Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I mean, really old. Last night, we went to the Ram’s Head to see the Zombies. Yeah, this was Round Two of my British Invasion concert series, after catching the Yardbirds last Sunday. I was a bit taken aback while talking to the guitarist back then, when he mentioned plans for a Yardbirds 50th anniversary tour in 2013. Fifty years??? Can it really be?
Then, last night, there was much talk, on-stage and off, about this being the fiftieth anniversary of the Zombies forming. Holy crap, it’s déjà vu all over again! Although they didn’t start hitting it big until 1965, their first rehearsal took place in 1961 in St. Albans, a northern suburb of London. The music was excellent … Colin Blunstone, the original singer, was still in fine form after 50 years of vocal cord abuse, and Rod Argent, the other founding member, was vibrant on keyboards and vocals. I guess I’m jealous … these guys can sing, and sing well, after 50 years, and I still have half a dozen restraining orders barring me from singing in public.
But I digress. The music was excellent. They did a two-hour set, amazing for a bunch of old guys, comprised of a healthy mix of old and new stuff. The hits from the mid-60s were there … Tell Her No, Time of the Season, and the pre-encore tune, She’s Not There. There was no encore in the traditional sense … they didn’t go through the silly motions of walking off stage, only to file back on for one last song. They just stayed on stage and played. The encore … Gershwin’s Summertime, from Porgy and Bess. Yeah, you read that right. ‘Twas a bold move to close out the show with something other than one of their big hits, but it worked. Blunstone’s vocals carried it, and everyone left on a high note.
This Thursday ends the trilogy of post-deployment concerts with the Adrian Belew Power Trio, also at the Ram’s Head. Given that Belew only has five years on me, and his Power Trio is fleshed out by some youngsters, I hope not to feel so old and decrepit after that show. But I’ve also given notice that, since Belew will also be accompanied by two other former members of King Crimson, I may morph into the embarrassing fan during the show. I’ll report back on Friday. Until then, “Rock on!”