Posted on 6/12/2012
On Thursday, May 17, Three Dog Night returned to Nashville, TN to perform a Sold-Out concert at the Wildhorse Saloon. Mike Arnold and special guest host Gary Bell was there for a concert review. New artist Black Market Research opened the show and was well received by the older crowd. Read Mike Arnold’s concert review blog and listen to the Concert Blast podcast… ENJOY!
Written by Mike Arnold
Concert Blast was invited to review the Three Dog Night concert at the World-Famous Wildhorse Saloon, so I began to make the necessary arrangements to cover this event. Three Dog Night was one of my favorite bands from my childhood days, so I was hoping to re-live some of the memories from my youth as we listened to the hits from one of the most popular bands of the late 60s and early 70s, although I knew I was going to miss the vocals of Chuck Negron, since he is no longer in the band. With only two main vocalists, I wonder if they should call the band Two Dog Night.
To start the night, Nashville based indie pop-rock/alternative trio, Black Market Research began the entertainment and was well received from this older dinner type crowd. BMR had a sound that consisted of a mix of Goo Goo Dolls, Gin Blossoms, and a little something unique. There were several songs throughout the night that sounded good, but their live performance had a lot to be desired due to the members taking the time to tune their instruments after nearly every song and taking too much time in between songs. The bass player told me after the show that he had new strings, so he had to continue tuning. Lead singer Nick Britt’s vocal ability was exceptional and very strong. In fact there was one point of the show when Nick stepped away from the mic to sing without being amplified and if you weren’t watching, you wouldn’t know it. To sum it up, Black Market Research sounded real good. A band that I would rush out and buy their music, but not rush out to buy a ticket to their concert… judging from this particular performance.
After about a thirty-minute set change, Three Dog Night took the stage to the delight of everyone in attendance. This Sold-Out crowd was more than ready for this performance. Although most of this crowd stayed seated until the last few songs, they loved this show. We heard the intro sounds coming out of the PA speakers followed by,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California, Three Dog Night!” That’s when the crowd showed their enthusiasm as the group broke into their opening number, “Family of Man”. The band transitioned right into the second song, “One Man Band”.
The guys said hello while vocalist Danny Hutton asked, “Are you ready to hear some songs from the 70s?” Of course the loud cheers affirmed the question as Three Dog Night continued the show with, “Back and White”. The hit songs continued without hesitation most of the night (which is the way I like it!) and the band went into the next song, “Never Been To Spain”. The other lead vocalist, Cory Wells, yelled, “It’s time for Shambala!” “Shambala” was one of the best sounding songs of the night.
Cory Wells mentioned they were going to slow things down a bit to perform some love songs they recorded. They performed, “Out in the Country” and “Easy to be Hard”. Cory said that was enough of the mushy love songs and now it was time to have some fun as they went into “Old Fashioned Love Song”. The closing of this song led to some fun, but goofy vocal ability which the audience loved.
Cory Wells told a story about how they would listen to many songs to decide which they would record for their next album. Cory mentioned in 1974 he thought he found their next big hit, but it was a flop. Two years later a singer by the name of Joe Cocker recorded this same song and it wasn’t a flop. Cory added, “We don’t talk to Joe anymore!”, as they broke into the Joe Cocker hit, “Keep Your Hat On”. The show continued with one of my childhood favorites, “One”.
The road crew brought out stools and lined them across the stage for the band to go into a couple of acoustic numbers. Cory joked that they put a section in their performance contract to have someone to bring out stools for the band in the middle of the show because they get tired at this age. They performed two songs acoustically, “It Ain’t Easy” (the same song on David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album) and “Heart of the Blues” (a song they wrote to perform at a blues festival).
Danny and Cory introduced the band members and mentioned that the keyboardist, Jimmy Greenspoon had an unfortunate habitual issue at one time, but now has been clean and sober for 27 years. Danny said he was responsible for this song, “Liar”. Jimmy’s very familiar keyboard riff got the crowd to their feet as the band kicked in with “Mama Told Me Not To Come”. They made this tune a lot of fun by adding a disco portion and a rap section (complete with rap wardrobe). This audience became a rock concert crowd at this point as everyone was up on their feet for the remainder of the night while singing and dancing. Three Dog Night closed the set with “Celebrate”.
The guys from Three Dog Night waved goodnight and left the stage to 1,500 screaming fans demanding MORE! The band return within a few minutes with the stage setup with music stands at each instrumentalist’s and singer’s space. They mentioned this is a newer song as they began to sing the slow harmonizing acapella song, “Prayer For The Children”. For the final song of the night, lead vocalist Danny Hutton yells, “You wanna hear the Bullfrog song?” The crowd erupted as the band performed their biggest hit, “Joy to the World”.
The patrons that attended the show loved every moment of this concert. Usually I find people at a concert that didn’t like parts of the show or was unhappy about the set list, but everyone I spoke with gave it the highest rating. The majority of the people said they loved the comical disco/rap section of “Mama Told Me Not To Come” and of course “Joy to the World”. I would say that as the show progressed, the better it became (not that it was bad at the start, just not exciting). On the Concert Blast scale, I would give this show a 8.0.
Written by Mike Arnold
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Tags: 2012, 70's music, blog, Chuck Negron, concert blast, concertblast, Cory Wells, Danny Hutton, Gary Bell, Jimmy Greenspoon, Michael Allsup, Mike Arnold, Nashville, podcast, Three Dog Night concert review, three dog night greatest hits, TN, Wildhorse Saloon