Thursday, January 10, 2019

Guest Concert Review #3

The concert I didn't see and more ...

I wasn’t going to include this piece at all, but it is the only way I have of bringing attention to this.  

I have back-to-back concerts the middle of November. I am excited about a weekend away and a day off from school on Monday. I head out to Patchogue, Long Island, for a “Night of Doo Wop” with Lou Christie, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, The Toys, Manhattan Skyline and The Capris. The problem in Patchogue is there is no parking. I circle for an hour and am half hoping to grab a parking spot as someone leaves. However, so are at least 20 other cars. We move through four municipal lots and metered parking spaces. The show has now started and I am still driving around. 

After missing a half hour of the show, and realizing this is not going to have a happy ending, I head back to the hotel. I am crushed! I found out later that the same thing happened to others ... no show for them either. The worst thing I heard was that the performers had the same issue. They had to be dropped off at the stage door and then someone else, usually their merchandise people had to drive around looking for parking. Two staff members made it in at the intermission. 

This now eliminates Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts as a venue I can support. We have spent much time and money in the Northeast repairing and re-establishing these theatres so that these fantastic performances can continue in beautiful historic surroundings. I am sorry to forthcoming performers I planned to see here. I cannot buy tickets, pay for hotels and gas and just turn around scared and defeated. Now I know better.  

The Buckinghams at Daryl’s    

The next morning I head off the Island to Pawling, NY, where The Buckinghams are appearing at Daryl’s House. I love Daryl’s House! Not the show. I don’t have cable. I love the dinner club Daryl’s House. The food is gourmet, but not showy and the shows are close up and personal. Besides which I am having dinner with Marty Sanders of Jay and the Americans. Dave Zane, lead guitarist of The Buckinghams also plays with Jay and the Americans, and Marty lives close enough to come see him. Apparently Marty goes to Daryl’s quite a bit. I enjoy the drive to Pawling. I enjoy the town atmosphere which is reminiscent of my own upbringing and still I say to Daryl, “WHY PAWLING?” 

Dinner listening to Marty’s stories and enjoying the company of two others at the table makes this a winning night. Of course, all I could talk about was Forgotten Hits. (smirk!) Actually, we covered many topics but they all somehow linked to music. The other couple did not know who Marty was so when he mentioned something about “his group”, they naively asked, “Oh, who is your group?” It seemed like a forever pause until he said quietly, “Jay and the Americans”. “YOU’RE KIDDING ME!!” an obvious, shocked reaction. He just looked at her, and I responded, “No. He’s not kidding.” 

The Bucks came on the stage which was so close to us I could have gotten in their way trying to stand up. WOW! What a show! The video camera was running and a side screen showed a very flattering angle and bright lighting. As in person, the camera gave the impression this was a concert in someone’s home. The Buckinghams are “courting the audience” in this up close and personal setting. I am curious as to whether the performers here are enjoying this intimacy or whether they prefer a large theatre with distance between them and the audience. But as Carl sings ‘Worst That Could Happen’ while standing next to the table and looking at me, it was hard to stifle the girlish giggles that I felt. Each of The Bucks had leads in songs and tributes to the “Sorta Happy Tour” (which Carl and Nick are joining again this year) intertwine with the great hits of the Chicago sound that marked The Buckinghams. Ending was difficult, good-byes expressed sincere joys spent together and then … I’m gone.  

Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone and the end    

My last concert this year includes a return to The Wolf Den for Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. A friend of mine and Beatle DJ, Ken Michaels, had planned on coming but didn’t make it. Of course he figured he knew what the content of the concert had been so when I told him about the added Christmas songs and Vance wearing an elf suit even tho’ this was technically not a Christmas show, his reaction was, “Now THAT was a show I would have liked to see, and I missed it.” Well, I watched it from the outside looking in. I was to have a seat inside the Den but when I arrived, my seat had been given to someone else. There was no way I could have gotten there sooner. School ended and I took off, arriving around 5:00 pm. The line to get in to the Wolf Den was longer than the available, non-reserved seats. I met a friend at the slots and we parked ourselves around the corral to stand. OK! A new way to view a concert! The people outside the Den watching are free to be who they really are. Which means dancing, flirting, asking questions, yelling at the stage in anonymity, and just being joyful. I counted 29 song titles in this hour and a quarter set. Herman’s Hermits hits, songs not as often sung (Jezebel, Bus Stop, Dream On), Christmas songs (Oh Holy Night, The Sex Pistols' version of Jingle Bells, Rudolph) and cover songs all filled the casino and wafted out to us listening on the edge. The sound was much clearer than I would have thought, and except for my feet falling asleep and my needing to shift my legs, it is worth doing again. There were many tender musical moments and for me, it was a perfect end to my 2018 concerts. December was enough for me to handle. I will begin again in 2019, and who knows just what will happen. It is a new year! 
-- Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

Daryl's House sounds absolutely amazing ... would LOVE to be able to see a show there some day!

I asked Carl Giammarese to share a few words about it as well ... our East Coast Readers would do well to check this place out!  (And please report back when you do!)  kk   

Hi Kent, 
I will say we enjoyed playing there very much. We were coming from playing an Englewood NJ, concert with Peter Noone at the Bergen PAC. Once you get out of New Jersey and past New York City, it becomes very scenic and beautiful passing through parts of Connecticut and getting to up state New York. 
Darryl’s Place is kind of rustic and maybe holds 100 people at the tables in front of the stage, and maybe another 80 at the bar. We are always excited to play to an intimate and enthusiastic audience. It’s always fun to see an audience so up close with such a great response. They really knew the Buckinghams and our music, and showed their appreciation. Like I’ve said so many times before, we are so blessed to have such loyal fans all over the country. A great evening ... the only thing that could have made it better would have been if Darryl Hall would have shown up and sat in with us. Great fun! 
Carl Giammarese 
The Buckinghams