Sunday, August 13, 2017

Live Review: The Zombies @ The Birchmere, 7/17/17

I didn't plan on reviewing this show. Having reviewed (and been totally wowed by) The Zombies once before, this was meant to be an off duty outing. I bought tickets to the show as a birthday present for my mother (who's a huge fan of the band), and I was so serious about being a total spectator that I didn't even have a notebook with me at the show. But as the set went on, it became apparent that I would once again be talking about just how much I love seeing The Zombies live.

I wasn't alone in that feeling, either. The Birchmere was totally packed, by the time we got there (well before the show started) the only seats available were way in a dark back corner. The crowd was mixed, the band drawing new generations of fans along with the generation who came of age listening to their impeccable songs. 

From the opening notes of first song "I Love You" it was clear that this was going to be a special night. I don't know how it's possible, but this band manages to sound even better than they did on record all those years back. Colin Blunstone delivered every line with a beatific smile, simply beaming as his heavenly voice gilded each note. 

The banter between songs was charming, my favorite moment perhaps being the anecdote about the band playing a Zombies cover of a Tom Petty cover of a Zombies song ("I Want You Back Again"). The entire 19-song set (encore included) was nothing but gem after gem, so many wonderful songs flowed from this band. All were delivered with precision and passion. But more than that, all were delivered with heart and soul. I don't mean that in a cliched or cheesy sense. I mean it in the sense that this band, more than quite possibly any other band I've ever seen live, plays in a way that expresses just how much they love what they do. And to have been playing these songs for so many years and still give that impression, well, it's a special thing indeed. 

I was almost moved to tears because of the overwhelming feeling of joy that was bestowed upon the audience from these wonderful musicians. It was truly incredible. This show reminded me just how amazing it can be to experience music made by musicians who love what they do, and who love sharing their music with others. To see The Zombies is to see something truly special, and I hope they'll be back soon so more fans can experience it. And when they come back, I hope they'll add their version of "Got My Mojo Workin'" to the set. Because to me, that would truly make them perfect. As it stands, they're pretty darned close.

[photo copyright Megan Petty]

[posted 8.13.17]             

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