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Magic happens in Tucson

The Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
June 10, 2014
 America  America

Review and photos by Mary Andrews

America stopped in Tucson to give their fans a look back in time. This may not have been deliberate, but it was nostalgic nonetheless. The band started in England where they lived as American military "brats" during their high school years. They initially consisted of three members: Gerry Beckley 1970-present: Lead and backing vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, harmonica, Dewey Bunnell 1970-present: Lead and backing vocals, guitars, percussion, Dan Peek 1970-1977: Lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and harmonica. Peek left the band in 1977 in pursuit of solo aspirations.

The early 1970's saw the country still in the midst of a long Vietnamese war. There had been demonstrations protesting segregation, the war, women's lib and a laundry list of other issues. Radio and vinyl still reigned supreme in disseminating music to the world. The song "Horse With No Name" provided the backdrop for those returning from overseas who were trying find their way back into the American culture. One would assume upon first listen that it was Neil Young singing the lead on the song. Instead, the radio DJ introduced the new group, America.

The show at the Fox Theatre not only provided the musical backdrop for those tumultuous years, but the group had a video background during the show that visually placed the audience back in time. The show started with "Tin Man" and the videos started with projections of the early album covers interspersed with photos of the "boys" during the early '70s. During "Hollywood" we saw images of vintage Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe. "Woodstock" from the album "Back Pages," released in 2011 consists of songs they "wished they had written." The videos were well crafted and accomplished the goals of taking the crowd back in time.

Forty years have passed since America's first big hit. Dewey and Gerry look good and sound superb. The rest of the band consists of long time America drummer Willie Leacox, guitarist/keyboard player Bill Worrell and bass player Rich Campbell. The set consisted of a thorough and satisfying representation of their rich career.

It is easy to forget the amazing musical heritage given to us during the last half of the twentieth century. The music was astounding and it still lives. Thanks to the creative forces behind groups including America. One would think that the world would have changed drastically in the last forty years. Certainly technology has left our heads spinning. Otherwise, as the saying goes " the more things change, the more they stay the same." We still have wars, financial discord, and general discontent. There seems to be more of a tendency to pick up a gun instead of peaceful demonstrations. My question is what will be the musical background for today?
Set List Johnny:
1. Tin Man
2. You Can Do Magic
3. Don't Cross the River
4. Daisy Jane
5. Riverside
6. Three Roses
7. I Need You
8. Here
9. Ventura Highway
10. Woodstock (Joni Mitchell cover)
11. Cornwall Blank / Hollywood
12. Til I Hear It From You (Gin Blossoms cover)
13. The Border
14. Woman Tonight
15. Only in Your Heart
16. California Dreamin' (The Mamas & the Papas cover)
17. Lonely People
18. Sandman
19. Sister Golden Hair

20. A Horse With No Name
 America  America  America
 America  America

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