Sister Hazel -
Review and Photos by Karen BondowskiAs lead singer Sister Hazels' Ken Block walked out onto the stage, his face lit up with an ear-to-ear smile (displaying enough wattage to light-up the first few rows) and waved to the large crowd of screaming "hazelnuts." He took to his acoustic guitar, like he'd just been reunited with his long lost mother, as the other band members got comfortable with their instruments. Sister Hazel was about to put on a clinic on what it's like to really, really enjoy your job. On "Happy," Ken explained that this song was written about just being able to do what you want - no fear - live life to its fullest. "If you want to paint, then paint" a challenge to all to follow their dreams without fear. The band came together like eight well-oiled pistons, running from the law. Happy was made. Two-thirds through the song, Ryan Newell took the spotlight as he played a spirited guitar solo that reflected more on living for the moment than following any pre-prescribed script . In support of his long solo, Jeff Beres sat down on the edge of the stage and played his bass like this was his last dance. A few moments later, Andrew Copeland shifted into overdrive to seal the song into our collective memories.
Playing his electric guitar and striking chords that shouldn't be nudged without asking first, Ryan Newell blew the lid off of Sting's "So Lonely." If you closed your eyes for a moment you would've thought that the Polices' frontman was serenading you personally. After a couple of minutes, Ken picked up his acoustic guitar and approached the mic and everything changed in a snap of a finger. Sister Hazel "Happy, I'm Happy" was brought back to life."
Other exceptionally well-done covers that were performed were, Fleetwood Macs' "Gold Dust Woman" and "Feel Like Making Love" by Bad Company. Other numbers that put the free spirit of Sister Hazel at the forefront were "Just Remember," "All For You," "Look to the Children," "Wanted it to Be" and "Life Got in the Way" and "Everybody."
The "hazelnuts" were enjoying themselves throughly - resembling a family reunion after so many lost years. They didn't seem to be the only ones enjoying themselves, though. Sister Hazel was indeed having a great time as well, on their stage underneath the canopy of twinkling stars! Sharing smiles with one another and sharing laughter that came from a genuine love of music.
Living life for the moment.
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