A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
This rock band has been around forever and is touring Australia in May for their 45th anniversary tour. I was fortunate enough to attend their recent concert in Adelaide at the Thebarton Theatre along with a full house of new and old fans. There was a queue around the block at the entrance. Lots of mature age couples, and a smattering of young people ie under 30's. They were all coming to pay homage to their youth, another era and the lure of nostalgia. Could America live up to all this expectation? The answer was to unfold over several magical hours.
America has pure harmonies, riffing guitars and a surging rhythm section and of course those classic songs. They started straight in, no messing around, with Tin Man. Then Sharon Corr, the support act, played her haunting violin on a song. America went on with the romantic I Need You and really took off with Ventura Highway. I saw real emotion from the audience as This is For All the Lonely People was played.
America– The Band
The band also branched out with two cover versions. One of their most recent albums titled Back Pages are cover versions of songs they wish they'd written, like the one they played here, Woodstock by Joni Mitchell. There was a soaring Californian Dreaming which really touched a nerve and then Sister Golden Hair – will you meet me in the middle … just enough to show you care. Their harmonies and musicianship are spot on. Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley are the original members of the band and multi instrumentalists, who seem to effortlessly play amazing sounds. By the time Sister Golden Hair had made her appearance the audience were getting ready to rise to their feet. America returns swiftly for an encore and some more rock and finish with their all time classic The Horse with No Name. The crowd were on their feet again riding that wave of emotion and elation.
Even with all the above some older bands fail to capture an audiences heart. But America's leading men Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley are not distant, disinterested performers. They look like they enjoy playing for the audience and tell stories and relate to people. They are true professionals and acknowledge all the people that put the show together. And this is a very well put together show.
The graphics projected onto a huge screen as a backdrop take the audience on a tour back in time. To their hey day of the seventies. Long haired dreamers travelling down the highway. America's Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley told the assembled crowd 'This is a reciprocal agreement, we'll keep playing, if you keep coming out'. Roll on the 50th anniversary tour.
Remaining Australian tour dates - 2015. May 13th – Melbourne - Palais Theatre, St Kilda May 14th & 15th Sydney – State Theatre