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An Evening with David Cassidy and Davy Jones
1970s Pop Idols pay a visit to Chicago
The date: March 28, 2009. The Place: Rosemont Theater
David Cassidy and Davy Jones prepare to take the stage. Maybe not newsworthy for some, but ask any woman in her 40's and she'll likely admit to a heart stopping crush on one or both of these lads back in the early 70's.
David Cassidy was the pin up sensation that played eldest son Keith Partridge on the 1970's show "The Partridge Family". He then rose to even greater heights as a solo recording artist. Mega hit songs like "I Think I Love You" and "Come on Get Happy" earned Cassidy high marks from crazed girls at sold-out concerts all over America. His fan club was the largest in history..even larger than Elvis Presley's.
Davy Jones emerged in the late 1960's and was the biggest British export since the Beatles. As the star and lead singer of "The Monkees", he inspired the same amount of girl-frenzy as Cassidy. His cockney accent and boyish good looks escalated him to the top of the pop charts, and straight into the hearts of young girls everywhere. The Monkees' records out sold the Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined from 1965 through 1970.
Collectively, Cassidy and Jones have sold over 100 million records.
Now they're touring together, and their faithful fans have followed.
So imagine the buzz at the Rosemont Theater just moments before the show. The crowd is filled with women eagerly awaiting a chance to see their once-upon-a-time idols. As the lights dim and the curtains raise, the audience stands by, ready to embark on a nostalgic musical journey.
"Please put your hands together for the greatest tambourine player in the world". The introduction invokes a loud cheer as Jones opens the show with a crowd pleasing rendition of "I'm a Believer". His fans came out for a dose of classic Davy Jones and he delivered - superbly. His vocals on "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Valleri", and "Girl" were astonishingly reminiscent of early performances, and inspired the same level of excitement.He broke out the tambourine for "Last Train to Clarksville" and shook is maracas to "(I'm not Your) Steppin' Stone". Next was a song dedicated to his loyal fans for their support over the years. "You're my first love, my last love, my forever", he crooned. A heartfelt tribute to an audience he was clearly glad to reunite with, and the feeling was mutual.
Enter David Cassidy, as the intro to "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" vibrates through the theater. "Hello Chicago", he says, "I want to take you all on a little journey tonight...", but instead of treating the audience to a performance of songs from his vast catalogue of hits, Cassidy opts to mix it up. "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers was his second song choice followed by an unidentified Jim Hendrix - style number. It contained a respectable guitar solo by Cassidy, but it left his fans a bit confused. Some technical difficulties followed while in the middle of "I'll Meet You Halfway", causing him obvious frustration. In addition, a handful of songs including "Echo Valley 26809", "Come on Get Happy" and "Cherish", were all performed disparagingly unlike the original recordings, which appeared to take the audience off guard. It left many wondering if this was the David Cassidy they came to see. Despite that, Cassidy's vocals were solid and he managed to express genuine appreciation for fans that remained loyal throughout his 37 year career. He dedicated his last and most memorable song, "I Think I Love You", to them. Many would speculate that Cassidy's show was a bit self indulgent (as indicated by some early departures), while others would argue that he was attempting to introduce fans to a broader range of his musical talent.
Either way, a reunion it was, for both of these pop icons and their long-standing admirers. The combination of classic songs and fond memories made the evening seem worthy of the price of admission, turning a cold night in Chicago into a warm welcoming blast from the past.