The Christmas season has arrived with the performance from the progressive rock band the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This has become an almost every year tradition for many. So it doesn’t seem like the season starts without an evening watching TSO. The performance was split into two parts. The first portion of the show was the “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve”, a story from the 1999 soundtrack, was narrated by Bryan Hicks as portions of the rock opera were shown on screens.
Prior to beginning the show a presentation was made of over $10,000 for local Connecticut charities from some of the proceeds from shows at Mohegan Sun this year. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has always made sure with each of their Christmas performances that they contribute something back directly to the community where they are performing that night.
As always the string section is made up of local talented performers brought in for the event. On its first tour since the death of founder Paul O’Neill seven months ago. The band continues on with his vision of the show started in 1993. They still keep the concept of two troupes performing at the same time in different areas and bringing in the local talent as well as their own performers.
With each new season TSO changes the layout of the lasers and platforms that move. This year there were numerous risers for guitarists Chris Caffery and Joel Hoekstrar to strap onto as they performed. Roddy Chong on the violin was also hooked on to risers and floated above the stage in both the front and back of the arena. The arena was filled with smoke and flames. But, this year the entire backdrop was turned into many different sections of video screens all playing at the same time to expand the storyline well beyond the back of the stage. This year included the entire percussion section and keyboards on a stage that ascended up in the air about 30 feet during different numbers.
TSO played selections from their numerous rock operas Christmas Eve and Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, Beethoven’s Last Night, The Lost Christmas Eve, their two-disc Night Castle and Letters From the Labyrinth. They played a few from each of these as well as “Wizards in Winter” from The Lost Christmas Eve album released in 2004.
The second half of the concert was predominantly music from their non-Christmas albums including “Carmina Burana” a deep and dark number with flames shooting as the background videos projected flames shooting out of castle windows.
Trans Siberian Orchestra is one of the top ticket selling bands of the first decade of the new millennium. They are known for never having had an opening band and have never been an opening band for any other performers. They went straight to performing in auditoriums without being a bar or club band. Their performances from the start have been extravaganzas full of light shows and special effects. This is one part of the show that never disappoints the audience. O’Neill always wanted his shows to be intentionally over the top.
The concert was a bit too long and could possible be shortened by a couple of songs without losing it’s effect. Perhaps not playing “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” twice. Once clearly does suffice without the reprise. But, all and all it was a good performance and rang in the season in a now traditional form.
Time and Distance (The Dash)
The Lost Christmas Eve
O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night
Good King Joy
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
Christmas Canon Rock
What Child Is This?
Music Box Blues
Promises to Keep
This Christmas Day
Siberian Sleigh Ride
Christmas Nights in Blue
A Mad Russian’s Christmas
For the Sake of Our Brother
Wizards in Winter
Madness of Men
The Safest Way Into Tomorrow
The Night Conceives
Find Our Way Home
Requiem (The Fifth)
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)
It was a fantastic performance by Lady Gaga for the sold out crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena. A perfect venue for a top act like this. The center of the arena was all open festival standing. Although midway through the first couple of songs most in the upper sections were on their feet as well. Because as Lady Gaga said “It’s a party and what do you do at party? Stand up and dance.”
Lady Gaga performed with her band and dancers a combination of songs from her newest release “Joanne” and many of her older hits. She’s a pop queen but there is so much more there than just a pop star. Her voice is strong and beautiful and she plays variety of instruments from guitar to piano. She is absolutely nonstop energy from start to finish.
As Gaga and her dancers changed into their many different costumes a video panel in front of her band was raised and lowered with changing video images. There was never really a pause in the night even when she was not singing. It was exciting and vibrant.
The song “Angel Down” was dedicated to the victims of the San Antonio shooting. It was touching, timely and sadly relevant in this year of tragedies.
One of the tour bus drivers we spoke with said the entourage includes 29 semi’s and 12 buses. That’s a major movement of talent, machinery and lighting. It is obvious though when you see the elaborate stage and props come to life during the show. There were lifting riser stages, trap doors and lighting stretching from the front of the area to the second stage half way back and on to the final stage at the back of the arena. Giant mushroom shaped blobs on the roof turned into walkways between stages and projected close ups of her singing. Gaga does her part to keep americans employed.
Lady Gaga dedicated “Edge of Glory” to her good friend Sonja Durham, who died in May from Breast Cancer, and to a member of her troupe whose first anniversary of her father’s passing is approaching.
Gaga clearly has a love for all people and is a fiercely outspoken woman and champion of the LGBT community as well as a strong promoter for women’s rights. She speaks of her love for all people and seeks to bring all genders, races, beliefs under one roof for a night of pure entertainment. Forget the differences and stand up and have a party.
Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her middle name was given her in honor of an aunt she never knew. The song “Joanne” is a tribute to that aunt as well as the tour. She performed the song on acoustic guitar flanked by two of her band members also on guitars. A touching song tribute that was personal to her and showcased her voice and the fact that she needs no dancers and band to back her.
For some of her fans, or “Little Monsters” as she calls them, it’s a life changing experience to attend her concerts and a pilgrimage to be done over and over again. As the show draws to a close letters and cards are hurled on the stage by those close enough to get theirs to land at her feet. The dancers collect the items and Gaga reaches down for one to open and read out to all. It’s a long eloquent letter but she reads the entire thing. It speaks of how this one person’s life was changed by years of attending her shows and friends made in the process. She asks an eager face in the audience if that was his letter, he nods. Gaga goes down in the audience and gives him a kiss and a hug before returning to the stage. She’s a class act.
Gaga strolled the length of the bridges to go from stage to stage out to her grand piano for encore song “Million Reasons.”
This was the most elaborate concert I’ve seen. When she is 45 and touring sure maybe it will be a toned down version of this, but make no mistake she has the voice and star quality to carry her for many decades. But, for now I am glad she puts on the show all will remember. This afterall is what Lady Gaga is known for, her over the top shows and dancers bouncing across the stage with her in perfectly choreographed unison.
A show everyone should see at least once.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos courtesy of Getty Images for Live Nation/Kevin Mazur
Come to Mama
The Edge of Glory (Piano Acoustic)
Born This Way
Dancin’ In Circles
(Contains elements of “Paparazzi”.)
Joanne (guitar acoustic)
Halloween started early when the Slambovian Circus of Dreams came to Hartford. The special performance Halloween Ball featured the band and audience in costume. Puck introduced the band with a poem. The band’s costumes were were a bit like an act out of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” though a slightly twisted version. Joziah wore a trademark top hat, although this night it was more festively adorned with leaves and horns and the leader of the Faeries. The rest of the band costumed as faeries, elves and wizards.
The hall was set up with ample room on the main floor for dancing and the band encouraged the crowd to come close to the stage and dance so the band members could see the assortment of costumes for the judging of the contest that would happen during intermission. Many in the audience were longtime fans and some travel many miles to take in the Slambovians when they perform, especially the costume ball.
The band performed “Look Around,” a never recorded song off the British Album that they have written but yet to record.
They followed this with a cover of the Church song “Under the Milky Way Tonight.” They then did a song as a tribute to the late Tom Petty “It’s Good To Be King.”
The first set ended with a sing along on “I Know Where the Bees Have Gone” with Tink leading the audience in singing the chorus. A hive of bees in costume were the perfect accompaniment to the sing along. A couple of crystal bowls were used in the song by a local Connecticut performers dressed as a faerie and wizard.
Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York about two decades ago, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams is a rock/folk band with an international following. The band’s performance is a colorful, quirky and delightful mix of music, dancing and conjuring up of the “Season of the Witch.” They enjoy the audience participation and Longo and Lloyd interact throughout the night with patrons.
The second set began with “Bravely, Bravely Dumb”, another sing along. Followed by “The Ridge.” The audience was dancing and enjoying themselves when the band continued into “Very Unusual Head.” This was a carnival type catchy tune.
Being Halloween the appropriate “Season of the Witch” was next. The set ended with “The Bipolar Express.” As the song played a troupe of psychedelic umbrella Jellyfish wove themselves in the crowd with a winding conga line as the band played. Skeletons, scarecrows, vikings, gypsies, and a varied assortment of costumed revelers joined in the dancing.
It was a colorful, unique and fun experience seeing the Slambovian Circus of Dreams especially for the Halloween celebration. Between their original songs and the covers of others they put out a excellent fun lighthearted show. The costumed band and audience was a bonus.
Joziah Longo (guitar, harmonica), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, flute), Kolson Pickard (guitar, trumpet), Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin), Paul Silverman (keyboards), Felipe Torres (drums, percussion), and bassist, Bob Torsello.
Garde Arts Center – New London, CT
September 23, 2017
The Canadian music legend Gordon Lightfoot took the stage at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut to entertain a full house of fans.
After decades of touring the 78 year old Gordon Lightfoot has honed his skills on which direction to take the audience. He begins the concert with the self depreciating humor acknowledging the rumor years ago that he had died. No, he is alive and ready to entertain. Gaunt and lanky he seems frail to be on the stage. But, once he begins to sing and get his musical footing he goes full on and does not stop until the end of set one and an intermission.
Backed by a veteran four-piece band, Mike Hefferman on Keyboards, Barry Keane on Drums and Percussion, Carter Lancaster on Lead Guitar and Rick Haynes on Bass. All but Lancaster having played with Lightfoot for decades as he acknowledged during the introductions. The youngster being Carter Lancaster has been with the band since 2011. The group all play well together and accompany Lightfoot’s lighter voice without overpowering his voice with their musical notes.
Lightfoot plays a medley of shorter versions of some of his sizeable catalog of songs during part of the first set. Enough of each song to get the feel of the song while being a shorter length. No one minded. A songwriter from a young age his collection of songs is so numerous he sticks mostly to the better known hits for most of the night.
The second set he performed many of his most recognizable hits. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Sundown “, “If You Could Read My Mind” and “Carefree Highway.”
Lightfoot shared the story of being a young artist in the early 60’s and getting the chance to almost meet Elvis during a concert he attended in Buffalo. Elvis had recorded Lightfoot’s song “Early Morning Rain” and after talking with people at Elvis’s record company he was told that Elvis wanted to meet him. He went to the concert in Buffalo and was told by staff to go to the stage left door after the concert and Elvis would meet him there at the door. They told Lightfoot to get there as soon as the concert ended because the band left really fast when they get off stage and that they run right out of the building. But, that for him Elvis was going to wait for 5 minutes. So, the concert ended and he was halfway back in the theater and he trying to make his way to the stage left door. There were 14,000 people going out and he was pushing his way down to the stage against the flow. He finally got to the stage door and looked at his watch and it had be 4 minutes and 45 seconds. He was greeted by someone at the door who told him “I’m sorry Mr. Lightfoot, Elvis just left the building”.
In the lead up to “Baby Step Back” Lightfoot said with a smile “Meet Me By the Rockpile Honey, I’ll Get a Little Boulder There.” This got a laugh from the audience as did a few other witty comments while introducing or ending a song. He has a wry and dry sense of humor.
Years and decades of touring has Lightfoot’s skills honed on which direction to take the audience. One of the last songs of the night was “Early Morning Rain” a song that was covered by both Elvis and Bob Dylan.
There is something to be said for taking life’s hard knocks, facing it down and getting back out there. It takes heart and stamina to face a major illness and keep on touring. Though his schedule is not at intense as it was back in his earlier days he is still touring. Many would have given it up and retired. Lightfoot’s voice is lighter and more breathy at times and he’s not able to hold the notes as long as he once could. That said he still pleases the crowd and the band sounded very good.
I think everyone who has followed Gordon Lightfoot over the years now knows of his limits, but that doesn’t matter. This fact is not unnoticed by Lightfoot and he is genuinely appreciative of his audience who come out time and again. Every other song or so someone in the crowd shouted out their appreciation for him and he smiled and answered them back. Early on in the concert someone in the crowd yelled out “We love you Gordie!” He smiled and said if it weren’t for the fans he would not be out there. I guess the feeling is mutual. As long as he has the will to be out there and tour they will come.
Now and Then
Waiting for You
The Watchmans Out
14 Karat Gold
Minstrel of the Dawn
Never Too Close
Rainy Day People
Did She Mention My Name
Ribbon of Darkness
Drink Yer Glasses Empty
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
I’d Rather Press On
A Painter Passing Through
If You Could Read My Mind
Early Morning Rain
Baby Step Back
College Street Music Hall
New Haven, Connecticut
August 17, 2017
The College Street Music Hall in New Haven, Connecticut hosted Judy Collins and Stephen Stills for an intimate night of music and stories. It’s not the largest of venues, holding approximately two thousand patrons, but perfect for the blend of rock and folk that Collins and Stills performed.
The 72-year-old Stephen Stills plays many instruments but this night was strictly on guitar. He’s an instrumentalist and composer and has in the past been a part of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Buffalo Springfield. He followed that with a longstanding solo career.
The 78-year-old folk singer Judy Collins is an iconic and enduring figure in folk music with a career spanning many decades. Stills and Collins met in 1967, during a high point in the young Collins’ career. That was the start of a decades long friendship that has gone full circle culminating with the this tour and their upcoming album release.
They opened the set with “Handle With Care” followed by “So Begins The Task.”
Collins the took the stage solo for her original song “River of Gold.” Collins voice has not lost it’s lilting tone and beautiful quality. Her singing gives no indication of her age. She still has a lovely peacefulness to her music and had no problem with the clear high notes she is know for. That’s how the evening went, Collins would perform a song or two solo then Stills would join her for a couple songs together. He then would sing one or two of his songs solo.
The duo sang a cover of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 song “Everybody Knows.” The song will be featured on their soon to be released LP of the same name. This album combines 50 years of their separate and combined careers works. Some of their more popular songs are revisited. In addition the album features a few covers of songs from various other artists.
Stills and Collins have worked together before on a track for a Collins record in the past but they have not done an album together. “Everybody Knows,” which will be released Sept. 22, has covers of songs by Leonard Cohen.
“Who Knows Where the Time Goes” from Collins’ 1968 album (which Stills played on) and “So Begins the Task” from Stills’ 1972 album with Manassas.
Stills took the stage by himself to perform “Treetop Flyer,” a song he said is still a popular request at USO shows he does on occasion. He said it’s one of his most requested songs in general.
Collins voice still resonated through the theater as she perform the touching “Suzanne”, another Leonard Cohen cover. This was followed by “Judy” a song Stills wrote for Collins.
The evening was also rich with stories told by both Collins and Stills of their history together and with other performers. They gave insight into how it was to tour and perform in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Their stories were both funny and touching. Collins was actually quite funny with her impressions of Leonard Cohen and his wife. They told of their short love affair followed by a longstanding friendship. They now get together once in awhile for dinner though each has gone on with their individual lives, married and are happily living their own lives on separate coasts. Lives they will go back to after November when this tour is over.
They finished out the night with “For What It’s Worth” another of the most requested on Still’s concert list and “Bluebird.”
They came back onstage for an encore with “Houses”, “Someday Soon” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”
Numa Edema was the opening act. He’s a Norwegian soul singer and started the evening performing cuts from his debut album “Hourglass” including his songs “Delta Man” and “Not Long Ago.” His soulful and slightly blues influenced music was well received by the crowd.
Time has passed and Stills will probably never have the range he once has as is the case with many who started their careers in the sixties. But even with that taken into acount the concert was good and an enjoyable evening.
Handle With Care (Traveling Wilburys cover)
So Begins the Task (Manassas cover)
River of Gold
Questions (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Girl From the North Country (Bob Dylan cover)
Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover)
Seen Enough (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover)
Treetop Flyer (Stephen Stills cover)
Both Sides, Now (Joni Mitchell cover)
Suzanne (Leonard Cohen cover)
Judy (Stephen Stills cover)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Sandy Denny cover)
Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell cover)
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Bluebird (Buffalo Springfield cover)
This hot August night was extra steamy with the arrival of smokin’ Joe Bonamassa and his blues-rock performance at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. He was classily dressed in his now signature suit, cool shades and slicked back hair.
Bonamassa noted that he had played at the Oakdale theater in the round 27 years ago when he opened for B.B. King as a young upcoming and obviously talented blues guitarist. He was at the time only 13 years old. Though he admitted the when and where he was eluded him until reminded by a stagehand just exactly why he remember the place, there was a déjà vu moment when he arrived at the venue.
The night started out with gritty sound of “This Train” to warm the audience up for “Mountain Climbing”.
Bonamassa crooned out “Blues of Desperation” off the album of the same name which debuted a #8 of Billboards top 200. He played cuts off this fantastic album including the searing, slashing jam on “No Good Place For the Lonely” that left the audience cheering.
A master at changing up the pace he slid into the heartbreaking and soulful “Breaking Up Someone’s Home
” On “Boogie with Stu”, a Led Zeppelin cover, Reese Wynans got a chance to shine on the keyboard.
The instrumental “Black Winter/Django” was seven and a half minutes of pure showman with riffs and hand movements that were so intricate they memorized the crowd. He finished the song motioning the audience to raise out of their seats. Those who weren’t already standing rose up and continued to stand right though a stirring rendition of Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” and into the stomping cries for an encore.
They finished up the night with a tribute to B.B King and a rendition of his “Hummingbird”
At the age of 40 he has a longstanding career and has accompanied some the guitar greats of our age. He played with Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and too many others to name. Mentored by Danny Gatton in his youth and introduced to the stage since his early years, he is now touring worldwide to sold out houses. Bonamassa’s name has become one of the most recognizable names in the blues scene and he has earned his place among the greats by paying his dues over time.
Bonamassa has topped the all artists by having 15 #1 Billboard Blues Albums. Funny thing about the blues. It seems if you don’t suffer the blues you’re not taken as seriously. Bonamassa did not have to suffer much of the low down, down and out life of the early blues masters like the 3 Kings (BB King, Albert King and Freddie King) he admired and even did a tribute tour in honor of, but he has all the feeling and style that makes a truly memorable blues guitarist stand out.
This year’s touring show includes a horn section consisting of Lee Thornburg playing trumpet and Paulie Cerra on saxaphone. Anton Figs was on drums and bassist Michael Rhodes. The three women vocalists all hail from Australia. Juanita Tippins, Mahalia Barnes and Jade Macrae gave a soulful, deep performance. Each woman is a standout singer but together they were wonderful and rounded out the band perfectly, especially on “Slow Train” which showcased each in a solo.
Bonamassa’s baritone resounded throughout the hall as he seared through a mix of his own music and a intermingling of covers from other great artists that he gave his own distinct flavor. He has already made his mark in the blues world and I hope he will continue to entertain for many decades to come. It was a great performance by the entire band and I hope he does not wait 27 more years before he revisits the Oakdale Theater again.
If you get a chance don’t miss his show. This is a guitarist everyone should see at least once. But, if you do see Bonamassa once will not be enough.
Bonamassa’s band members:
Anton Fig – Drums
Reese Wynans – Keyboards
Lee Thornburg – Trumpet
Barrett-Jackson kicked of their Northeast 2017 festivities early this year by sponsoring the New England Concours d’Elegance and adding it to their summer docket. This extends the high end automotive extravaganza to a two weekend affair. They hosted the competition on Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18 outdoors on the Mohegan Sun grounds in Uncasville, Connecticut where thousands drew later in the week for the Barrett-Jackson auction in the arena.
The auction in it’s 2nd year at Mohegan Sun attracted thousands of patrons to take in the wide array of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and automobilia. Many register to bid on the items up for auction, most of which were for sale with “no reserve.” Thousands more come for the day, two or three days of watching the fast paced bidding and enjoying the exhibits in the event and filling the upper seats in the arena to take in the spectacle.
Barrett-Jackson auctions have been holding events for 46 years. It’s become such a popular yearly auto event that it has branched out across the United States from it’s home in Scottsdale to include events in Palm Beach, Las Vegas and now Mohegan Sun. This year’s The Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction sold 630 vehicles and 685 pieces of automobilia for a total of all sales of approximately $24.3 million.
For the thrill seekers there were the Ride ’N Drives and Thrill Rides. The Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were offering rides. There were Dodge Charger Hellcats, Challengers and Vipers and GT350R’s with pro drivers on a rubber burning course for those craving a bit of extra excitement. Throughout the event while outdoors you could hear the revving of engines, burnouts and squealing tires as cars drifted through corners on the closed off special purpose track. The lines formed from early morning to closing at the popular attractions.
One of the sale highlights was the 1966 Shelby GT350-H Fastback that sold for $220,000
A 1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle with Sidecar sold for $110,000 dollars. It was painted a custom teal color and adorned with a brown seat and bags. It’s been converted to electric start for simplicity and completely restored. During the restoration, a Goulding sidecar was purchased and shipped from Poland.
There were plenty of deals to be had for those with a slightly lower budget. Lot after lot of cars, trucks and automobilia that including rare, one of a kind items on the block for all tastes like the 1933 Diamond T Truck with a period-correct display flat-track bike included.
Barrett-Jackson also this year joined forces with Prestone as they unveiled the “Project Prestone” restoration build project. The car, a 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe, was rolled out during a press conference on Thursday. The plan is to complete the restoration documenting each step of the process along the way before putting it up for auction at the Barrett-Jackson 2018 Scottsdale Auction. The public can keep up with the progress on Barrett-Jackson.com and on social media using #ProjectPrestone.
With this auction Barrett-Jackson has surpassed $94 million dollars in total raised for various charities over the years. At each event there are “car for a cause” vehicles donated for the auction and sold with the proceeds given to various charities.
In addition the event was covered by both Velocity TV and The Discovery Channel bringing in viewers from around the globe to both watch and bid on TV and digital media. These are worldwide events with millions tuning in to buy or watch.
The Barrett-Jackson’s auctions also reach out in other ways. This year volunteers from the Vermont based Teen Challenge donned grey shirts and white gloves and assisted the Barrett-Jackson staff maneuvering the items on and off the block unscathed. Teen Challenge is a faith based group that works with at risk men in an environment conducive overcoming life controlling issues. Their motto is Confronted by Hope – Walking in Freedom – Living with Purpose!
It’s a wrap until next year when the trucks pull in, the tents are raised and the smell of oil, rubber, exhaust, barbeque and seafood mix on a hot summer afternoon. It’s almost like the automotive circus comes to town. Just another year to wait.
Barrett-Jackson Northeast Preview Day and Automobilia Auction
Mohegan Sun kicked off it’s Barrett-Jackson Northeast with a Preview Day and Automobilia Auction. The crowds were beginning to gather and gaze at the tents and garage filling up with vintage autos, hot rods, and pretty much something to match the expectations of most auto and truck enthusiasts.
The 2nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction returns this week, June 21-24, at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® will once again offer a full schedule of events, including a variety of family festivities. The excitement continues Thursday through Saturday with the collector car auction, featuring a sold-out docket for the second year in a row.
There was a Ford & Chevrolet Ride’ N Drive and Dodge Thrill Rides for those game to ride and drive the track burning rubber and drifting around the corners of the specially set up track in the side lot of Mohegan Sun in view of the spectators.
There were custom made metal sculptures to go with the custom autos and 4×4’s placed between the tents.
In the auction arena, the first of more than 650 pieces of authentic automobilia made their way to the famous Barrett-Jackson stage, many of them – including a vast selection of pristine diecast model cars – hailing from the Cedarmore Collection. Among the top-selling automobilia items today were a large HC Sinclair Gasoline double-sided porcelain service station sign from the 1930s-40s (Lot #6312), a beautiful 1940s Gulf Oil Premium Gasoline Gilbarco model 98 restored service station gas pump (Lot #6260) and a Pennzoil Gasoline Bennett model #766 restored service station gas pump from the early 1950s (Lot #6310).
The 22nd edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance was held this past weekend at the beautiful waterfront venue in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was an event celebrating both vintage and some of the latest offerings from the auto industry. The event featured the American Classes on Saturday and the International Classes on Sunday.
The Concours d’Elegance is an event that also gives back. The proceeds from entry fees and ticket sales along with other generous donations from patrons are donated to charity. Americares, a health-focused charity serving all 50 states and 90 other countries, is the charity of choice for the Concours d’Elegance.
Saturday’s event could not have asked better weather and drew crowds from Connecticut and surrounding states to take in the mix of beautifully restored and maintained American automobiles and motorcycles. There were also plenty of custom and hot rods cars on hand as well. There was nostalgia in the air and some owners dressed the part to complement their entries.
The judging was divided into classes with teams of judges. Each team of three was assigned approximately 15 cars to judge. Saturday’s classes were Hot Rods, Custom Cars, Children’s Cars, Horseless Carriage, Brass Era, Classic Open, Classic Closed, Postwar Open, Postwar Closed, Unrestored Preservation, Competition, Muscle/Performance, Supercar and Motorcycle.
Wayne Carini of the hit Velocity Channel show “Chasing Classic Cars” was an honorary judge. He also had two cars of his in the Concours as entries.
The youngest judge was also a seasoned veteran. Christopher DeMarey at 15 years old was judging for his ninth year alongside his father Jeff DeMarey. Starting at the age of seven it is safe say he was exposed to some of the finest cars on earth before many his age could even pronounce the name Lamborghini correctly. Christopher proudly displayed his pins from previous years tacked to the inside of his jacket. It is safe to say he will continue on at Greenwich for quite a few more years.
Bonhams Auctions held an event on the grounds and Saturday and Sunday displayed items for sale in tents as well as on the lawn for prospective buyers to inspect for Sunday’s auction.
Sunday featured the International classes of Bugatti, Racecars from the 2016 Lime Rock Historic Festival, Children’s Cars, Prewar, English Sports/GT, English Touring/Saloon, German Sports/GT, Italian Touring, International Sports & Touring, French, Special Interest, Unrestored Preservation and Motorcycle Classes.
One of the interesting things to do is to wander the grounds and speak to the owners about their specific vehicles, especially the restored classics. Many of those I spoke to gladly told the history of vehicle, how long it took to restore and what process they went through to get it right, down to the smallest details. Each owner clearly proud and many had photos of past owners and some cases racing history and drivers.
Take the 1933 Packard 1006 V-12 Cabriolet Deville by Fernandez & Darrin owner who painstakingly had 24 coats of paint placed on his Packard until she gleamed a mirror. He recited how the vehicle was once owned by Charles Lindbergh’s son-in-law and possibly Lindbergh himself.
For those who prefer something more modern there was an example of a new generation of concept cars. The Rimac Concept One two-seat high-performance electric sports car designed and manufactured by Rimac Automobil.
The ultra modern electric car has a total output of 811 kW the equivalent of 1,088 hp, and can accelerate from 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in 2.8 seconds.
The 2017 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Best in Show vehicle is decided by an experienced panel of judges and is presented during the awards ceremony, where the owner typically drives the car to the podium area and is interviewed by the master of ceremonies.
The Best of Show for Saturday: 1935 Packard Dietrich D-C Pht.
The Best of Show for Sunday: 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante.
All class winners are listed below,
For all vintage vehicle and modern one of a kind auto and motorcycle admirers the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is a must see for the summer. If you have not taken in this New England weekend of beautifully crafted vehicles it is something you should consider for next year. In addition it’s a charitable event so it’s great for everyone involved and attending helps in many ways far beyond Greenwich.
The Garde Arts Center outdid themselves with this concert. Although they have hosted many great shows, this show was spectacular.
Growing up as a child of the sixties one the voices in the soundtrack of my youth would have to be David Crosby. He and his counterparts were a representation of the era and the outspoken cry for justice and political change in America. To see him now as an adult completes a cycle of decades of changes. Changes in age, political climate, people. Crosby has accepted those changes and evolved into a still relevant voice in American music. Though the Vietnam war is long over we are still embroiled in ever present political strife as much now as ever.
Crosby, never one to shy away from his political stance still speaks for peace and love. He has an opinion on what is right and what is wrong in America and what we as American’s allow to happen in our society.
This was such a memorable concert on many levels. To hear Crosby play his older tunes was one but also to hear his musical evolution brought it to another level. He has for almost the last two decades enjoyed playing with one of his sons. James Raymond, Crosby’s son, is the keyboard player in the band and also co-author of many of Crosby’s newer works. They have worked together since forming the band CPR (Crosby, Pevar & Raymond) with Jeff Pevar on lead guitar in 1996.
Crosby gathered together some friends to tour with him, Truly talented friends they are. As Crosby stated during the concert each band player is an accomplished musician on their own and have had their own bands. The friends are James Raymond (keyboards/vocals), Jeff Pevar (guitar/vocals), Michelle Willis (keyboards/vocals), Mai Agan (bass) and Steve DiStanislao (drums/vocals).
Starting off his career with The Byrds, then on to Crosby, Stills, Nash. Continuing with the addition of Neil Young for a time. Crosby was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and inducted twice for his works with the Byrds and CSN, and he was a founding member of both bands.
Crosby released his first solo album, If Only I Could Remember My Name, in 1971 and his solo career is still going strong to this day. This past October he released Lighthouse. His newest release “Sky Trails” was available for the concert patrons to purchase only at the venues on concert nights.
There were the obligatory Crosby, Stills and Nash songs. Along with each song though there was a short explanation of where that song belonged in his life. The reasons for writing them and where his mind was at the time and who among the greats of 60’s rock he was associating with during the writing and performing of those songs.
Crosby said that all his life when he had an emotion he squashed but felt he needed to air he would air it by writing a song about it. “In My Dreams,” was the opening song of the evening. Followed by a song he wrote about Jim Morrison. The Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Long Time Coming” finished up the first set and the band took a short intermission.
After the intermission they returned to the stage and went right into a CPR song “Map To Buried Treasure” They played a Crosby & Nash song “Homeward Through The Haze” and then “Angel Dream.”
Jeff Benedict, prize winning author and native of New London, CT, who wrote the book “Little Pink House.” “Little Pink House” is a story of one woman’s fight to keep her house which was being taken by the law of eminent domain. It tells of how large corporations or governments can remove a person’s right to live in a home they purchased and call home simply because it is in the way of development. The Garde Arts Center concert was important because the fight the book and film were based upon is the case that took place in New London.
The book was made into a movie and while searching for inspired music for the movie Benedict thought of asking long time friend Crosby. Crosby an opponent of taking of homes for eminent domain of course agreed and wrote the song “Home Free” Jeff Benedict invited Crosby to play at the Garde Arts Center and the song was performed live for the first time ever at this concert.
They finished up with a rousing version of the CSNY hit “Déjà vu.” The encore to follow was full of patriotism and a great rendition of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee”
At 75 years young David Crosby sounded fantastic as did his friends. Their voices filled the theater with such wonderful harmonies. Crosby’s vocals were so strong all we can hope for is that he continues to play for many years to come. Hopefully he will also do a encore performance at The Garde Arts Center in the near future. If he does I am sure the house will be full of eager patrons waiting to hear his beautiful music.
In My Dreams
She’s Got To Be
At The Edge
Long Time Gone
Map To Buried Treasure
What Are Their Names
Low Down Payment