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Monkees’ storm-shortened reunion show still satisfies

July 2, 2011 by  
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A state government shutdown couldn’t stop the Monkees…but a thunderstorm almost did.

Seven songs into their set at the Minnesota Zoo on Friday night, the reunited late-’60s popsters took an unexpected break because of threatening skies that opened soon after they and their eight-piece band left the stage. But the crowd kept vigil amid the sharks and dolphins of Discovery Bay inside the closed zoo’s main building. Soon, the rain let up and the band was back on after an hour and 10 minutes.

And they returned with renewed vigor, Davy Jones restarting the set with a buoyant version of “Rainy Jane,” missing from the band’s set list in other cities. It brought some spontaneity to a show that had seemed a bit rote and routine in the early going.

Perhaps in admiration of the audience for their staying power, Jones and his compadres, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (sans Mike Nesmith, who’s sitting out this reunion), seemed intent on infusing their old tunes with more energy and enthusiasm than expected. If this weekend’s shows (they play again tonight) are the last swing through the Twin Cities for the Monkees, then this is a show at which their bubbly brand of guitar pop is getting its due.

So, even though the interruption (and a 10:30 curfew) made the set 14 songs shorter than that enjoyed elsewhere on this tour, it was still a satisfying performance, a nostalgia trip that was a guilt-free pleasure. The voices of Dolenz and Jones were only slightly ragged around.

the edges, but their charisma remains intact. And they were augmented by a very strong band that featured a strong trio of horns and some exceptional guitar solos from Wayne Avers.

Tork, Jones and Dolenz did toss in a bit of banter akin to the kind of wisecracking found on the 1966-68 TV show for which the group was created, but the 23 songs mostly followed closely upon one another, making it a briskly paced performance. Among the highlights were a version of “Valleri” that clicked on all cylinders and Dolenz releasing his inner soul man on “Goin’ Down” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.”

The latter was among a string of hits at set’s end that also included a spirited “Last Train to Clarksville” and a full crowd sing-along on “Daydream Believer” that seemed a lilting catharsis for the standing-room-only crowd. It was a joyous moment. And those attending tonight likely will get considerably more…unless it rains.

via Monkees’ storm-shortened reunion show still satisfies –

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