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Photo Gallery & Live Review: The Zombies at City Winery

| March 25, 2018

The Zombies
City Winery
Monday, March 19, 2018
Review by Jeff Elbel
Photos by Philamonjaro

On Monday, March 19, British Invasion icons the Zombies returned to City Winery for the first of two nights. The band displayed its impressive range from the jump, beginning with the full-tilt blues rock of Bo Diddley’s “Road Runner” followed by the subtle lounge pop of Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love.” Guitarist Tom Toomey sparred playfully with founding vocalist Colin Blunstone during “I Want You Back Again.” Afterward, Blunstone addressed the crowd. “I just have to say that the Zombies have been playing for over 50 years,” the singer said with pride and enthusiasm. “This is a Zombie cover of a People cover of a Zombie song that was written before most of you were born,” Blunstone added.

The band continued with 1965’s “I Love You,” as keyboardist Rod Argent dug into a grinding Hammond organ solo that elevated the early portion of the set into euphoria. “Sanctuary” was a lively bossa nova that Argent and Blunstone produced when first rekindling their partnership 19 years ago. The band then lashed into the propulsive blues of “Moving On,” the lead single from 2015’s worthy Still Got that Hunger album. Toomey traded stinging solo licks with Argent’s nimble piano and organ flights. The recent “Edge of the Rainbow” found Blunstone scaling even higher vocal peaks than he did during younger days, making it seem effortless. The crowd joined the chorus of what has been humorously called the most negative song to ever enter the Top 10, singing the chorus to the sublime but lovelorn jazz-pop single “Tell Her No.”

Blunstone and the band paid tribute to Smokey Robinson during “You Really Got a Hold on Me.” Argent cited the praise of artists including Paul Weller and Dave Grohl before launching a series of tracks from classic psych-pop album Odyssey and Oracle, beginning with the buoyant “Care of Cell 44” and concluding with the mysterious “Time of the Season.” The rousing “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent’s eponymous post-Zombies band brought the crowd to its feet. New bassist Soren Koch and veteran drummer Steve Rodford anchored an extended version of “She’s Not There,” allowing Argent room to run during a dazzling keyboard workout.

The encore of Argent’s often-covered “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” was dedicated to former Zombies, Argent and Kinks bassist Jim Rodford, who passed away in January. Rodford’s legacy and that of the band’s music were secured long ago, but the Zombies continue to produce captivating material and thrilling performances.

Here’s to another 50 years.

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Category: IE Photo Gallery, Live Reviews

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