From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Music in Danville: Jimi Jamison Rocks Hard

Yesterday's post talked about Danville PA's own Hybrid Ice. After opening the night with a solid hour of rock, Ice then backed up former and soon-to-be-present lead singer of Survivor, Jimi Jamison.

In a venue this intimate, the performer quickly needs to establish a relationship with the audience...and he did. A man who is quick to smile, Jamison got the crowd engaged early with a Survivor classic "High on You" and lots of crowd interaction. After another Survivor song "Is This Love", Jamison went into the first of quite a few covers singing Gary Wright's "Love is Alive" which featured hard and heavy drums from Hybrid Ice's Rick Klinger. After "It's the Singer Not the Song" from Survivor's hit album "Vital Signs", the song chosen as one of the top ten catchiest ever "I'm Always Here" (the theme from Baywatch), was the next choice.

Then the real rocking began. Starting off with "Rock Hard" from his 1991 solo album "When love Comes Down", next up was one incredible cover of "Layla."  Doing "Layla" requires not only a good vocalist, but a guitarist and keyboard player to handle the solos that mark the true substance of the song.  Rusty Foulke on lead guitar and Bob Richardson on keys did just that...masterfully. As the song ended, I looked at my friend next to me and we both said at the same time "they nailed it."  Another friend, also a musician later told me it was the best version he had ever heard...aside from Mr. C himself.

Not missing a beat, Jimi Jamison then got everyone's 'motor running' with "Born to Be Wild." Talking 'heavy metal thunder'...yes, thunder courtesy of Mr. Klinger on drums. After a band breather with "The Search is Over," covers of "Separate Ways" and "Carry On Wayward Son," led the way for the song which rocketed Survivor to the top of MTV's 80's video rotation "I Can't Hold Back."

An excellent rendition of "Caught in the Game" was followed by another Survivor song "Didn't Know It Was Love", before leading into Jamison's title song from his solo album, "Crossroads Moment." CM featured really fine bass work from Jason Shaffer as well as a nice strong vocal from Jamison.

Tonight like most nights with Jimi Jamison, the final song was "Eye of the Tiger."  While not the original singer of the song, after many years and countless performances, Jimi Jamison is EOTT.

As a performer, Jimi Jamison owns the stage. Like the tiger, he prowls across it staking claim to every inch of it. Vocally, is the voice the same as it was 25 years ago? No, it is not, but would you really expect it to be? While the high range is not quite the same, a deeper, richer quality has taken its place. Instead of being all power, his vocals offer a give and take between power and pointed restraint.  This is a vocalist who knows his capabilities and delivers every millimeter of them to the crowd.

All in all, the night was an unending high note...so worth the road trip.

On a personal note, many thanks to both Hybrid Ice and Jimi Jamison for both a wonderful night of music and their personal grace. Their mommas definitely taught them "it doesn't hurt to be nice."

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6 comments:

  1. This was the first time I had seen Jimi live in many years. He is my all time favorite male vocalist.

    Frankie Sullivan once said "He Could Sing The Phone Book" and I couldn't agree more. Quite frankly, I think I'd like to hear it... "Aaron, James 212-515-1111...."

    Musically, the thing I liked the most about this show was that he did a little bit of everything: Survivor - Didn't Know it Was Love was my fave...Solo stuff and a few killer covers. Plus he's the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet.

    Can't wait to see him and the rest of Survivor in May.

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  2. Just an incredible show! This was my first time EVER seeing Jimi live...and he did NOT disappoint! Sang every song I was hoping to hear.....and the personal attention from stage needless to say had my knees about to buckle!! What an incredible vocalist and performer! This goes without saying...but I REALLY cannot wait until my TX show, and then of course the "Triplets" reunion at Penns Peak in May!!

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  3. "Though the melodies have changed, still the song remains the same." A great performer is a great performer.

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  4. All I can say is wooooooow...and I am jealous. I did try to live the concert through your words though. Sounds fantastic. In my view the three best vocalists- Steve Perry, Jimi and John Wetton. This is in terms of pure rock together with feeling the songs in your voices. Many people have good voices, few allow their emotion to ooze through. This is what makes a good singer fantastic in my humble view. Mark

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  5. Oops, I meant feeling the song in their voices. Also these three have power behind them.

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