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America: The Araneta Concert Jul 31, 2009

America: The Manila Concert

A Horse with No Name
The hippies were the flavor of the decade when I first heard of America, with their smash single, A Horse with No Name. I even remember singing that song to a high school songfest and croaked 3x when I failed to catch the high notes...oh well, so much for looking back and feeling stupid.

Melodic Folk Rock
Their music is a unique blend of melodic folk rock...simple, easy on the ears, radio-friendly, a tune you can tap your foot to, and a strong LSS quality (last song syndrome) which leaves you humming the tune the entire day.

America started out when its 3 original members, Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek, were still back in high school in the UK back in 1970. When Horse with no Name hit platinum in 1972, America became a global sensation. Even without Peek, who quit the band in 1977, America continued on with its success, with hits one after another, making their rounds in the concert scene.

Melodic Folk Rock turns Classic Rock
To this date, America's songs remain played on the airwaves...not oldies, as Beckley points out, but as classics. And you know what? That's as classic as it gets. 20 years from now, their music will remain on the airwaves for the new generation. Think: The Carpenters. Music like that never dies...they just mature to be classics!

At the concert, the band members' hair are shorter, a few grays, more wrinkles, but their mojo is still in high gear. Musically, they are a quintet and they've done their repertoire a zillion times by now, it was tight, compelling and simply flawless. Their drummer Willie Leacox has been with them 37 years, guitarist Michael Woods since 1978 and Rich Campbell since April 2003.

Front Acts
Front acts for America were Ambrosia and John Fogerty...a good 70s fit somehow. But these are all love songs...better not come by yourself.

Ending Thoughts
America happened at a time when society was rife with turn-ons, tune-ins and drop-outs. The air was full of excitement to what else was yet to happen...kinda like the lyrics to the popular song, For What It's Worth, by Buffalo Springfield, "there's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear". That was the era when the iconoclastic hippies were rupturing the placid Norman Rockwel-social landscape. Utopian idealism abound and downing the establishment was soup de jour. That, to me, was what America reminded me of.

However, at the concert, it was a different vibe, not surprisingly. There was no rebellion against "a world we never made". America was simply performing their trademark music to their loyal fans' delight and to the new followers who were too young to remember A Horse with no Name...good vibe, good music, good crowd.

--- TheLoneRider

Metro Manila Blogs by TheLoneRider

Jul 31, 2009


"I guess you're at the dome (Araneta Coliseum) too. I'm at the the ad banner. Where are you?" -- texted by TheLoneRider
(Jul 31, 2009) Leche ito'ng Ambrosia concert...naalala ko yung mga problema ko...ahahahahaha

"Nasa dome ka rin for the America concert? I'm at the bleacher...ikaw?" -- texted by TheLoneRider
(Jul 31, 2009) Oh CRAP! It's tonight?!?!?!?!?! Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!

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