I went to the best concert this evening and never had to leave my living room. Big screen TV, a comfy chair and the new live DVD by Tommy James & The Shondells. It takes some performers a musician's bag worth of trick and effects or others with a dazzling light show, to win over an audience. And then there's others that just have enough with the basic ingredient….exceptional songs.
Tommy James is still doing what he did in the early '60s, cranking out awesome rock and roll. And the reaction of the appreciative crowd at The Bottom End proved that. This DVD was filmed in 1996 so it's strange it's only seeing the light of day now. But still in excellent voice, Tommy led his terrific band through 13 tracks, hitting all the hits.
Starting off with "Draggin' The Line", the crowd was geared up right away. Tommy then went into "Crystal Blue Persuasion" which was simply excellent, and by far the best part of the show for me. They followed with "Sugar on Sunday" "Crimson and Clover" "Hanky Panky", "Sweet Cherry Wine" and of course "Mony Mony", among others. By the end of the set, Tommy was off and into the crowd, shaking hands with literally everybody in the club while the band very capably kept the music flowing.
There's a terrific interview with Tommy included on the DVD. It's full of humorous stories such as how "Mony Mony" came to be. Apparently he had been stuck for a good title and hook for some music he had written when he went out onto the balcony of a hotel he was staying at. He stared out at a sign that read Mutual of New York - MONY. And the wheels began to turn….
Also included is a discography and individual song commentary as well as a biography. Fans of classic rock --- and one must say, good music in general --- should check this out to see how one of the masters does it.