Long ago and far way before CD's, e-mail or MTV there was a time known as the 1960's. The vestiges remain - Joan and Judy and Joni still tour and Bob Dylan received the Kennedy Center honour last year.
And the British group, Herman's Hermits, is still in the trenches, performing 220 concerts a year. And they took an Alberta Bair Theatre audience on an innocent stroll down memory lane Tuesday night with solid musicianship, Pleasing harmonies and an amiable stage presence to showcase their vintage soft rock oldies.
Drummer Barry Whitwam is the only original member, but the Herman's Hermits foursome produced an authentic feeling of nostalgia. And the audience loved the show. From Seattle comic Brad Upton's opening act on to the finish.
The audience of about 750 included lots of aging flower children with their own children in tow. As one 50-something mother explained, "the nostalgia thing is in now, and (my daughter) wants to know what I listened to."
Another 47 year old mom said her 13year old son discovered he loved Herman's Hermits while listening to her old albums. ABT part-timer Kristin Barrick said she became a Hermits fan listening to the oldies radio stations. All were rewarded by a generous concert.
The quartet emerged from the wings onto a dark stage while a pre-recorded medley of their hits played. They opened with "Silhouttes" and didn't stop until they'd stayed all night and played them all," as Judy garland said in her Carnegie Hall concert.
The evening was about nostalgia, good song writing and tunes that sound good on the radio. As original player, Barry "the bean" Whitwam said after 38 years of being on the road with the group, "were going to take you back to the most exciting musical decade ever."
Besides playing their own work "I'm into something good," "Sunshine Girls" "Can't you hear my Heartbeat" "There's a kind of Hush" and "Mrs Brown, You've got a lovely daughter" the boys also sang other artists works. Frankie Laines "Jezabel" was a hit, as were pieces recorded by Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and others.
"Love Potion no 9" was greeted with hearty applause from the crowd, which loved Whitwam's self depracating jokes as he stepped to the microphone. "I'm an old timer," he said, "38 years of touring and playing drums with Herman's Hermits I'm deaf as a post but I can lip read" he joked.
The fellas looked sporty in their black jackets and white shirts, kind of a time trip for those of us who don't really feel like we've actually lived through nearly three decades. But that's what it's been, since we drove to the drive-ins to neck in our 1957 chevies and swooned to "listen, people" on the radio. And at the risk of sounding old before my time, it was fun to actually hear the lyrics and be aware of the chords and key changes and harmonies The group with irreverent comic Upton, plays Helena Civic Center Wednesday and Butte's Mother Lode Thursday.
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