|By JoB (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 07:25 am:|
...The Tempts may be my (and most others on this forum) favorite male vocal soul group, and they did a great job Saturday night, BUT THAT CONCERT BELONGED TO THE MIGHTY OJAYS!!!!
If you don't know what I'm talking about, there was a "Legends of Soul" concert Saturday night here in Indianapolis featuring the Temptations, Four Tops, Ojays, and the Whispers. One of the best concerts I have ever been to.
It started off with the Whispers who did an excellent job, singing most of their old hits. I was amazed at how great they still sounded, I mean in terms of their voices, they have not aged one bit. And they still look good too, moving and dancing like they were 25 years old or something :o) About halfway through, they even did a tribute to Barry White, reworking the lyrics to one of their old songs "We Miss you Donnie" (I'm guessing that was for Donnie Hathaway??) and changed it to "We Miss you Barry".
Next up were the Four Tops, led by Theo Peoples (wasn't he a Tempt once?)...but anyway, they sounded great too. It's something about the Tops that just make me love'm, I don't know what it is...When they started the music to "Keeper of the Castle", the guy in the seat next to me just went nuts (I guess that must've BEEN HIS SONG back in the day :o), I couldn't be too mad at him, though, I did the same thing when they started "Ain't no Woman (Like the One I Got)". Near the end of their set, the other three members kind of stepped out of the spotlight and Theo Peoples proceeded to perform the most outstanding rendition of Heatwave's "Always and Forever" I have ever heard in my life. He tore the house down. And I'm just going to leave it at that because I really can't describe in words the way I felt when he was done. It was amazing. Then at the end of the song, he sang out, "This is my promise!"...my take on it is, he was kind of throwing that one out at the Tempts, kind of like, "See? You used to have all of this talent..."...(if you recall, he sang lead on the song "This is my Promise" on the Tempts Pheonix Rising CD).
Then, oh then, came the Mighty Ojays. After Saturday nights concert they are no longer the Ojays to me but the Mighty Ojays. I mean they were the FIRST AND ONLY group to have the entire stadium up on their feet and dancing. I mean they took us to CHURCH, yall. Eddie Levert is the sh*t, and although I have always been a fan of the Ojays, they just made another true, hardcore fan. We were all standing, holding hands in the air on "Love Train", and all of the couples were either dancing together or holding hands on "Forever Mine", they even had people out in the aisles doin' the "bump"...and them Ojays also had the nerve to be dancin' like they was 25 years old or somethin' :o) They got DOWN, and you knew they were feelin' it when Eddie yelled out, "Sh*t, yall done got me started!!!". They definitely get my vote for best perfomance of the night, ending with a funky rendition of "Money".
Last but certainly not least came the main attraction, The Mighty Temptations. Led by G.C. Cameron (ex-Spinner??), they performed a wonderful set of their old hits, which I'm very thankful for, because I thought they were going to sing half oldies, half a bunch of their new songs (which are actually pretty good)...but no, they stuck to the oldies. Well, they did sneak in (much to the crowd's appreciation, might I add) "Stay" off of the Pheonix Rising album. About halfway through their set, Otis says, "People come up to me all the time and ask, 'why don't you all ever do any of your other songs like 'Don't Look Back' or 'I'll be in Trouble' anymore?'...well, we have a little surprise for you..."--and then proceeded to do a medley of their less-celebrated hits, like "Since I Lost my Baby", "The Girl's Alright", "Don't Look Back"...a very pleasant surprise to the hardcore Tempts fans (like myself)...I said it once and I'll say it again, The Tempts were, and still are a class act, and will always be my favorite. I will have to admit though, the crowd had kind of settled down after the Ojay's were through (we were tired from all that dancing!)...
I noticed on another thread (I think it was the one asking about the best live concert you've ever been to), someone mentioned going to a concert with The Tempts and Ojays on the bill, and they said how the Ojays were on, and they tore it up, and Tempts really had a hard time getting the crowd back after them??? Well, let's just say that history has once again repeated itself. The Tempts looked and sounded GREAT, but they simply shouldn't have had to follow the Ojays...you would think that they would've learned by now, that trying to follow after Eddie and his crew just is not a good formula. I still love'm though, always will.
Well, I guess that's the concert pretty much in a nutshell, as I remembered it (to the best of my ability, although I must admit I may have been slightly under the influence of alcohol for most of the concert...sorry, but the breaks between the different groups sets for their bands to set up were too long and the bar was too close to where I was sitting)...I took some great pictures, though. I just couldn't believe how well all of the groups moved and danced, with the Whispers and the Ojays being at the top of the list in that category. I mean, I know that most of the groups have gone through line-up changes, though.
So to those who have said on earlier posts that "oldies" acts cannot fill stadiums, I beg to differ...I saw VERY few empty seats...no, I didn't see any other young people there (it was an older crowd, and everyone kept staring at me and my friend like we were just there cause we got lost on the way to the damn B2K concert or something), but it was packed, nonetheless. I heared an older gentleman mention that it was good, but it "just wasn't the same" as, I'm assuming, the groups' performances from back in the day. I mean, that doesn't surprise me, I already knew that and didn't expect it to be (you know, a big stadium with seats far away from the stage as oppose the more intimate nightclub setting, 50-60 year old men as oppose to the 20-30 year old sound, etc...well, hey, being 20-something, unless anyone has a time-machine they'd be willing to let me use, that's as good as it'll get for me, so I'll take it. And I couldn't possibly end this post without giving HUGE props to the bands. They are to the groups and the crowd shaking their a*ses what the funk brothers are to Motown---without them, it wouldn't have happened. They ALL did great jobs.
The only bad part of the night was when I payed what could be considered to be half of a bill (phone, power & light, cable, pick one) to get into the after-party that supposedly the Tempts, Ojays, and Gerald Levert were supposed to be at, but none of them showed up. If it wasn't for a good old-skool party DJ saving the day with a good mix, I might have gotten myself arrested in an attempt to get my money back (the alcohol, remember?).
So that's it, sorry for the extra long post, but I just had to tell you all about one of the best concerts of my life... :o)
|By RD (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 07:53 am:|
Great review Job. The original five man O'Jays gave the Classic Temptations hell in their battle of the groups at Cleveland's now defunct Leo's Casino in the sixties too. The O'Jays had a hometown edge but the Tempts had the monster hits.
The Whispers are one of the smoothest moving groups of all time. They have their own unique slides and twists, which they executes effortlessly.
Theo Peoples is a great singer and a joy to hear regardless of who he's singing with.
How big is that stadium Job? When was the last time a show of that magnitude and genre came to the area? That has a lot to do with ticket sells. That same show wouldn't have sold as many seats in Cleveland and wouldn't have been staged at either Jacobs Field or the Browns' stadium because all the acts involved come to the city on a regular basis. That same show is coming here but I can't remember the venue off the top.
|By Lagunabeach (126.96.36.199) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 08:18 am:|
What a great sounding show. Now.....compare that to the current crop of crap rappers out there. Yuk! Wish I could have seen this one!
|By MzMusik (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 08:36 am:|
I have to put my 2 cents in here too!!!! I saw the Tempts and the Ojays at the Cincinnati jazz festival about 3 years ago and the Ojays were the standout performance. Boy, when Eddie cut loose, it was pure DYNAMITE!!!! Then Gerald came out and he and his dad performed together. He was a surprise guest and he tore the place up!!! Can't nobody touch the MIGHTY OJAY'S!!!!! Like I said earlier, if the Tempts would sing their current hits more, then they would have a better show.
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 11:28 am:|
My brother Jim saw the O'Jays & the Temptations together in the mid-1970s and told me what everyone is saying now - the Tempts were great but the O'Jays were on fire.
Maybe Otis Williams should offer Eddie Levert a spot in the....naaaaahhh!
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By JoB (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 04:29 am:|
..RD..I'm not sure exactly but I'll find out that info and post it tonight (it was at Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Pacers play). And I'd venture to say that these acts come to Indianapolis about once a year or so.
Kevgo--LOL...I don't think that would work...If they (Otis) didn't like David R. stealing the show back THEN, I don't think that Eddie L. would last a week as a Tempt :o)
|By WaltB (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 06:44 am:|
RD the show in Cleveland will be at the Scene (formerly Nautica) Ampitheatre. Also your mention of seeing the Temptations and O'Jays battle at Leo's Casino brings back a lot of memories of that era.
|By RD (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 07:35 am:|
Thanks Walt, I read that somewhere but couldn't remember the venue.
Job, Conseco Arena is like our Gund Arena where the Cavaliers play, it's a big 20,000 plus seat venue. The Scene Ampitheatre is a much smaller place.
WaltB: The Tempts and the O'Jays put on some legendary battles at Leo's. I think the O'Jays were managed by the late owner of Leo's Casino at the time. It seems like they appeared there every other month. The five man O'Jays vocals were amazing on songs like "Crack Up Laughing," "Lonely Drifter," "Stand In For Love" and the William Powell led tunes: "Oh How You Hurt Me Girl" and "Let It All Out." The Powell led "Working On Your Case" came out a bit after these battles. Walter Williams always did "Lipstick Traces." The difference with the O'Jays then and from the '70s on is that with the original group you had three lead singers, which gave their live shows variety; when they became a trio it was strictly Ed Levert with some co and solo leads by Walter Williams.
One thing I liked about Leo's and the Music Box where the Contours, Jimmy Ruffin and the Marvelettes played was that they didn't care how old you were. I was around 15 when I started going to these places, looked 11, and nobody denied me admission or alcohol. A friend has a pic of me, him and another friend at the Supremes' show at Leo's Casino with drinks in front of us. We were all 16 years old. We got paid from our summer jobs, had our hair conked, and paid some dude who let us in the side door, we had seats right near the stage. Flip Wilson opened for the Supremes.
|By Common (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 09:38 am:|
JoB: Man, the Ojays are baaaaaaaad! I saw them two summers ago when they performed with Dennis' Review. Dennis had already left the park smokin & here comes Eddie & his boys. It was all over but the shoutin! I would love to see a show with the OJays. Eddie & Co. really put on a show! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the show. BTW, how long was each act onstage? I heard they were coming to Radio City but I, er, um, don't think I want to shell $100 to see them.
KevGo: You are wrong for that! LOL!
|By R&B (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 12:39 pm:|
I SAW THE TEMPS AN O'JAYS IN THE 80'S AND I HAVE TO ADMIT THE THE O'JAYS WERE A BIT BETTER THAT NIGHT[ALTHOUGH MELVIN WASN'T THERE],BUT LET ME STATE HERE AND NOW THAT THE O'JAYS ARE ONE OF THE GREATEST GROUPS EVER AND I LOVE EM LIVE AND ON WAX,BUT EVEN THE O'JAYS AT FULL STRENTH WOULD'VE BEEN CRUSHED BY THE CLASSIC TEMPS[I HAD TO SAY IT]!!
|By Scratcher (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 01:46 pm:|
Actually the Temptations became a stronger act live in the big venues they started playing with Dennis Edwards than they were as the Classic Tempts.
The Classics were dynamite in clubs like the Tangiers in Akron and Leo's Casino in Cleveland; but in the larger venues Dennis' voice projected better than any of the Classic Tempts'.
None of the classics had a blustery lead singer like a Dennis Edwards, Levi Stubbs, Eddie Levert, Marvin Junior, etc.
David and Eddie were smooth singers, only Paul can be considered, and while good, he was no Levi Stubbs or Marvin Junior, for that matter.
|By Julian (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 02:25 pm:|
Sounds like it was a helluva concert!
|By SB (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 05:47 pm:|
JoB - great report. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself - and in more ways than one. LOL! I can imagine how well the O'Jays did - and good on them too. I wish all the oldies but goodies well.
That entire lineup will be coming to DC on August 10th. I've also been hearing on the dial - that there will be a "70's Soul Fest", concert in DC on August 2nd. The Stylistics - Intruders - Temprees and many more.
I intend on going to see Smokey the next time he comes - but I'll have to sit the above mentioned concerts out.
Way to carry it girlfriend.
|By stephanie (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 10:05 am:|
How come (does anyone know) why they didnt let Mr Powell do more leads in the 70s he had a good voice. It seemed like Levert and Williams got the lions share.....he wasnt sick with cancer then so I dont understand,,,
|By RD (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 10:56 am:|
Stephanie, William Powell didn't do any leads on the O'Jays' Philadelphia International sides and none previous when Gamble & Huff produced them on Neptune or with George Kerr when they were with Bell Records. Why? A lot of people have been asking that question for years and nobody seems to know.
|By Eli (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 01:04 am:|
Speaking of the Temprees,
Most people dont realize that a lot of the rhythm tracks for their album was recorded in Philly at Future Gold Studios which was owned by Jesse James.
I t probably was mixed at Stax but John Gary Willims recorded it in Philly along with somw of his own stuff.
We also did a slew of Redd Coach stuff there as well.