The Rascals, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Tommy James and the Shondells: Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA

RASCALS ARE FINEST!

THE RASCALS proved on Friday night (playing to a crowd of over 17,000 at the Hollywood Bowl) that they are, by far, one of the finest American concert attractions today.

They were preceded by a local origin group, the Yellow Payges. Tommy James and the Shondells proved the point that probably only the Beatles can merely stand onstage, sing their hits and rate screams. They were boring and musically rather disappointing and Tommy James got little crowd reaction.

The anticipation for Eric Burdon and the Animals was greater than the reaction. Opening his show with a sick film, in which the Animals portrayed soldiers beating up a character resembling Jesus, they “sang” five numbers in 45 minutes. It’s hard to say “sang,” because there was more improvised guitar and organ than vocal sound. Eric aborted Stevie Winwood’s ‘Colored Rain’, before going into their hits here, ‘Monterey’, ‘San Francisco Nights’, and ‘Sky Pilot’ which was backed by a new film of war shots, killing and blood. During the guitar solo in ‘Pilot’, Eric Burdon and Zoot Money act out a hand-to-hand combat scene, in which Zoot cuts out Eric’s heart and eats it! Their entire show was sick, senseless and completely outside the realm of music.

The audience was relieved en masse when the Rascals came onto the stage. They put on a well-rehearsed, exciting show, featuring mainly their hit songs, which can easily fill 45 minutes. They reproduce the sound of their records well, enhancing them with dancing and the soul that is really there. They were excellent!

© Ann MosesNew Musical Express, 31 August 1968

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