I have been masking songs in The Villages for 8 yrs but by no means observed such an emotionally charged, highly effective and entertaining event as I witnessed Saturday at Brownwood Paddock Square.
“Rocky and the Rollers 23rd Anniversary Party” was just one of all those ultra-uncommon concert events that brought goosebumps and coronary heart-pounding awe about the power of new music. It was an all-star accumulating of Villages’ performers who gave all. This was not only a celebration of Gerry “Rocky” Seader, but also the bond of songs that unites a neighborhood.
We desperately want that in these troubled, divisive moments.
The Villagers who packed the streets, sidewalks and seats in Brownwood were a significant section of the exhibit. I have by no means seen so many individuals at the Brownwood Square. The group ought to have been in the 1000’s.
This was not your normal Villages Sq. crowd, out for some booze and line dancing. These folks exhibited a enthusiasm for the audio and performers. They only extra to the celebratory musical aura that permeated almost everything.
The concert kicked off at 4 p.m. as Rocky and the Rollers performed for three several hours. Then at 7 p.m. the shock company began arriving and the musical warmth hit the boiling place.
The most psychological instant arrived when Al Morse, one particular-time lead singer of the Rollers, arrived on stage.
Morse has seldom appeared with the band about the earlier two yrs as he battles prostate cancer. But the Soul Man was fired up and completely ready for this minute.
Al designed like “Wicked” Wilson Pickett with a rousing edition of “Land of 1,000 Dances.” Afterwards on, Morse and the Rollers would virtually blow the roof off the stage with a rollicking variation of Otis Redding’s “Can’t Change You Free.”
Then, Morse teamed with Kathleen Kane on a edition of “Proud Mary” that would have built Ike and Tina Turner very pleased. Morse and Kane sang, danced, screamed and rocked like there was no tomorrow.
I’ve usually viewed Kathleen Kane accomplish, but I have never observed her superior than this night. She turned Lesley Gore’s “You Really do not Personal Me,” into a scorching, liberating woman screed.
You could consider that Johnny Wild –Andy Matchett – and Rocky and the Rollers are rivals. The two Johnny Wild and the Delights, as perfectly as Rocky’s band, play the oldies with a spirited phase show.
On this evening, however, on stage was Johnny Wild, backed by Rocky and the Rollers. It was an oldies match straight out of rock and roll heaven.
Wild seemed encouraged. He ripped into “Blue Suede Footwear,” with fearless abandon, leaping and dancing when knocking off scorching riffs on his guitar. Someplace, Carl Perkins is smiling.
Wild was not finished. “Anybody out there like Roy Orbison?” he questioned to a reply of thunderous applause and screams. Matchett then did his Wild Point, and nailed “Pretty Girl,” which include the renowned Orbison growl.
Steve Santo is the singer who replaced Al Morse in Rocky and the Rollers. It is a practically impossible endeavor, but Santo is an explosive talent with unbelievable vary.
Santo stomped and kicked his way by the old Ides of March number, “Vehicle.” The real address came when Santo took on the Righteous Brothers’ traditional, “Unchained Melody.”
Now, no a single can prime the late Bobby Hatfield’s solo on that track, but Santo additional than did it justice. It nearly seemed like a religious encounter when he looked up to a starlit sky and sang “I have to have your enjoy/God pace your really like to me.”
Bobby Blackmon could be the king of the blues in The Villages. He arrived on phase in a rocking mood, with a couple of steamy, soulful classics, “Turn On Your Love Lights” and “Knock on Wood.”
Peggy March was the nationwide headliner of this present many thanks to her all-time strike, “I Will Abide by Him.” She sang that song, but definitely introduced the home down with a fiercely emotional “Bridge Over Hassle Drinking water.”
Other performers integrated the Leesburg Blues Brothers, Dawn DiNome, Uncle Bob’s Rock Store, Clark Barrios and Kaity Potent. A cool-rocking dude named Brian Russo stepped on phase for some scorching licks.
And let’s not overlook the reason for this outstanding celebration: Mr. Rocky Seader and his band of Rollers.
These men ended up just as influenced as the performers and played with energy for almost 7 several hours.
“We got right here at 9 in the early morning,” Rocky stated. “But we really feel excellent. This is this kind of a specific night time. We’re not weary we’re likely to retain heading.”
The Rollers, past and current function: Al Layton, Bruce Wallace, Steve Falkner, Rick Abbott, Pat Gallo, Bruce Nardi and Doug Spoonamore.
“These guys are one thing else,” Johnny Wild claimed. “I just can’t believe that I waited this extensive to enjoy with them.”
The night, nonetheless, belonged to Rocky. In the vicinity of the stop of the present, Rocky and all the attendees crowded the phase to sing “Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight,” even although no one particular required the night to close.
“I’m seeking not to get psychological,” he mentioned in a hoarse voice. “To see all these people arrive out to enjoy with us and all the supporters – it’s just so distinctive. We’re going to do this again for far more anniversaries.”
This was a exhibit to feel “the adore,” Kathleen Kane stated. “I’m not amazed. I’ve recognised Rocky 20 several years and he has the major coronary heart in the globe.”
This evening was all about the coronary heart and soul of Rocky and the Rollers — and The Villages.