June 13, 2014 The Monkees Recapture The Magic at The Paramount Huntington, NY 5-25-14
Back in 1966 a rock-n-roll band by the name of The Monkees were first introduced to audiences across America as part of a television show by the same name. Initially what was just a made-for-TV band soon became a professional touring band led by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones. Captivating audiences the band went on to years of success with mega radio hits and building a loyal fan base that has withstood the test of time. With the untimely passing of vocalist Davy Jones in 2012 from a heart attack at the age of 66, the remaining three members continue to carry on the legacy of Jones and the band with steady touring. Initially announced at a Monkees fan convention, the guys vowed to embark on a month long tour along the east coast of the USA. That promise came to fruition on Sunday May 25th at The Paramount in Huntington, NY in front of a packed house.
Having played The Paramount back in December of 2012, The Monkees were welcomed back with open arms by Long Islanders. With a clear 1960’s vibe flowing through the air the show began with a large screen of black and white footage of the band which really struck a chord in the heart of the audience. Following the unmistakable “The Monkees Theme”, Dolenz, Nesmith, and Tork came out performing “Last Train to Clarksville”. Having the crowd on their feet, dancing about and having a blast the set moved onto Nesmith on lead vocals for the track “Papa Gene’s Blues” and Tork dazzling on piano and vocals for “Your Auntie Grizelda”. The mood was just right and the energy provided by the band was inspiring.
Continuing the trip down memory lane, the classic tracks kept coming with Nesmith on lead for “The Kind of Girl I Could Love” and Dolenz on “She”. The balanced offering of songs showcasing each members talents really kept the show interesting and moving at a even tempo. The three musicians not only seemed to be on point with their performance they also seemed to really be having a blast as well together on stage. Setting things off into a new stratosphere they played the hit “I’m a Believer”. Given that the Neil Diamond track has been covered numerous times it still stays true that The Monkees’ rendition is the most unforgettable over the years. Keeping the excitement heightened “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” had the room moving and grooving.
Displaying their charismatic personalities, The Monkees engaged the audience, proved to be gracious, and showed no signs of slowing down. They went on to to perform “You Told Me”, “Sunny Girlfriend”, “You Just May Be the One”, “Mary, Mary”, and “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”. It was at this point in the set that many in the room showed great pleasure in hearing Tork perform “Shades of Gray”. It is so hard for fans to decide who their favorite Monkee is, but the band made it easy on the crowd. With plenty of visually stimulating videos as well, clips of yesteryear played behind the band. With no words needing to be spoken it was evident Jones is not forgotten by his bandmates with the amount of footage of him displayed throughout the show. It was often bittersweet for the audience as Jones was an extremely beloved performer and is sorely missed. Thankfully in Jones’ absence the band kept the memories alive and created new ones along the way.
Through the two hour long show The Monkees left no stone unturned and even performed an energetic rock version of “Circle Sky”. Having been two years since Nesmith has stepped back into the band the audience showed they are ecstatic to see him on stage again. Moved by the overwhelming praise from The Paramount audience, Nesmith showed great appreciation that almost appeared as though he could shed a tear of joy. Unquestionably special to see the performers as touched as the audience as the set wound down with the classic “Daydream Believer”. Doing the track justice the echoes of the the sing-along sent shivers down the spine of everyone. Concluding the set with “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?”, an encore featured “Listen to the Band” and the timeless “Pleasant Valley Sunday”.
The Monkees showed they are incredible musicians and can sing as strong as ever. Providing their audience with an enjoyable and entertaining experience the band did not disappoint. Reunited once again, the lively inspiring performance of Dolenz, Nesmith, and Tork was top-notch and fans hope they keep this magic flowing for years to come.