I first saw The (Young) Rascals in 1966 at a local Westchester, NY High School with my high school girlfriend. We sat at the back of the auditorium (of about 2000 seats) and tickets were $4.00 each! It was the first rock n' roll concert of my life. We loved it and it broke my heart when they broke up.
I did see Felix Cavaliere at the old Bottom Line in NYC one night and he was good but it was not like The Rascals. I even met him and he was the nicest person you could meet.
Last night my wife and I saw them play the last show of a 6 night stint in the 13th row at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. Tickets were $135.00 each and worth every single penny! Interspersed with a huge documentary screen of their rise and comments from them, then and now, they played a 2 hour set of their most prolific and popular songs. They were astonishingly proficient and sounded like their recordings but with just the right edge of live music. We could not believe how good they all were.
Felix's voice was as soulful and deep as ever and that Hammond organ was a highlight; Dino was amazing and never missed a beat; Gene was excellent on guitar; and Eddie, while not hitting high notes was still as good as ever. You would have thought you were in 1965-70 seeing them play together. They were accompanied by a bass guitarist and 3 background "soul singers" - one man and two women who sounded like they have been singing forever.
The amazing thing about the show (produced by Steve and Maureen Van Zandt) was the documentary commentary on the huge screen and then the band playing in symmetry playing their songs. It was nothing like I personally had ever seen and I have been going to concerts since well, The Rascals in 1966. It ranked up there with the 1970 show by the Who at the Metropolitan Opera House of Tommy...but that was just the 4 of the Who and no screen or documentary.
If you have a chance to see them on this tour DO NOT HESITATE. They were truly timeless and amazing as musicians...a show for the ages...really.
I was there the night before (Dec 21) and found the show to be as emotional as it was entertaining. Starting with the giant projection of a young girl in a flowered field singing "Once Upon A Dream" all the way to a powerful ending "Heaven", "People Got To Be Free", "Ray of Hope" and "See" - powerful optimisim that is missing in today's culture.
The narrative then accompianed the songs made it like "Jersy Boys" but with the Four Seasons performing their own songs. The most poingiant moment for me was when the band talked about that bitter break up, and how it never gave any of them a chance just to say "Thank You" to Felix Cavaliere.
But what brought down the house was Eddie Brigati singing "How Can I Be Sure". Half way through the song, he strained to hit the notes and could barely finish. When the song ended, there was a standing ovation, as we all rose in support. He seemed to tear up in appreciation.
Because we weren't really there to HEAR them, we've done that for 40 years, and heard "How Can I Be Sure" 10,000 times. We were all there to thank them for being a part of our life. And they thanked us right back. It was a night I won't soon forget.
WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THIS SHOW. I WOULD HAVE DROVE THERE FROM OHIO TO SEE IT. IF ANYONE EVER HEARS ABOUT A DISC COMING OUT OF THIS SHOW OR DVD PLEASE LET ME KNOW I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE IT. I HAVE BEEN A HUGE FAN OF THE RASCALS SINCE HIGH SCHOOL.OUTSIDE OF THE BEATLES THEY WERE THE BEST BAND EVER. SO I SURE HOPE THEY PUT THIS SHOW OUT ON DVD OR DISC.
As part of the Kickstarter promotion, if you donated $50 towards getting the Capitol performances off the ground, you will receive a DVD of the show. It was due to be mailed out in March, but due to the Broadway shows, that deadline has been pushed back. They have released one song from that DVD, "Hold On," which you can see on their website or YouTube.....looks good!