Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Post Mania #3: Mini Review: Survivor at the 36th Annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival Aug 27, 2011

Late summer in Illinois brings festivals and weekend celebrations galore across the state. No Hurricane Irene here, baby! A wonderful breezy evening was the perfect setting for 1980's rock legends, Survivor, to play to a crowd of a few thousand revelers.

To back up a little: this is not exactly the Survivor group that had major hits in the 80's, although original guitarist Frankie Sullivan is still the driving force in the band. Founding member Jim Peterik (from the band The Ides of March) is gone, as is original vocalist Dave Bickler, who actually went to high school in my home town, fronted the Jamestown Massacre, and later went on to be the singer in the Budweiser Real Men of Genius commercials. Jimi Jamison, the lead singer through most of the glory years in the 1980's, also is no longer with the band. Drummer Marc Droubay has been with the band for most of its existence.

With all the personnel changes, one might guess that Survivor would not be more than a poor cover band. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the 2011 version of Survivor kicked ass in concert. It was like being back in a concert in 1985.

Current lead singer Robin McAuley sounds an awful lot like Jimi Jamison, and he had the front man antics down pat. The hard-driving guitar sound of the band is still there, and the band seemed to efforlessly go through the Survisor playlist including mega-hits like Eye of the Tiger, I Can't Hold Back, and High on You. They also smoked on Rockin' into the Night, a .38 Special hit that Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan co-wrote.

Just to make sure we thought we were in the 1980's, the band did feature a lengthy solo by keyboard player Mitchell Sigman  and a guitar/drum duet by Sullivan and Droubay. All we needed was the smell of ganja in the air.

The band finished its crisp set 80 minutes, sending away a satisfied crowd hoping to secure maybe just one more brew before the festival ended.


Blogger Mike Heffner said...

I am either amazed or astonished you actually know this much about Survivor's lineup.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Sounds like a great time!

7:56 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

Gancha and bad memories.

I saw news that they discovered the receptor chemical in the brain that pot matches. That receptor/chemical is associated with forgetfulness.

It worked until the sour cream. Take a hit. :)

8:19 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Ahh ... I may have smelled ganja at many concerts, but I have never partaken in my life.

The story about my friend is just really sad. Seeing the big guy (and he was pretty big) hitting his kid in the back is, sadly, something I can still see clear as day 40 years later.

10:02 AM  

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