America rocks Crisler
By CINDY RHODES
and DAVID VICTOR
AMERICA played a fantastic concert last Saturday
night at Crisler Arena. The group was at its best sin-
ce the departure of guitarist Dan Peek, though Gerry
Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, the remaining members of
the original trio, still showed the loss visibly. The fans
were still excited over the Ohio State victory as the group
flung items of clothing and promotional patches for Har-
bor, their newest album, into the crowd and added to the
mood of excitement.
The concert began with songwriter-turned-performer
Jimmy Webb playing a variety of his compositions. Wear-
ing a maize and blue scarf around his neck throughout his
set, he played a medley of songs dedicated to Woody
Hayes, which included "I'm A Loser." His fine perform-
ance was highlighted by his rendition of "MacArthur's
Park." Even though his voice cracked somewhat, the
emotion he put into the middle instrumental section
(which was, like the rest of his performance, played solely
on piano) was overwhelming. Much to the disappointment
of the audience, he did not come back on stage for an en-
The America set. began with a recording of the Michi-
gan Fight Song, to which the audience responded by stan-
ding and singing along, as if it were a football game. This
led immediately into "Tin Man," in which the band's ex-
cellent performance set the mood for the rest of the
BETWEEN THE FIRST and second songs Gerry
Beckley congratulated the audience on the afternoon's
victory, but claimed that a California team would triumph
in the Rose Bowl. However, this ignorance did not hamper
any of the songs they performed. The only song that was a'
disappointment was "Muskrat Love." We have seen
every America concert in the area since 1974, and this was
the first time it was played "cutely." It came out sounding
like the Captain and Tenneille version.
This disappointment was quickly erased by "Three
Roses," from their first album. The song was heightened
by the excellent percussion of Tom Walsh, one of the best
musician of America's back-up band. In the next two
songs, "I Need You" and "To Each His Own" (dedicated
to Jimmy Webb) the focus was on Beckley's flawless
talent on vocals and piano. They then broke away from
following the recorded version in "Old Man Took" by
showing their fine improvisation talents, and then re-
turned to Beckley on piano again for "Daisy Jane."
At this point everyone left the stage except for Bun-
nell, who explained that he and Beckley each had a solo
now that Peek had left the group. Throughout the show,
whenever reference was made to Peek, it was only
favorable. Bunnell performed the short "Pigeon Song,"
with morbid lyrics that seemed terribly funny to the audi-
ence. The rest of the band came back on stage, and per-
formed "Riverside" one of the finest numbers of the
evening, and "Sergeant Darkness," a song from Harbor,
their newest album.
NEXT, BUNNELL LEFT, and Beckley played two
solos on the piano, "Sarah," (dedicated to Peek) and
"Another Try." It is difficult to compare Beckley with
Bunnell, as they are so different, but equally talented.
However, the two songs Beckley chose for his solo proved
showcases for his clear, pure voice and keyboard vir-
After "Amber Cascades," marked by Beckley's per-
formance on the electric double-necked 12-string guitar,
and "God of the Sun," America played the finest section of
the concert. Beginning with Bunnell performing "Com-
pany" the band began jamming as the spotlight was on
Jim Calire on tenor saxaphone. From this the band went
immediately into "Hollywood," highlighted by
background traffic noises, more sax, and a superb vib'ra-
phone solo by Walsh. America concluded with "Ventura
Highway, "Sandman," and a very emotional "Sister
Goldenhair," all of the highest quality. Unfortunately they
performed only one encore, the expected "A Horse With
Providing an exciting evening of excellent music,
America showed that they recovered well from the loss of
Peek. Playing in top form, the group was superb.,
The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, November 22, 1977-Pogi 5
unes Queen played that which rolled into a triumphant "We Aye
The Champions." For encore numer
t have one without the two, Mercury came out in a glitter sil-
right - the scorching ver skin-tight suit and the three rows of
razy" which really got drum platform lights blinked in
, sequence, during "Jailhouse Rock."
By TIM YAGLE
THE SOLD-OUT Cobo Arena audi-
ence was ready for some good
rock 'n roll last Friday night, but not
just any band was going to perform.
Queen was in town.
The way one knew this was that sym-
phonic music was aired over the speak-
ers instead of the usual rock before the
band took the stage.
Queen began their extravaganza
(sans warm-up band) one half-hour late
with the latest hit from their new album
News of the World. The thunderous
"We Will Rock You," which got the
crowd on its feet and clapping to the
beat. The stage became glutted with
white smoke which also appealed to the
crowd's fancy. "Somebody to Love"
followed but it just didn't sound similar
enough to the popular studio version
with the group's excellent'harmonies.
THROUGHOUT the evening, lead
vocalist Freddie Mercury went pran-
cing around the stage doing crude
ballet positions in his white tights spot-
ted with black diamonds. Lead guitarist
Brian May was his excellent self.
The band then launched into a medley
of tunes including "Killer Queen" and
"I'm In Love With My Car," during
which May produced some bizarre
sounds on his guitar.
Again, the harmonies just weren't
there (was I expecting too much?) with
"You're My Best Friend."
RHYTHMIC'Spread Your Wings"
ensued with Mercury going nothing
short of crazy on the piano. Next, the
group broke into a strident "Liar" with
a long ending and some hot licks in bet-
ween, that had the audience hopping.
The foursome settled down to a
couple of acoustic numbers "Love Of
My Life" and "39" but after a while I
sensed the hard rock-oriented Detroit
crowd getting restless and apparently
so, did Mercury who said, "We'll do
something a bit harder now." That was
Following this, Mercury assumed
various poses on the small elevated
platform to his right, accompanied by
incredible space-age sounds what
almost defy description.
BRIAN MAY rthen followed suit on
guitar during a somewhat dull ten-min-
ute solo while everyone was off stage.
A drumming and clapping session
preceded "Keep Yourself Alive" - one
of the better to
other - that's
the fans buzzing
THE SONG that propelled the band to
their current fame "Bohemian Rhap-
sody" was delicately played. The band
left the stage during the middle portion
played via studio tape over the speak-
ers while the lights wentout. When the
powerful finale came, the lights went on
instantly with May coming out in a
short-length white, frilled robe accom-
panied by flashing lights, smoke and
explosion. But the real kicker came
when Mercury rose from beneath the
forestage on a platform with a shiny
black jacket over his tights. It was quite
a sight. As you might have guessed, the
dazzled audience rushed the stage
during all of this.
Ending with "Tie Your Mother
Down" Queen blew the place apart and
finished their set.
After such a rousing ending the ex-
cited fans wanted more - and more
they got. Queen's first encore was a
reperformance of "We Will Rock You"
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - "Al-
ligator Pie," a collection of nonsense
poems by Dennis Lee, illustrated by
Frank New.feld, was recently named
the "Top English-Canadian Chil-
dren's Book of All Times" in a poll of
Canadian children's librarians.
"Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy
Maud Montgomery and "Mary of
Mile 18" by Ann Blades finished
second and third.
The poll was conducted by "The
World of Children's Books," a review
of children's literature published
The strangely spotted Appaloosa
horse was developed )by the Nez
Perce Indians from descendants of
the Spanish horse.
oncertina small pipes thrillArk
By BILL O'CONNOR
LAST YEAR, when the Ark Coffee-
house billed Alistair Anderson as
"the greatest living concertina
player," he was phenomenal. But this
year, playing at the Ark on Friday and
Saturday night, he was better.
To appreciate Anderson, you have to
appreciate the English concertina, the
instrument he plays for most of his 2%-
hour concert. The concertina sounds
somewhat like an accordian, but less
raucous; it is a small, rounded squeeze-
box with several rows of buttons on
either end. Illustrators often depict it in
the hands of sailors jigging on shipdeck,
or moustacheoed Italian balladeers.v
Anderson's first contact with the con-
certina came over a dozen years ago.:
His first reaction was curiosity. "A
schoolfriend had a concertina sitting in
his front room, unused," he said. "His
grandfather had played it. I'd never
heard one played before, but I tried get-
ting tunes out of it."
SIX MONTHS LATER, Anderson was
recording with the High Level Ranters,
a British folk group. Even then, and for
a year after, he still had never met an-
other concertina player.
"I got most of my music from Billy
Pigg, a Northumbrian bagpiper, and
Colin Ross, fiddler for the Ranters.. By
the time I met Louis Killen (singer,
concertina player and another Ark reg-
ular), my style was pretty well set."
Now, Anderson's musical sources are
international. On Friday night, he per-
formed a Scott Joplin rag, a Dutch tune
called "The Ape Man's Dance," a
classical piece by Fiocco, and dance
tunes from his native Northumbrian
region of England. These songs ranged
from slow, melancholy airs like "The
Darkling," to "Geld him, Lasses, Geld
him" - played so fast that the notes
almost ran together.
EQUALLY FASCINATING are An-
derson's theatrics. He stamps, sways
and even dances to the music rippling
out of the bellows. He grimaces, scowls
and winces as he plays. On some songs,
however, he closed his eyes and tips an
ear toward his instrument, as if his
fingers are entertaining him as well as
His unique stage presence has been
an Anderson trademark since the first
of his solo performances nine years
ago. His lightning-fast renditions of'
tunes put him in a class by himself sin-
ce those early.concerts. The past year,
however, has seen a definite improve-
ment in his projection to his audience,
both personally and musically.
Once his classical and non-British se-
lections seemed a bit stiff but he put
maore feeling into them on Friday night.
His slow airs have acquired a phrasing
that makes them graceful instead of
just slow. His transitions from tune to
tune were particularly striking, as they
held the pieces of the concert together.
Anderson also performed on the Nor-
thumbrian small pipes, smaller in size
and more delicate in sound than the
more familiar Scottish war pipes.
Though some experts say that the pipes
require twenty-one years to master,
Anderson began playing only three
years ago. His piping is good, but pale
be'side his virtuosity on concertina.
Wisely, he uses pipes sparingly in con-
cert, as a pleasant change of pace.
Since there are no others like him,
Anderson is hard to compare to other
major performers. It is relieving to see,
however, that his monopoly on concerti-
na playing has not caused him to rest on
his laurels. He's still in his thirties,
leaving little chance that he will be un-
seated as the greatest living concertina
player for at least a few years.
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Tues.- Sun., 9:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Closed Mondays,
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's day.
Gen. adm.: $2.50; Students, Seniors, $1.50;
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