The Zombies ; Keswick Theater Glenside, PA 10/11/15

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The Zombies ; Keswick Theater Glenside, PA 10/11/15

Postby jimmy19029 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:03 am

Thirteen years ago I never dared to dream that I might see a reformed Zombies touring and playing in the 21st Century. But then, my wish was granted when their keyboard mastermind, Rod Argent, teamed up with the Zombies lead singer, Colin Blunstone, to form a touring group that has been circling the globe for 15 plus years playing us old hits, deep cuts, new albums and even throwing in stuff from their individual careers (Argent, Colin Blunstone, Alan Parsons, etc.). What more could anyone wish for? How about ALL surviving Zombies players touring a show that features their WHOLE, NOW LEGENDARY, ALBUM ODESSEY & ORACLE!

First up were Rod & Colin with the current touring band doing the hits, covers, FIVE brand new songs and one slightly reworked version of an older song, "I Want You Back Again", from their new album Still Got That Hunger. Having recently acquired their 1997 Zombie Heaven box set, I was in total Zombies mode and this show came along at the perfect time."I Want You Back Again" was one of my faves from the box set and a great choice for a re-recording. Colin laughed about this, "One of the things about being around fifty years, you record alot of songs that you FORGET doing. We heard Tom Petty do this one recently and thought...WELL, good enough for him...good enough for US."

And I was MOST impressed with the other five new tracks, enjoying them just as much, if not more, as the standards. A totally changed up setlist since I last saw them eleven years ago.

Plus Rod & Colin were in a happy/talkative mood as they glowingly set up each song, giving us little tidbits about their background. "New York" was about the band's experience playing in NYC at a Murray the K Christmas show in 1964 on a bill with Patti LaBelle & the Blue Bells and others, while "Caroline Goodbye" was a Colin solo hit in Europe written by him for a girlfriend who later was a Bond girl who got blown up in a helicopter in the movie For Your Eyes Only. Her real name was the only one that would fit the song and she granted Colin permission to use it.. And their hit "Tell Her No" mentions the word "no" a total of SIXTY EIGHT TIMES. Plus Argent said his "Hold Your Head Up" hit we all here in the US have been getting the lyrics wrong for years (myself included!). It's HOLD YOUR HEAD UP, WO-MAN, not HOLD YOUR HEAD UP, WHOA....These are the fun facts us music trivia nerds cannot live without. HA! HA!

Just THIS FIRST SET ALONE would've been more than enough to keep us enraptured...but the BEST was yet to come! After a twenty minute break, Rod & Colin were joined on stage by fellow surviving classic Zombies members bassist/singer/composer Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy. Current guitarist Tom Toomey was in the late Paul Atkinson's place on guitar, bassist Jim Rodford stayed around to handle the high harmonies alongside Chris White's wife, Viv Boucherat, and Jim's son (and the band's current drummer) Steve would pop out to play double drums every now and then with Hugh or play the kit when Hugh was handling the bongos & mallets on "Changes". One man orchestra Darian Sahanaja (who's worked with Brian Wilson, Heart and others) was also on hand to play the mellotron, theramin, piccolo trumpet and other keyboard parts originally over dubbed by Rod Argent.

The last several times I saw the band, a handful of these songs were performed, but this time we had the WHOLE DARN THING with each and every part played...not a note left out! Rod even brought along a pump organ from WWI to play "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)".

Ahh, a dream come true to see this classic album performed live in its entirety. And it has in recent years gone on to take its place alongside other classic albums of its era, such as The Beach Boys Pet Sounds and The Beatles Sgt. Pepper. I can only just imagine how discouraged they were when it failed to sell back then, prompting the group to call it a day.

I had been privileged to talk to Rod, Colin and the others and get signatures after a show in Atlantic City back in 2004, but this time they were right into the car and gone. I'm sure they were overly beat after two sets AND an earlier meet & greet.

Set 1:

01 I Love You
02 Can't Nobody Love You
03 I Want You Back Again
04 Moving On
05 Edge of the Rainbow
06 Tell Her No
07 You Really Got a Hold On Me/
08 Bring it on Home to Me
09 Maybe Tomorrow
10 New York
11 Caroline Goodbye
12 Chasing the Past
13 Hold Your Head Up
14 She's Not There

Set 2:

01 Care of Cell 44
02 A Rose For Emily
03 Maybe After He's Gone
04 Beechwood Park
05 Brief Candles
06 Hung up on a Dream
07 Changes
08 I Want Her She Wants Me
09 This Will Be Our Year
10 Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)
11 Friends of Mine
12 Time of the Season

13 She's Not There (played again)

Set 1:
Rod Argent - keyboards, vocals
Colin Blunstone- vocals
Jim Rodford - bass, backing vocals
Steve Rodford - drums
Tom Toomey - guitar, backing vocals

Set 2:
Rod Argent - keyboards, vocals
Colin Blunstone- vocals
Chris White - bass, vocals
Hugh Grundy - drums
Tom Toomey - guitar, backing vocals
Jim Rodford - backing vocals
Viv Boucherat - backing vocals
Darian Sahanaja - Additional keyboards, backing vocals
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Location: Essington, PA

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