A night of oldies really are the goodies

The Turtles
Gary Puckett & the Union Gap
The Association
The Classics IV
The Buckinghams
The Cowsills
The Vogues

Remember all of these bands from the 1960’s? So many memorable songs, right? “Happy Together”, “Young Girl”, “Windy” “Stormy” “Hey, Baby”, “Hair”, “Five O’Clock World” and many other hits. Saturday night, at Waukegan’s Genesee Theater, you got to see all seven of the above bands and hear them play the tunes you grew up loving. It was another edition of the Happy Together tour.

If you’ve never been to one of these shows, and this was my first one, here’s how it works: there’s a backing band of musicians that plays the music for all seven artists. Each group comes out and plays three or four of their hits. The finale has all seven of the headliners on stage taking a final bow while singing a piece of one of their hits. It ends with everyone, including the audience, singing “Happy Together.”

It’s definitely a fun evening reliving the songs from our youth. I figured that would be the case going in, but I also wondered if the show would be cool or overly cheesy. The answer is some of both.

There are plenty of highlights and lowlights from the evening of oldies. Here are some of both:

On the plus side…

The songs did bring back tons of memories from more than fifty years ago. It was easy to hear a tune and then remember some of things and places you loved when it was popular.

The backing musicians were excellent. It must be difficult to play different styles for seven bands. They did it without missing a beat. One other musician of note was Paul Weddle on Saxophone for the Classics IV. His solos were outstanding.

I loved the audience that attended the show. They were engaged in the music, singing along with the groups, without being too intrusive. Good job! They also remained seated for most of the show. It was nice not having to stand up or look around around someone to see what was happening on the stage. Maybe that’s because the average age of the audience was mid-60s…and that’s being nice. Hey at least we were younger than the artists on stage!!

But, on the minus side….

A lot of the voices singing the songs were somewhat sour or couldn’t reach the notes. That’s to be expected since almost everyone up there was in the seventy to eighty range. I guess I expected that, but it’s still a little surprising when you actually hear it.

It’s a little shocking to see how many originals members of these bands have died or currently can’t perform because of health issues. The Association has had nine members of its group die. Howard Kaylan of “The Turtles” had heart and back surgery in 2018. Doctors prohibited him from touring. He’s been replaced by Ron Dante, of “The Archies” fame.

Gary Puckett singing “Young Girl” was problematic when the song was released in 1968. In 2021, it’s even more so. I know it was a huge hit, but maybe it’s time to drop it from the setlist.

It’s not the most diverse grouping of musicians. The only female performer in the show is Susan Cowsill. If you’re looking for people of color, you can forget that, both in the band and the audience.

When you add it all up, the sum equals a great night of fun and memories. Now sing along with me…..

So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We’re happy together
So happy together
Happy together
So happy together
So happy together (ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba)

Don’t forget those Ba’s

Related Post: Emmylou Harris and Los Lobos hit the links in Evanston

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Howard Moore

    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

  • Tags

  • Categories

  • Advertisement: