The Zombies invade John Burns Park Massapequa, NY 8-13-14

The Zombies invade John Burns Park Massapequa, NY 8-13-14

Rock-n-roll was changed forever during the 1960’s British Invasion with bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who making their way to North America.  One of the many talented rock outfits from the UK during these unforgettable years was The Zombies.  Formed in 1962, the band charted a series of hits throughout the decades, which are classics all these years later.  Reforming on few occasions during the 1990’s, the band, led by Rod Argent (piano, organ and vocals) and Colin Blunstone (vocals), has been going strong now since 2001 with a new line-up including Tom Toomey (guitar, vocals), Jim Rodford (bass, vocals), and Steve Rodford (drums).  On Wednesday August 13th, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees came to John Burns Park in Massapequa, NY as part of the 2014 Music Under The Stars Summer Concert Series.  Excited for the chance to see the band perform, the lawn was filled with chairs of families ready to enjoy the music.

Warming up the night early on was support from famous song-writer/producer Bruce Sudano.  Native to Brooklyn, NY, Sudano has been an important part of music for many years having created songs for legends like Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, as well as his late wife Donna Summer.  Opening with the song “One Beautiful Life”, Sundano’s sound was soothing and warming to the heart and senses.  The instrumentation was clarified as he went on through songs like “Gentle Girl”, “A Glass of Red and the Sunset”, and closer “It’s Never Too Late to Dream”.  Sundano’s storied music career and life experiences shine bright in each composition, reminding everyone to enjoy life to the fullest and take nothing for granted.   His newest record With Angels on a Carousel (2013) is out now.

Shortly after, and as the lawn became completely taken over by chairs and blankets of fans, The Zombies took the stage.  Kicking off with catching new millennium tune “I Love You”, the vocal harmonies of Argent and Blunstone resonated through the air, bringing smiles to the faces of everyone.  Moving into other newer pieces including the 2011 track “Breathe Out, Breathe In”, the band highlighted that their talents have not faded to a broad range of listeners that perhaps were unaware the band was still actively writing.   Interjecting the classic tunes “I Want You Back Again”, “You Make Me Feel Good”, and “She’s Coming Home” had some on their feet singing, dancing, and all reminiscing.

As the set wore on, Blunstone played some of his solo tracks such as “I Don’t Believe in Miracles” and “Any Other Way”, sounding powerful in his delivery.  This balance of tunes kept the audience engaged and fully attentive when favorites like “A Rose for Emily”, “Care of Cell 44”, “This Will Be Our Year”, and “I Want Her, She Wants Me” rattled out in energized style.  That led into perhaps the most exciting portion of the performance where everyone cheered loudest for unforgettable tune “Time of the Season”.  Withstanding the test of time, the track still sounds as fresh as it did all those years ago with the psychedelic textures of Argent’s keys and unmistakable singing of Blunstone.  Keeping that vibe going “Tell Her No” followed moments later with everyone swaying to the soothing sounds of guitar followed by the track’s B-side   “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me/ Bring It On Home to Me”.

Humbled by the warm ovation, Blunstone thanked the crowd and played the 1982 track he sang lead vocals on for The Alan Parsons Project called “Old and Wise”.  Showing they still can put on a great show, the set closed out with Argent’s hit song “Hold Your Head Up”, and another mesmerizing hit in “She’s Not There”.  On their feet cheering in appreciation, the crowd received a great encore of Argent’s “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” and a rare performance of 1965 piece “The Way I Feel Inside”.   The Zombies’ concert experience of 2014 is more than a nostalgic trip into rock history, it is a show filled with thoughtful song selection, dazzling vocal performances, and passion that shows great music never dies.

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Frank Malerba
frank@crypticrock.com
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