Wednesday, November 11, 2015

John Sebastian: A concert review

Since many of you expressed interest in the John Sebastian concert I went to last week, I decided that this week's Wednesday Review will be about that concert even though it has basically nothing to do with the Beatles.  

I saw John Sebastian, former lead singer of the Lovin' Spoonful in concert on November 5, 2015 at the Wildley Theater in Edwardsville, Illinois.    First of all, I couldn't believe that he was playing in Edwardsville, which is just a few towns over from where I live.   Seriously---who has ever heard of Edwardsville, much less puts concert on there?    Second, I thought it was cool that he was playing at the Widley.   The Wildley was a theater house back in the day, and I have a newspaper article about Beatle fans seeing "A Hard Day's Night" there in 1964.    In recent years that have revamped the entire place and it is a very nice place.   They frequently show movie "events" there, hold plays and concerts.  

Before I went to the concert, I was told by someone who had seen John in concert about 10 years ago that John had some major throat problems and he really sounded bad.   He told me this because he knew that John Sebastian is one of my all time favorite singers.  I have always found his voice to have a unique sound to it, and he didn't want me to be disappointed it.    While it was true that John's voice doesn't sound like it did in the 1960's, I didn't think he sounded bad.    You could definitely tell it was him.   Sure some of the songs had been lowered and some things were hard to listen to, but overall I thought John sounded good, especially for a guy in his 70's.     John sang a lot of his well known songs including "Daydream,"  "Do you Believe in Magic,"  "Rain on the Roof,"  "Did you ever have to make up your mind," and his encore was "Welcome Back."      He also played a lot of songs that I enjoyed hearing, but I wasn't necessarily familiar with.   Sadly he did not sing the "Care Bears Count Down." 

What amazed me was that besides writing so many good songs (you really don't realize what a talented songwriter he is until you really start to think of the amount of great stuff he has written), that John Sebastian is an incredible talent.   His guitar playing knocked me away!    He is GOOD!  He played two guitars and the harmonica and did several instrumental numbers that brought the house down!

John was the only person up on the stage for the hour and a half show.  There wasn't a back-up band.  What really made this a good concert is that John Sebastian told stories in between songs.   Come to find out, he is a really good story teller!   The stories behind the songs were engaging and humorous.  I really hope he considers writing a book, because I think everyone who loved 1960's music would enjoy reading about them, although hearing these stories live really was cool.

After the concert, he sat a table and singed autographs and posed for photos.   In those situations, you don't get to talk much to the artist, but from the interaction I had with him, I can say that John Sebastian seems just as layed back and nice as I always thought he would be.

Here I am in my Woodstock T-shirt with John Sebastian (photo taken by Coral Schmidt)

I would recommend any fan of 1960's music to see John Sebastian in concert.   He puts on a good show.  My only complaint with it was that I didn't get to hear all of my favorites (Summer in the City,  I had a dream last night, Younger Generation, Care Bears know the classics).

All photos copyright Sara Schmidt--please do not post without permission (although I know that no one cares and posts stuff from this blog that I say do not post without asking anyhow, I still will put this on here).    


  1. Was John Sebastian a BEATLE?

    1. John Lennon was...

      Maybe you missed the first line of the blog post where I stated that I was going to post a review because some readers showed interest in the concert even though it basically had nothing to do with the Beatles. Maybe you also missed the tag of "it's my blog and I will post what I want to."

      One time in 6 .5 years I post content that has nothing at all to do with the Beatles. I debated doing it because I KNEW someone would leave a comment like yours.

      The bottom line is that I run this blog and I contribute 100% to it. I spend my own money on photos, articles and the like for this blog as well as the money to keep it online. Therefore if I want to post something non-Beatles once in a blue moon, then I have the right to do so. If you aren't interested in it---you can keep scrolling.

    2. Well-said Sara.

      And, seeing that in EVERY press conference, Lennon mentions "Byrds, the Spoonful..." as his favorite American bands, it's not exactly as if you posted about Kim Kardashian or the great French statesman George Clemenseau......

      How much you want to bet "Anonymous" is Dibo. He of the blog no one reads.....

  2. Sara,
    You don't owe these cranks any explanations. I enjoyed the review. Go on posting whatever you want.

  3. Hi Sara -- I run a (very, very informal) Lovin' Spoonful Twitter page and just came across your blog tonight in my rounds. What a great fan resource you've put together. Agree that John puts on a wonderful live show, he's just so charming in addition to being an amazing guitar player as you said. And I love the Care Bears music too!!! ("Nobody Cares Like a Bear" for example is quintessential Sebastian in the "Daydream" vein-- music for kids never needs to be only for kids.) The Beatles did admire the Spoonful very much during their brief run, this is well documented. I so appreciate the love you put into presenting these posts. I wish you all the best.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Amanda. I think this blog is somewhat informal. As an 1980's kid, my first connection with John was through Strawberry Shortcake and Carebears. I always loved his voice. Then I got into the 60's music middle school (late 1980's) and the Lovin' Spoonful and John Sebastain solo music was always a favorite so it was a dream come true for me to go to that concert. I just followed your twitter page (although I am not on twitter much---maybe I should get on there more often).

  4. Yay! Thank you for the follow! In case you're curious I wrote this article about my own experience seeing him over the summer: As you can see, though I'm on Twitter a lot I am never on Blogger anymore, but I wish that would change. Feel free to keep in touch. Truly inspiring to see your diligent work and GEAR photos. xoA