Last night’s closing performance of The Rascals ‘Once Upon A Dream’ at The Orpheum was as close as you can get to the 60’s without a time machine.
The four original members of the group were augmented by five musicians who filled out the original Rascals sound of the records you remember with uncanny accuracy and fire. Mark Alexander on double keyboards replicatied horn sections, string sectionss, and blew me away with the harp glissando in ‘A Girl Like You’. Mark Prentice nailed every bass line with precision and passion, while singers Sharon Bryant, Angela Clemmons, and Dennis Collins complimented Felix, Eddie, Dino, and Gene perfectly without overpowering them.
There was no short changing the quantity of music either. The hits were all there. From the opening song It’s Wonderful’ to the encore ‘See’. The Rascals performed 29 songs in all which included 16 of their 19 chart hits.
Biggest surprise of the night for me was just how good Gene Cornish is on guitar. They may not have toured in 40 years, but tall their chops were still intact, with Eddie giving all he had on vocals, Dino’s mesmerizing drumming with the precision and flash of Buddy Rich, and Felix not only going for the high notes, but nailing them.
Before the encore The Rascals brought promoter Danny Zelesko on stage who said a few words about what a great week it had been, and a personal note on how it was to see ‘his Beatles’ live on stage.
I never thought I’d see it either. And I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was.
The pre-recorded dialogue inserts complimented the music, moving the story along rather than interrupting the flow of the show.
A day later I still feel like I got my money’s worth with this show, and yes, I bought my own tickets.
Dino told me there most certainly be a DVD of the show eventually which will be nice.
But it won’t match the real thing.
RASCALS ‘ONCE UPON A DREAM” SET LIST – ORPHEUM THEATRE – PHOENIX – 10-20-13
1. IT’S WONDERFUL
2. I’VE BEEN LONELY TOO LONG
3. WHAT IS THE REASON
4. YOU BETTER RUN
5. CARRY ME BACK
6. SLOW DOWN
7. MICKEY’S MONKEY
8. TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT
9. COME ON UP
10. BABY LET’S WAIT
11. TOO MANY FISH IN THE SEA
12. IF YOU KNEW
13. HOLD ON
14. I AIN’T GONNA EAT OUT MY HEART ANYMORE
15. GOOD LOVIN’
16. LOVE IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
18. DO YOU FEEL IT
19. AWAY AWAY
20. A BEAUTIFUL MORNING
22. FIND SOMEBODY
23. A GIRL LIKE YOU
24. IT’S LOVE
25. HOW CAN I BE SURE
26. PEOPLE GOT TO BE FREE
28. A RAY OF HOPE
29. ENCORE: SEE
PICTURES FROM THE 10-20-13 SHOW – CLOSING NIGHT