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Average User Rating 9.84
Total Reviews 1
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
America, a Band with a Name
Venue/Date: Fox Cities Perf. Arts Center (Appleton, WI)
Concert Date:  
September 27th, 2008
Reviewer: Groni

      Venue Parking  
      Venue Security  
      Opening Band  
      Opening Song  
      Set List  
      Band Connection  
      Band Energy/Intensity/Showmanship  
      ConcertGoer Energy/Intensity  
      Sound Quality  
      Set and Lighting Design (SLD)  
      The Finish/Encore  
If you went to the Octoberfest in Appleton and your Saturday ended there, fine. But if you are like me, and, instead of spending $400 on two Eagles tickets, you ended up going the ‘America’ concert with a bunch of friends (for half the money) at the Performing Arts Center, you quickly became aware that you were in one of the greatest classic rock concerts in decades. And here is why:  You got to see and hear a band with two guys in the spotlight (Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, having started out in the early seventies with mostly acoustic soft-rock music) that shook everyone out of their seats song after song with tightly harmonizing voices, down-to-earth stage presence, and with electric guitar riffs and drum beats that turned the evening into a true rock concert.  Dewey and Gerry were backed by a professional band of two 30-year-veterans, plus a 6-year-veteran that presented his talent range “from the lowest bass guitar notes to the highest vocal pitches” (as in harmonizing vocals). However, each voice and instrument stood out on its own.  It was amazing to witness that, although being vocally and stylish on different levels, the two lead singers allowed each other freedom to write, play and sing different type of songs, yet complementing each other in apparent friendship, rather than in rivalry.  The audience soon realized that this was a working band that has been playing 100 shows per year for 38 years while enjoying their work, and while sharing their success with the audience.  After hearing their trade signature harmony “deedeedeedeedidid, deedeedeedidid” for the first 3 songs in a row (and more to follow in many other songs), not a single person would grow tired of hearing this uniquely refined sound. In contrary, it would engrave itself deeper and deeper into our pleasure memory banks.  America performed many of their 70s hits, such as “I Need You”, “Ventura Highway”, “Lonley People”, “Sandman”, “Daisy Jane”, and “Tin Man”, as well as some of their mid-career songs, such as “The Border” of 1983, and the new tune “Chasing the Rainbow” of their 2007 album Here & Now.  Going past its own successes, America pitched two songs written by others. They sang the Beatles tune ‘Lonely People’, and the Mamas-and-the-Papas song ‘California Dreaming’, both of which were performed as good or better than the original versions.  Last not least, everyone was touched by their humor and humility, especially when Gerry Beckley said: “Here’s another song from the Oh, I forgot they wrote that song too Album.”  The closer the concert came to an end, the more awe-inspiring electric guitar riffs would turn up, getting even the last spectator standing up, while the band shortly faced each other, as if they were having the time of their lives, ripping it one more time, and rocking everyone’s world in the process. This “extended version” of the concert ended with America’s encore tune and first original success “A Horse with No Name” which was the first song I had learned to play on guitar when I was 17, so the evening was particularly mesmorizing and enjoyable for me. Getting back to the more expensive alternative, that is the Eagles tickets, please don’t get me wrong, because I love the Eagles equally, but for a concert experience, if you missed America, do not assume that you can get the same unforgettable experience from a similar band. Be sure to catch America next time they’re around, because this dedicated band deserves a great audience as much as a dedicated audience deserves to see this great band - even after all these years.

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