt it was a message for me. (She was not aware of my travels) I will claim the words: THE SUN IS A’RISING MOST DEFINITELY. 

It has been a couple years since I have seen Tommy James, and inside The Cape Cod Melody Tent, the sun may not be a’rising but it sure is hot and humid! I will also claim the words of the Wicked Witch of the West: “I’m melting, meeelllting.” I am sure to be the 90 pound weakling poster child after these August concerts. So THANK YOU, music!
An hour of Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone, set change, and an hour of Tommy James and his Shondells. Two totally different song styles from the 60s, and yet after reviewing my notes, more similarities than I imagined. 

First, they have killer musicians. 

They are each original lead singers. 

Both have satellite radio shows. 

Each one throws in a country segment. 

In both cases, the audience instantly reacts positively to their appearance on stage, AND the enthusiasm grows to a fevered pitch with clapping, dancing, and jumping by the end of each set. One is British Invasion, one is American Rock and Roll, both are still at the top of their game and the audience loves it!
Previously, I have been uncomfortable with the volume associated with Tommy James’ performances. It seemed no matter where they played nor who was on the bill with them, they were much louder. I was much happier with the volume used this time. 

Tommy opens with ‘Draggin’ The Line’ with its deep bass responses. The crowd is in! Next is my above referenced ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’. This song interpretation, for me, is about clear blue skies opening up positive opportunities, and not to artificial additives. To me, and my friends, the rotating stage appears to keep the performers facing away from us more than toward us. It is possible ... the stage ratchets to a point not quite full circle and then swings back the other way, never totally completing its circle. 

Tommy updates information on the movie based on his book ... 

They are selecting a director and then casting will start. The screen play is done. As Tommy brings up, it was unsettling when the only pictures of your music producers are mug shots. Reading that book scared me, and probably would have been scarier to Tommy, too, if he had been fully informed at the time. Ignorance was bliss?  

The movie ends, as does the book, with a possible scenario between Tommy and Morris Levy. A slowed down slinky version of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ plays in the background and completes the movie. Tommy sings this version for us. As hot and steamy as this night was, the two performing groups reached into our hearts and minds and pulled out energy that was not there when we each limped in to our seats. 

Here is Tommy’s set:  
Draggin The Line
Crystal Blue Persuasion
Say, Say I Am
Getting Together
“Please Pull the Twine” (Johnny Cash rewritten)
I Think We’re Alone Now (slow movie version)
Just A Little Bit Tighter
Crimson and Clover
Hanky Panky
I Think We’re Alone Now (original tempo)
Do Something To Me
Mony Mony  

There is one more, but my notes ran together and are not legible. Go see his concert and tell me what I missed. 

All worth the three and a half hour drive. I have a week to catch up with my home and family and then off again on another concert weekend.
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

You saw two of the very best '60's performers still out on the circuit today ... both Peter Noone and Tommy James "bring it" every single time ... and the crowd loves them.

Thanks, Shelley! (kk)