Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Talking Stick Resort – Showroom (https://www.talkingstickresort.com/ )
Date: Saturday February 8th, 2020
If you grow up in the sixties you were lucky enough to hear some of the great rock & roll songs that moved a generation. One of those bands was The Rascals, initially known as The Young Rascals. They were an American Rock band from New Jersey that became big during the initial British rock band invasion. This quartet had as keyboardist and vocalist, Felix Cavaliere. Felix now tours with new set of musicians and they recreate the magic and beauty of that 60s music.
I first saw The Rascals on a TV show called Hullabaloo. The band had a short run from 1966 til 1972 when they finally broke up. In 1997 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. During those few years they they were together they wrote some of the most iconic songs of that era including, “Good Lovin’”, “Mustang Sally”, “Groovin'”, “You Better Run” and “People Got to Be Free”.
This is the second time I have seen Felix perform and each time it has brought back such great memories of my youth and the music I grow up with. All of the hope, love and just amazing tunes. Those were the days we bought 45s and played them to death on really cheap phonographs.
During the show, they had the 2 side screens running photos and videos from the 60s that interacted with the music. For those younger people, it was like seeing an Austin Power’s movie. For the people that lived in the 60s, it reminded me of those TV music programs, Dick Clark’s American Band Stand, Hullabaloo and Shindig!
What you get at this show is all of the classic greats from the Rascals with a few covers of other great 60s tunes. I am not going to cover each song, the setlist at the end of the article covers that. But instead I will talk about Felix and the band’s performance. It was stellar. Felix was masterful on the keys and singing. He even told little stories about some of the songs. The rest of the band were superb. The current line up consists of Felix Cavaliere on keyboards and lead singer, Benny Harrison on keyboards, bass player John Howard, guitarist Mike Severs and drummer Vince Santoro. Everyone provided backing vocals that harmonized perfectly with Felix. For one song, Benny got to sing lead and did a fantastic job. If I closed my eyes, I could almost believe I was listening to one of those old TV shows and hearing the music for the first time.
From the audience’s reaction, they were just as pleased as I was with the performance. Many were standing and dancing and singing along with the music. And Felix did not seem to show is age as he moved around on the stage coming out from behind his iconic organ/keyboard and interacting with the fans. If you want to just have a good time and enjoy some great music performed by really talented musicians, then this is definitely a show to see.
It was also great to see Felix come out after the show and sign items for the fans and have his photo taken with them. Remember, for a lot of artists, this is the only way they make any money any more. The record sales are abysmal due to streaming of music. So, by going to their shows and purchasing items, it keeps these great artists making new music and touring and giving us outstanding performances.
Also, the Talking Stick Resort (TSR) Showroom is a fantastic venue to see a show. It is small and has outstanding sound and lighting. The seating is good and everyone has a great view. I have never seen or heard a bad performance there. And they serve drinks, so life is good. If you get the chance, check out the websites above for shows coming to TSR (i.e., John Fogerty, Engelbert Humperdinck and Air Supply).
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2020, All Rights Reserved
Felix Cavaliere’s Setlist: (Album / Cover)
In the Midnight Hour/Thank You (Wilson Pickett cover)
A Beautiful Morning (The Rascals song)
A Girl Like You (The Young Rascals cover)
Love Is a Beautiful Thing (The Young Rascals cover)
You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover)
It’s Wonderful (The Young Rascals cover)
I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore (The Young Rascals cover)
Come On Up / (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (The Rascals song)
(I’ve Been) Lonely Too Long (The Young Rascals cover)
A Ray of Hope (The Rascals song)
Groovin’/My Girl/Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me/Grazing In the Grass
Mustang Sally/It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)/Land of 1,000 Dances/Get Ready
How Can I Be Sure (The Young Rascals cover)
People Got to Be Free/Oh Happy Day/Nowhere to Run/Celebration (band jam)
Good Lovin’/La Bamba (The Young Rascals cover)
Knock on Wood (Eddie Floyd cover)