Eric Burdon and The Animals- Friday, January 20, 2012 @ Andiamo Celebrity Showroom in Warren, MI (just outside of Detroit).
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see a concert in a wedding reception style ballroom? Then you need to see a show at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom! It's a 500 person capacity room, and cavernous in size and feel. We had the second lowest tier seats ($45) and were still way in the back of the place. We were smashed in like sardines at long tables, getting way too cozy with the people we were seated with.
Eric Burdon is 70 years old, so he is absolved from any comments about his appearance or age...because he is 70 years old and still doing it. I will critique the performance, though. His band was solid, although the drummer was the weak link. The organ player was spectacular, and the guitar player was very good as well. These were not the original, or even New, Animals, but hey, whatever. Burdon's voice was still there, as his style of singing is pretty kind to the vocal chords in the long term.
The set ran between 80 and 90 minutes. After some local bar cover band opened the show, Eric Burdon and The Animals came on around 9ish. They started out with When I Was Young and Don't Bring Me Down. I was happy to see a legend like Burdon perform these classics in person, as he was near the top of my 'bucket list' performers that I want to see live before they (or I) die of old age. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood was done at a slower temple than the classic studio version, and I was a little bummed. I understand that he is likely bored after playing this song for nearly 50 years.
San Franciscan Nights, while one of my favorites, seemed to not go over as well with the crowd. The crowd was bizarre. This was not a normal Classic Rock concert crowd. There were some diehards there, but many of the folks were weird. My favorites included the weirdos in the Saxon and Hatebreed t-shirts. Awesome people watching. Before You Accuse Me and I Believe To My Soul, both blues covers, stopped the show dead in its tracks, and I mean that in the literal way. All of the life and energy were just sucked right out of me by the time that they were done with them. River Deep- Mountain High, an old Tina Turner song, was upbeat and helped revive things. Boom Boom was great, and there were plenty of extended solos during these songs, for better and sometimes worse.
Tryin' To Get You was painfully dull. It's My Life and We Gotta Get Out Of This Place were great, played with tons of energy. This is what I wanted to see. I guess that I should just build a time machine and go and see The Animals in the mid-60s. The encore was Crawling King Snake and a laid back The House of the Rising Sun.
I've got to admit, I was a bit let down by this show. I wanted it to be as good as many of the shows by veteran performers that I've seen, but it wasn't. There were many classics that I would've liked to hear rather than some of these covers. It felt cornball and Vegas-y, and I think that the venue was responsible for part of that. I disliked being jammed in like a sardine, disliked the forced valet parking, and disliked the horrible waitstaff service. It took forever and a day to get your drinks, and maneuvering around the place to get your own drinks was nigh impossible. There was a snowstorm going on during the show (not Burdon's or the venue's fault) but the valet left me with huge blindspots that I would not have had had I been allowed to clear my own windows and drive myself out.
I'm glad that I got to see the man himself perform in person, but I doubt that I'll be going back unless he is paired up with someone that I like.
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