If you were around this weekend, you know that I got to see the recently reunited Raspberries on Sunday night (courtesy of ace publicist Amber Haeckel of Rykodisc -- thanks, Amber!!). The Raspberries, of course, are touring in support of their quite wonderful new album Live on the Sunset Strip, and I'm pleased to report that in the flesh they were in some ways even better than on disc -- live, they were a little bit more about the loud guitars, which was bracing in the extreme. They hit the stage running with the humongous opening chords of "Tonight," and rarely flagged after that (Keith Moon-ish drummer Jim Bonfanti, in particular, was a dynamo), and along with a nicely chosen selection of songs from their three classic 70s albums, there were a couple of really nice covers tossed in to show where they came from, including a note perfect version of the Who's 'Substitute" (the studio version, not the one from Live at Leeds). For the real fan obsessives, they even roared through the Choir's 1967 regional hit "It's Cold Outside" (Raspberries guitarist Wally Bryson and bassist Dave Smalley were of, course, half of the Choir in a previous life).
Personally, I could have done without Eric Carmen's encore version of "All By Myself" (complete with what seemed like a 15 minute Rachmaninoff piano break) -- if he had to do one of his post-Raspberries tunes, I would have much preferred "Hey Deanie" (still Shaun Cassidy's finest moment!) -- but what the heck. It was a small price to pay for hearing some of the loveliest powerpop confections of all time -- sublime stuff like "Overnight Sensation," and "I Wanna Be With You" -- rendered as fresh as paint. In short, a terrific night, and if the Raspberries show up anywhere near you in the future (tour information and some live audio here) glom a ticket posthaste.
[h/t Brooklyn Girl]