This coming Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the Payson High School Auditorium, the Tonto Community Concert Association (TCCA) series will present its sixth concert (of a series of eight) of the 2013-14 season, “Back on Broadway.”
The Nashville-based Matt Davenport Production returns for the second time to Payson and promises to be every bit as entertaining as it was the first time around. Season ticket holders are sure to be delighted by the 10-member cast (five males, five females) and the high-energy presentation of song and dance numbers from recent and past Broadway productions. Non-season ticket holders can purchase tickets for $35 a pop at the door.
Over the years, I’ve been to quite a number of TCCA concerts and almost always walk away with a smile on my face. The concert board does a remarkable job bringing in a wide variety of musical talent, genres and eras of music. Of course, as we all know, you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time. (Not an exact quote from Abe Lincoln, but pretty close.)
Last week, I sat down and asked myself, what is it that makes some concerts, and not just TCCA ones, that I’ve been to so spectacular and others just so-so for me?
In no particular order, this is the criteria that I found that I use to evaluate if a concert really knocks my socks off:
Talent — goes without saying.
Numbers — I appreciate shows that cast a number of performers — the more the better. And a nice mix of males and females is always nice.
Audience engagement — Do the artists relate the performance to the attendees, do they make you feel like you’re a part of the show, do they really seem to care about you and use humor to bring out a chuckle?
Variety in presentation — singing, dancing, flashy attire and the use of instruments. The incorporation of two of these elements is good. Three is great. All four is out-of-this-world.
Sweat — I love to see artists who put so much energy into their performance that they drip with it. And if they throw in a little blood and tears along with the sweat, so much the better.
As I was formulating my list, last season’s Motown Revue concert came to my mind. For me, the very talented 11-member cast, dressed in their flashy, eye-popping outfits, with their soul-smooth rhythm and high-octane energy, was about as good as it gets.
I will always remember sitting in an aisle seat for that concert, when one of the young, black female singers, left the stage and came into the audience. Standing right next to me, she belted out a Stevie Wonder classic, with sweat flying off her brow and sprinkling into my lap. By the end of the song she was covered in sweat — and I wasn’t too dry either.
Now, that’s the kind of blood, sweat and tears I’m talking about!
This week’s question
Named after the title of a 1963 Johnny Cash album, the group Blood, Sweat & Tears was formed by Al Kooper in 1967. With as many as 10 members, the band was most popular from the late 1960s to mid-1970s. They are noted for their combination of brass and rock band instrumentation.
The group recorded songs by rock/folk songwriters such as James Taylor, the Band, the Rolling Stones, as well as Billie Holiday and Erik Satie.
Since the band’s beginning, it went through numerous iterations with varying personnel and encompassed a multitude of musical styles. What the band was most known for was the fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as jazz-rock.
In 1969, Blood, Sweat & Tears debuted on the Billboard Hot-100 chart, with each of their first three singles that year reaching No. 2. Following that initial success, the group would never again have another song reach the top-10.
This week’s music trivia question is: of the following 1969 hits, which was not one of the three Blood, Sweat & Tears songs that reached the runner-up spot on the Billboard chart that year? A) “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” B) “Spinning Wheel,” C) “And When I Die,” or D) “Bad Moon Rising”?
If you’re caller number five and have the correct answer, you’ll win a pair of tickets (a $70 value) to Tuesday’s “Back on Broadway” concert. I think you’re just going to love it.
Last week’s question
Last week’s question asked if you could identify the contemporary country singer who scored a top-10 hit with his big hit “My Little Girl.”
Since the single’s release in 2006, the song has been a popular father-daughter wedding favorite, as the artist sings that even though his daughter will one day leave home, find a partner and “take on the world,” she will always be his little girl.
The choices were Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith.
The correct answer was Tim McGraw.
Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Payson’s Elizabeth Anson, who last won a couple of years or so ago.
Have a great Rim Country week!
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482, Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com