The Zombies at the Fonda Theater – Los Angeles, CA
Players: Colin Blunstone – lead vocals; Rod Argent – keyboards, vocals; Tom Toomey – guitar, backing vocals; Søren Koch – bass, backing vocals; Steve Rodford – drums, percussion
Photos by Susan Moll
After playing together for more than 60 years, classic rockers The Zombies delivered an energetic evening of rock ‘n roll nostalgia to a packed house at the Fonda Theater for the Los Angeles leg of their “Life Is A Merry-Go” tour. -Round”. Their set featured songs from their early albums and hits – including “Time of the Season,” solo and side projects that Colin Blunstone (The Alan Parsons Project) and Rod Argent (SILVER, The Band) were also involved in. over the years. as selections from their upcoming new album (their first since 2015 Always this hunger). This is their first tour since co-headlining the “Something Great From ’68” tour with Brian Wilson in 2019.
With a buzz of anticipation in theater, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees (inducted in 2019, 50 years to the day after “Time of the Season” hit No. 1 in America – only the second group after the Beatles to do so) played a solid show for over 90 minutes with regular anecdotal injections and a mashup of musical history around the making of their various albums and their work as a band over the years. “I Want You Back Again” (written by Argent) was originally a “B-side” track, but was brought back and exposed with great vocal harmonies and tight cuts (after being covered by Tom Petty). Blunstone’s vocals were incredible, with the humble and cheerful Brit delivering superb falsetto lines and harmonic passages – including on ‘I Love You’ (also a ‘B-side’ single, which rocked the charts when it was covered and made popular by the band People). Blunstone also performed “Old and Wise” from his solo work on eye in the sky (The Alan Parsons Project).
Continuing with stories of recording in Studio 3 at Abbey Road Studios in 1967 (1968’s Odessey and Oracle album), Argent spoke of the band’s good fortune to have had access to top-notch engineers (including Geeff Emerick, Peter Vince and Alan Parsons), one of the first 8-track machines and the instruments the Beatles left behind. in the studio (including John Lennon’s mellotron, which helped create the signature Zombies sound). The band’s new track, “Different Game,” is an introspective ballad that features heavy organ and guitar (with strings on the soon-to-be-released version of the album). The upcoming Zombies album features nine new songs with string accompaniment (using the Electric Light Orchestra’s string quintet).
“You Could Be My Love” featured a gorgeous blend of bass, guitar, keyboard, and vocal harmonies, and Blunstone demonstrated solid vocal projection in the sweet, syrupy ballad. The band also performed “Moving On” and “Edge Of The Rainbow” from 2015 I still have this hunger“Tell Her No” – a punchy, syncopated chorus – and “You Really Got A Hold On Me”, which had the crowd cheering and echoing chorus breakdown alongside fabulous barbershop harmonies.
First formed in England by Rod Argent (keyboard, vocals) and Colin Blunstone (lead vocals) while still at school, the quintet went on to great success in England and the United States (” She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No”, “Time of the Season”). The Zombies shared their history and their music and the evening was very well received by the rather sophisticated crowd of music fans and industry heavyweights. As a band that started at the forefront of the British Invasion, The Zombies created a fun evening of rock ‘n roll nostalgia.