The Crowd Concert Review – Nashville’s Party Rock Band – Nashville, TN – Douglas Corner Café – 12/09/2011 (Podcast 225)
Posted on 12/18/2011
On Friday December 9th 2011 something happened at a music club in Nashville, TN that members of the party rock band from the 80’s, The Crowd, thought would never happen… a reunion show!
Two members of the Concert Blast team, Mike Arnold and Tom Thompson, were part of the rock band that began performing cover songs at parties in the early 1980s, decided to write and record a few original songs, had those originals played on the radio and began thrilling crowds at the private parties, rock clubs, colleges, and music festivals. Now in 2011 the guys returned to a rock music club in Nashville, TN, Douglas Corner Café, to perform a reunion show to celebrate their first gig from 30 years ago. Also joining the reunion on stage was Tom’s twin brother and bassist of the band, Jim Thompson, the latest lead guitarist, Gary Conn, and the original lead guitarist, Dwayne Smith.
Once the doors opened at Douglas Corner Café, every seat in the house became immediately filled as the club became Standing Room Only. The band was in full form performing two sets of the songs they used to perform in concerts and parties along with a few surprises.
Set One contained most of the songs the band would perform at a rock club from their hey-day, while Set Two was more of the party set from their first show while ending with a Rock and Roll Blow Out!
The band hit the stage in non-stop Rock and Roll style with a recorded Intro Soundtrack that would bring any rock audience to their feet which included the beginning part of “Boys Are Back In Town” by The Busboys, then the mixed music sounds from the keyboard portion of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” blended with one line clips from various classic rock songs including, “We Will Rock You” (Queen), “Blitzkrieg Bop” (Ramones), “Boys Are Back In Town” (Thin Lizzy), “Footstompin’ Music”(Grand Funk Railroad), “Rock and Roll” (Led Zeppelin), “Hello Hurray” (Alice Cooper), and “Everybody Rock and Roll The Place” (Eddie Money). The music mix closed out with an announcement of Welcome the band to the stage followed by loud Thunder as lead Guitarist, Gary Conn stood front and center of the stage playing the intro licks to The Romantics, “What I Like About You”. This version also included a verse of John Mellencamp’s, “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A”. This song was followed by another crowd pleaser while Mike Arnold screamed, “Going to a Party!” as the intro to Cheap Trick’s, “California Man”. The rock was rolling as the band continued without stopping with drummer Tom Thompson pounded out the intro to the next song while Mike Arnold took the enthusiastic audience to the next level by yelling, “It’s Party Time in the Music City!”. Tom’s rhythmic drum beats were joined with Jim Thompson’s bass licks and Gary Conn’s guitar work which led into the 60’s classic party song, “Mony Mony”… and this was just the beginning of the two hours of rock music fun to come.
The band finally stopped the music long enough for Mike to say hello as he welcomed everyone to 1981. He continued to introduce the first original song of the evening which was written by Tom Thompson, “Crazy About You”. Jim Thompson then took over the lead vocals by singing the rock classic by The Beatles, “Saw Her Standing There”.
Mike mentioned that he left The Crowd in 1985 to start his own band, Mike Arnold and the Music City Rockers, but Tom, Jim, and Gary continued playing as a three piece and recorded a self-produced CD. Mike left the stage as the trio performed two more originals, “Tonight” (the only slow song of the night) and “Fantasy Girl”.
Before Mike Arnold returned to the stage, the guys paid a tribute to his birthday by performing a small part of The Beatles Classic, “The Birthday Song”. When Mike returned to the stage, he lead the next song with the guitar riffs from The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man”. The show continued with Gary Conn leading the guitar riffs from another 60s classic, “Good Lovin’”. Mike mentioned, “It’s time to visit the 80s again. Here’s a song you may have heard on a commercial”. Mike and Jim shared vocals on the classic, “Melt With You”.
Set One closed out with Jim Thompson on the lead vocals while the band performed a song written by Jim, “Alone With You”.
Set Two began with a Sing-Along as Mike led the audience into a few sections of “NaNa Songs”. These were “Hey Hey Goodbye”, “Lovin-Touchin’-Squeezin’”, and “Hey Jude”. Then Mike’s sing-along included songs he sang at church, “Let It Be” and “I’ll Fly Away”. Mike changed his character, but told the audience to not take him serious as he changed his voice to match the song, “Love Shack”. Those in the audience that night were singing and/or laughing all in fun.
Another surprise happened as bassist Jim Thompson jumped on the drums, drummer Tom Thompson picked up the bass and demanded lead guitarist Gary Conn to take the stage as Tom led the audience into clapping and singing along to BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business”.
After the surprise Sing Alongs, original lead guitarist Dwayne Smith joined the band on stage to perform the older songs the band would play at parties, “Louie Louie”, “Wooly Bully”, “She’s So Cold”, and the first original song the band recorded. A song that Dwayne wrote and sang lead, “I Don’t Wanna Hear These Things”. The party continued with the Number 1 all time requested song of The Crowd, “GLORIA”. Before Dwayne left the stage, he thrilled the audience by singing the Southern Rock Classic, “Can’t You See”.
It was now time to get back to the rock set with Mike leading the band (and audience) into another 60’s classic, “Land of 1,000 Dances”. Gary Conn then led the crowd with his guitar intro into U2’s “I Will Follow” followed by Tom pounding out the introduction of the final song of the regular set, Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite”.
The Crowd thanked the crowd for coming out as they continued to cheer. Mike then said, “This is the part of the show when the band leaves the stage and the audience yells for more for an encore, but we are just going to stay and perform a few more songs.” The fans loved it as they perform an original sang by Jim, “Without You”. The last two songs of the night were also the first encore the band received as they performed in a rock club for the first time, two Beatle songs, “Hard Day’s Night” and “Twist and Shout”.
Everyone in attendance had a great time and The Crowd (the band) had just as much fun.
There were well over a dozen people taking photos of the band at the end of the show as the band members lined up and posed with their arms around each other’s shoulders. What a great show and a fun night for everyone. Even the bartenders and club owner wants the band to return to perform more often.
Special Thanks to Subway (2100 8th Ave S. Nashville, TN) for sponsoring the band’s show and providing a place for a pre-show meet and greet.
There have been many requests for the guys to perform again… and soon!
Who knows what the future holds, but one thing is for sure, if the fans demand it (like they did this reunion) there will be more shows!
Were You at this Reunion Concert?
What Did You Think?
Tags: 12/09/2011, 80s rock band, blog, concert blast, concert review, concertblast, Douglas Corner Cafe, Dwayne Smith, Gary Conn, Jim Thompson, Mike Arnold, Nashville, Nashville's party rock band, podcast, Subway, The Crowd, The Crowd reunion show, TN, Tom Thompson