Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Denny Laine in concert --- a review

Tonight for Wednesday Reviews I am going to review a concert that I went to on September 4, 2015 at the Focal Point in St. Louis:  Denny Laine and the Cryers.

I have to confess that I haven't always been a Wings fan.   From 1988-2000 I was what I would consider to be a "Beatles purest" who also liked John Lennon's solo work.    For some reason I didn't give Wings a chance because I assumed that all of their music was "cheesy" and not interesting.   In 2000, at Beatlefest in Chicago I heard a band play some Wings songs and I was intrigued and decided to give them a proper listen and I really liked what I heard.  The next year Wingspan was released and I truly became a fan of Paul McCartney and Wings.     The harmonies of Denny Laine and Linda McCartney had me hooked!

I have seen Denny Laine and met him at Beatlefest in the past.  But if you have ever been to a Beatles convention, you know that you don't actually get to hear a full concert, just part of one.   So when I found out via facebook that Denny Laine was coming to my area and tickets were only $20 each, I decided it was worth my time to check it out.    How often do you get to see the only person who wasn't a McCartney that played the entire run of Wings? 

The concert was at a small venue in a suburb outside of St. Louis called the "Focal Point."   It was a located in what I consider a "trendy" part of town.  There were coffee shops, wine shops and a book shop in the same area.   The Focal Point seated about 100 people, but it wasn't a sell out show.  I would guess that about 75 people were there. 

Denny's band is called "The Cryers."   They are from New Jersey and consist of a keyboard player, a drummer, a bass player and a lead guitarist.    They opened the show and did a 20 minute set of original material.   They were a very good warm up band.   But that wasn't the last of the Cryers.    They actually are Denny Laine's band.   They came back with Mr. Laine himself and played with him the entire show.    I was especially impressed with the bass player of the band.   How intimidating it must be to play Paul McCartney's bass parts on Wings songs---but he held his own and did an outstanding job!

photo by Sara Schmidt

I wasn't sure what songs Denny Laine would be performing, but much to my enjoyment, he did a lot of songs from Wings!   Songs that I enjoyed included:   Spirits of Ancient Egypt, No Words, and  Deliver Your children.  He also sang some songs that were "Paul" Wings songs including Live and Let Die, Band on the Run and Listen to what the man said.    On these songs,  you could tell that Denny was really straining his voice to hit the high notes.   Either his voice is just not capable of singing them or his voice is strained from this tour.    It was at times painful to hear him struggling to hit the notes.    However, this set back didn't stop him from rocking!   My favorite songs he performed were Mull of Kintyre and Go Now  (which isn't a Wings song, but is a Wings cross over since it is performed on Wings Over America).

Photo by Sara Schmidt
Photo by Sara Schmidt

Denny was full of smiles and seemed to really enjoy himself.  His guitar playing was excellent and as I was watching him play, it was very obvious to me why Paul McCartney wanted him in his band.  Denny Laine is an excellent musician.    In between songs, he would tell some short stories about writing songs with Paul.    He didn't need to tell the crowd there Paul who.

Photo by Sara Schmidt

Afterwards, Denny came back out and signed autographs and posed for photographs.   Surprisingly, he wasn't selling anything at the concert.   So if you want him to sign something, you had better brought it with you.    I had him sign a photo I have of him with Paul and Linda and also a small item that I am going to be giving away as a prize on this blog this fall.  

Your blog master with Denny Laine!  Photo by Coral Schmidt

Denny's tour is still going strong and so I recommend seeing if he is coming to your area and check out this show!   You won't regret it.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Sara-

    Good work on the site!

    Denny recorded "Go Now" with his former band, the Moody Blues. It was a pop hit before they transformed into a classical/rock band- think "Nights in White Satin". The band was actually kind of huge for a few years.

    I'll be very interested in your Beatles in St Louis information (I live about two miles from Busch stadium).

    Keep up the good work!

    Don Hall