Once inside the auditorium the visual aspects of the pre-show added to the overall 60's experience. There was a screen toward the back of the stage showing 60's trivia. I was sucked right back into the 60's as were the rest of the patrons last night. This show is a slice of the past accessible to all Villagers and friends from the surrounding area. The majority of us remember the 60's, some with more accuracy than others. Although it is said if you remember the 60's, you weren’t there. Most Villagers were there.
By the time the band comes on stage I was primed and ready for the show. The show is divided into five parts, the early years, 1960 to 63, the British invasion, 1964 and 65, America fights back, 1965 and 66, then the intermission and psychedelia, 1967 and 68 and then flower power, 1969 and 70.
From the first strains of A Summer Place to the final chords of Let the Sunshine In this feast of 60's delights is truly wonderful. Not only are the band members extremely talented and quite versatile in instrumentation, the look of the show is over the top 60's. This is the first time I have seen the use of the Woodlands’ side panels as a visual stimulus and I liked it. The two dancers on raised platforms at each side of the stage added so much to the atmosphere of the go go dancer lifestyle of the 60's. The producers and creators of this show thought of everything to bring back the 60's and it worked.
As many of you know I like to sit fairly close to the stage so I can see everything up close and personal, for once, I am recommending you sit back from the stage, not because it is too loud like in the past, the sound system worked flawlessly last night, but because you want to see everything on the stage at once. I just didn’t know where to look, there was always something going on and I didn’t want to miss anything.
The band dons several vintage outfits throughout the evening and wigs that cemented each look. From the Brylcreem look of the muscle cars and surfer era to the long locks that ushered in the 70's, it’s all there. Lead singer Joan Burton aptly narrates our trip down memory lane. She is aided by historical film strips providing segues from one of the five musical sections to the next. Burton's golden voice easily mimics the style of the 60's female singers including Melanie and Janis Joplin.
The rest of the band are equally comfortable playing an array of instruments and singing in the style of the 60's. Band members include Scott Leftwich on guitar and vocals, Daryn Owen on bass and vocals, David Krol on keyboards, guitar and vocals, Eddie Darst on lead guitar, sitar and vocals and last but not least the always energetic Freddie Trumbower on drums and percussion. All of these men are very talented but their biggest asset is they work flawlessly as a team.
The two dancers that helped spin the evening in some awesome 60's attire are Anna Redour and Dara Creswell. These lovely ladies provided endless entertainment as they danced their way a la Beach Blanket Bingo a go go and the beautiful modern dance number to Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale, they kept things moving along with positive flow.
This is the 60's truly has something for everyone, even those like me that were children of the 60's. The 60's were a decade of so much change, loss, turmoil and accomplishment and this show touches on every aspect of the time. The music is at just the right decibel level. The films can be seen by everyone in the auditorium. The narration is excellent. The look is right out of the vintage closet. There is no down side.
If you are not already a Concerts’ Association member, join by going to www.hsvconcertsassoc.org, there are four shows left in the season including This is the 60's. If you need to get tickets to This is the 60's go to www.hsvtickets.org to purchase tickets and www.hsvtickets.com to exchange or purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased on a space available basis the evening of the show in the lobby of the Woodlands Auditorium.
This is the 60's will be at the Woodlands through Friday night. Remaining in the season are The Highwaymen, November 12, 13, 14 and 15, The Texas Tenors, February 18, 19, 20 and 21 and Paganini, April 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Peace, love and out.