AMERICA is hosting two sold out shows in San Juan Capistrano, just south of Los Angeles in Orange county. Tonight’s show was unbelievable. The band that includes lead guitarist Andy Barr, Ryland Steen on drums and of course Rich on bass and their leaders GERRY & DEWEY. The show was explosive from the start with TINMAN, YOU CAN DO MAGIC as the openers. This crowd was so loud; I think the band had to compete with their cheering. Ryland drives the sound with relentless imagination and explosive energy - by shows end he is pouring sweat, please observe him and admire his will. Andy Barr is providing tremendous creativity and well-disciplined guitar work to complement the bands extraordinary sound and dynamics. His leads on HERE, GREEN MONKEY and SANDMAN are unique and very beautiful. As usual GERRY & DEWEY & RICH did a splendid job on the vocal harmonies, I think harmonies are a key element of AMERICA’s unique and brilliant sound repertoire and they sound better than ever.
Please get out and see them, you will be happy !
Here is the set list for 2 fabulous sold out shows in California:
AMERICA is stronger than ever. The high flying energy from GERRY & DEWEY envelopes the audience and the atmosphere is electrifying in both directions. You see it & feel it. AMERICA soars to new heights !
YOU CAN DO MAGIC
DON’T CROSS THE RIVER
DAISY JANE (with live violinist)
I NEED YOU
ONLY IN YOUR HEART
SISTER GOLDEN HAIR
HORSE WITH NO NAME
Courtesy of the OC Register newspaper 11/12/16.
A great article that says it all !
America goes beyond its mellow '70s reputation in O.C. show
Nov. 12, 2016 Updated 11:47 a.m.
America lead singer Dewey Bunnell performs at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Friday, November 11, 2016. (Photo by David Bro, contributing photographer)
By ROBERT KINSLER / CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Where: The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano
When: Nov. 11
Next: The Coach House on Nov. 12; the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, Nov. 13
In recent years, a revitalized America has delivered a number of memorable concerts in Orange County, including a genuinely thrilling appearance with Orange County's own Pacific Symphony to kick off the Orange County Fair’s summer concert season at the Pacific Amphitheatre in July 2015.
On Friday night, founding members Dewey Bunnell (lead vocals, guitar) and Gerry Beckley (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar) returned to the Coach House to headline at the first of two sold-out nights at the San Juan Capistrano venue. The good news is that the ’70s hit makers continue to find new life in their classic discography, assisted by a particularly-strong touring band comprised of bassist Richard Campbell, lead guitarist Andy Barr and drummer Ryland Steen (an O.C. local who was a long-time member of the ska band Reel Big Fish).
Those who only have a casual interest in America would have been somewhat surprised if they had been at the Coach House on Friday. To be sure, the group’s set, spanning from the spirited opener “Tin Man” to a rousing sing-along finish with “A Horse With No Name” 90 minutes later, featured America’s classic mix of folk, rock and pop. But the perception of America as creators of strictly lightweight, acoustic-styled ’70s material was quickly cast aside via a 20-song set that really allowed the band to showcase its bona fide rock chops amid all those sweet harmonies.
Even a take of the group’s second offering of the night, a pass through the 1982 pop hit “You Can Do Magic,” was enhanced by Steen's propulsive work behind the kit. But it was in America’s more subsequent material that was even more impressive. With Beckley working a 12-string acoustic guitar and Barr adding textures on a banjo, the Americana-styled “Don't Cross the River” was a early highlight, as was the driving folk rocker “Riverside” that was bolstered by Beckley's lead guitar work.
“Here” was one of the more ambitious tracks of the night, with its slow artful build to full-scale rocker complete with blistering lead guitar and bass solos, before the song dynamics descended back into folk textures. “Hollywood” was equally powerful, with America delivering a lush symphony of vocals and Laurel Canyon rock textures. “That was dangerously close to jamming,” Beckley said after the song ended. “Green Monkey” was another harder offering, with Beckley, Bunnell and Barr all wielding electric guitars for a psychedelic rock attack.
America performed the majority of its hits, including the tender “I Need You,” the breezy “Ventura Highway,” a wistful version of “Lonely People” (penned by the fellow America founding member Dan Peek, who died in July 2011) and infectious “Sister Golden Hair” (featuring distinctive slide guitar work from Barr) with nostalgic perfection.
Opening the show were Painbirds, a quintet featuring guitarist-bassist Charlie Colin (an original member of Train) and singer-guitarist Tom Luce. The group scored big cheers for stellar acoustic versions of the Train hits “Drops of Jupiter” and “Calling All Angels,” but mined equally strong original songwriting instincts with the beautiful “First Big Flight” and “Rain and Sun.” The members of Painbirds came on stage at the end of the rewarding night for a collective performance with America of “A Horse With No Name.”
Sounds like a great night, and I too would have enjoyed it had I been there. However, the set list does lack imagination and new material. All the songs are some 40 years old, and the set lists have hardly changed in years. I know people want to hear the hits, but surely there is room for a compromise between the hits and new material? Maybe Dewey is not writing anymore, but Gerry is, and they also have a good track record of cover versions.
Other artists of their age are still writing and performing new material i.e David Crosby, Neil Young and until his recent passing, Leonard Cohen.
Through the years, GERRY & DEWEY have attempted to do more new material, but they have observed the feedback from the masses who only want the classic songs. Sure the diehard fans want the new material but the majority of the fans simply want the classics. So AMERICA has had to adapt to this desire on the part of the majority. They play a few new songs such as DRIVING & WOODSTOCK. If they ignore the majority, they run the risk of not filling the seats and eventually no more shows. There have been artists who have tried to force new material on their fans and they are soon unemployed. AMERICA is simply doing what the majority desires, they are doing what is necessary to keep the lights on. You can’t blame AMERICA, they are listening to their fans (majority).
By the way, That CAROUSEL by GERRY is fantastic !
I didn't catch this last show, but I have seen America perform twice at Coach House, where they usually play during the holiday season, and have seen them at a dozen other venues around the U.S. including giant outdoor venues such as Lakefront Pavillion in Chicago.
America is fantastic wherever they play. But I must say that Coach house is an ideal place to see the band perform.
Coach House is small enough to showcase the band's subtle, crafted pieces while large and loud enough for the guys to pour on the power. Even when the guys speak to each other off-mic you can hear a lot of what's going on between them, which is (to me) as interesting as everything else. At Coach House, the guys also tend to be a bit more relaxed and funny. Spoiler alert - Gerry and Dewey love swapping classic-rock stories onstage, and they both have great comedic timing.
The food at Coach House is pretty good - extremely good compared with any other venue I've seen them play.
Another great place to see America is at Humphreys by the Bay in San Diego. It's outdoors, has fantastic acoustics, also has good food, has a hotel where you can buy a package and watch the band from your balcony, and of course is in a world-class gorgeous setting. If I remember correctly, America has played Humphreys more times than any other band, so it's one of their home bases in SoCal.
Through the years, the guys have perfected controlling the energy level throughout the show. They start out at a medium pace, build up, ease up, pour on some real POWER, ease up a bit, then finish with some Zepellin-like CRUNCH! It's a fantastic show, no doubt about it.
So happy for all who attended this past season!
I recommend seeing America live to one and all!
Thanks Gerry and Dewey for keeping it going!
I rode my horse away
From London to LA
But you stayed in my heart