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Music review: The Monkees bring back glory days of their 1960s heyday

June 10, 2011 by  
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The show’s organizers pushed back the start time to help fans deal with the high temperature, but it probably would have taken double the heat to keep The Monkees faithful away from Innsbrook After Hours on Wednesday night.

Glen Allen was one of the lucky sites to land the 45th-anniversary tour of the band that managed to draw attention away from the Beatles during their’60s heyday. Although their TV show ran for only two seasons, from 1966 to 1968, the group of actor-musicians rode a wave of memorable hit songs that forever embedded The Monkees in American pop culture.

The Monkees took the stage at Pavilion as a threesome, minus Mike Nesmith, who has only sporadically been involved with their reunions. As an eight-piece backing band began an instrumental medley of their hits, video of the young Monkees appeared on a rear screen, pumping up the crowd with scenes from their show, images of album covers and period footage.

“Hello, Detroit!” shouted Micky Dolenz as he took the stage with Davy Jones and Peter Tork. As each Monkee alternated lead vocals, hits like “Last Train to Clarksville” were natural highlights, but beloved album tracks like the Jones-led “When Love Comes Knockin’ at Your Door” went down just as well. In addition to singing some of his own songs, Tork stepped in for the absent Nesmith on “Papa Gene’s Blues.”

The musicians provided a solid backing, allowing the stars to focus on vocals and to, well, monkey around. “Hi, I’m Davy’s dad,” Jones told the crowd. “Davy will be out in a minute.” Later, the crowd surged when Dolenz waved a T-shirt, then announced, “No way! This is going on eBay. Genuine Monkee sweat.”

During an intermission, the crowd was treated to some rare TV commercials of The Monkees hawking Rice Krispies, Kool-Aid and Yardley Black Label Cologne. The second set began with a focus on their 1968 movie, “Head,” during which a number of songs from the soundtrack were performed as scenes from the movie rolled on the screen.

The spirit of the three engaging Monkees was infectious, and there was no denying the enduring power of set-closing hits such as “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.” To many it probably seemed surreal that they were actually watching the’60s pop fixtures live in 2011.

It’s to The Monkees’ credit that they arrived with a memorable performance that didn’t simply rely on the lasting connection that still matters to so many fans.

via Music review: The Monkees bring back glory days of their 1960s heyday | Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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