Saturday, December 11, 2010

Concert Review: The English Beat Party In Connecticut

Connecticut got a taste of British ska music as The English Beat visited The Fairfield Theater Friday night. They performed the first of their two sold out shows at the small, but quant venue. Dave Wakeling, lead singer, guitarist and the only remaining original member of The English Beat, had some huge hits in the ‘80s with their signature combination of rock and reggae music. Up and coming bands like R.E.M. opened for The English Beat during the height of the group’s popularity. The English Beat also has a new album in the works for a 2011 release to help spark their comeback.

The conclusion of a brief spoken introduction brought The English Beat to the stage as the audience waited in anticipation to get up dance. The reggae grooves of the openers “Whine and Grine” and “Stand Down Margaret” brought some people to their feet. A cover of The Staple Singers’ song “I’ll Take You There” turned the theater in one big dance floor as everyone surrendered their moves to the music. The Beat stretched out songs “I Confess” and “Hand’s Off … She’s Mine” before finishing the first set with a new song “The Love You Give Last Forever.” Wakeling also informed the audience that an acoustic version of the song was available on iTunes to benefit Autism.

A 50-minute intermission concluded with The Beat returning to the stage with “Rough Rider” and a Smokey Robinson cover “Tears Of A Clown.” A fan invited herself on stage to dance finding the seated area too crowded to move during “Save It For Later.” She returned to the seats after only a few minutes, finding no room on stage to dance either. Wakeling even included the General Public song “Never You Done That,” to which Wakeling wrote and sang as also a member of that late ‘80s band. The Beat finished their hour-long second set picking up the tempo with “Rankin’ Full Stop” and their biggest hit “Mirror In The Bathroom.”

The Beat returned for the encore performing the appropriately titled “End Of The Party” before finishing the evening’s music with “Jackpot.” The band wished everyone a good night as they shook hands and hoped to see everyone again when they return to the Fairfield Theater in January.

Set 1: Whine And Grine>Stand Down Margaret, I'll Take You There, I Confess, Hand's Off...She's Mine, Best Friend, Twist & Crawl, Can't Get Used To Losing You, The Love You Give Lasts Forever

Set 2: Rough Rider, Tears Of A Clown, How Can You Stand There, Doors Of You Heart, Save It For Later, Never |You Done That, Tenderness, Two Tone Music, Rankin Full Stop>Mirror In The Bathroom

Encore: End Of The Party, Jackpot

No comments: