Monday, July 30, 2012

The Zombies play a stunning set at the Cat's Cradle

Veteran English pop band The Zombies came to Carrboro on Sunday night to share their legendary 1960s pop with a packed house at the Cat's Cradle. Founding members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent led the five-piece outfit through a 21-song set of timeless hits, songs from their newer releases and other songs from the members' respective careers.

Out the gate, the band dug back to the mid-1960s with two classics "I Love You" and "Can't Nobody Love You." Blunstone's voice sounded rich and full as he belted out songs he originally recorded almost 50 years ago.

Songs from the band's latest album, 2011's Breathe Out, Breathe In, sounded fantastic mixed in the set with the older tunes. Blunstone continued to blow away the crowd belting out a cover of "What Become of the Broken Hearted," a song he recorded with Dave Stewart in 1981.

In the middle of the set, the band played six songs from their acclaimed 1968 album Odessey and Oracle, which made Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time coming in at number 100. Argent gave a detailed history of the album and name dropped a laundry list of acts from The Vaccines to Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters who have cited the album or songs from it as big influences on their career.

The somber "A Rose for Emily" started things off and the upbeat "Care of Cell 44" and "This Will Be Our Year" followed. "Beechwood Park," "I Want Her She Wants Me" and finally, the hit "Time of the Season" closed out the Odessey portion of the set.

The back of end of the set included some more 1960s pop classics from the band, "Whenever You're Ready" and "Tell Her No." Blunstone belted out "Old and Wise," a song he recorded with The Alan Parsons Project released in 1982. Argent also rocked out on the song "Hold Your Head Up" from his post-Zombies band Argent. The psychedelic keyboard solos went on a bit too long, but Argent clearly enjoys his crazy solos (they appeared in a number of songs throughout the night).

The band never left the stage to and returned for a proper encore, but the band closed the night with rocking "She's Not There" and a beautiful version of George Gershwin's "Summertime."

Blunstone and Argent are keeping The Zombies legacy alive with fantastic performances like the one at the Cat's Cradle. As long as they can keep belting out the tunes like they did Sunday night, there's no reason that they can't keep doing it for years to come.

A new Triangle supergroup, The Fellow Travelers, opened the show. The band is essentially the same musicians that formed the core of the Big Star Third band that played the Cat's Cradle for two nights in 2010. The band included Chris Stamey, Mitch Easter, Django Haskins, Skylar Gudasz, Brett Harris, Django Haskins, Matt McMichaels, Charles Cleaver and a few other musicians.

The band played a fantastic set of original songs and classic covers including The Beach Boys' "Surf's Up" and The Left Banke's "Shadows Breaking Over My Head." They closed their set with a cover of The Beatles' "Free as a Bird" which included some fantastic slide guitar playing by Easter. It was a fitting set to precede The Zombies.

Set list
I Love You
Can't Nobody Love You
Breathe Out, Breathe In
I Want You Back Again
What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
I Don't Believe in Miracles
Show Me the Way
Any Other Way
A Rose for Emily
Care of Cell 44
This Will be Our Year
Beechwood Park
I Want Her She Wants Me
Time of the Season
A Moment in Time
Whenever You're Ready
Tell Her No
Old and Wise
Hold Your Head Up
She's Not There

The Zombies

The Fellow Travellers


Susannah Koger said...

I don't agree that Argent's solos were too long. I mean, these are three minute tunes so, truly, take your time. I also dig that they didn't do one of those perfunctory fake encores. Just play the music, let us adore you, and leave with dignity.

Chris Stamey said...

I loved his solos. He really went for it, they were inspiring. A great musician.