|Majicat Earth Tour Concert Reviews: Cleveland Ohio
Here are two concert
reviews from local newspapers.Reviewing the concert I attended on February 20, 1976, at
the Richfield Coliseum, which is right outside of Cleveland. These reviews are from a
local newspaper, 'The Cleveland Plain Dealer', and a record
store magazine called 'Scene'. Jane Scott was a concert reviewer
for many years in the Cleveland area, and just recently retired from the entertainment
scene. The Scene magazine is still in operation today reporting the music scene in and
around the Cleveland area.
- Cat Stevens live in the Richfield
- 16,000 FANS ENTHRALLED
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer,
Saturday, February 21, 1976
- Concert review by Jane Scott
Cat Stevens proved to be a
real tiger last night.
His mere name is magic to
his thousands of Cleveland followers, but the 16,000 fervent fans weren't prepared for his
entrance at the Coliseum last night.
Black magician, Chuck Dent,
came out first, produced pigeons out of thin air, then moved four small empty boxes around
the stage. He suddenly stacked the boxes and presto, out popped the Cat.
But Stevens didn't need any
other magic than his music to keep the sellout audience enthralled. He's one of those
three-note men. Play three notes and the audience claps and shouts in recognition.
The bearded English singer
sat on a stage extension, closed his eyes and sang, " The Wind " with the words,
" I let my music take me where my heart wants to go."
Stevens may not be the
world's most profound poet, but his songs have heart, a real human touch and strikes a
chord in those 14 to 40.
" Find a girl, settle
down," he sang in his song , " Father and Son " He touched ecological irony
in his " Where Do The Children Play?" During the last named song, the tiger
curtain back of him, went up. Revealing a hemisphere with a seven-pointed star, a
seven-member band and three girl singers.
Stevens then went to the
piano and said he was going to do a new song, " Whistle Stop." an instrumental
number. But no instrumental ever had such an accompaniment. Magician Dent returned with
Greg Smith, his assistant, and " sawed " a bouncy blonde, Cathy Schoppe, in half
to the music.
" Is that really me
?" he said staring at the huge TV screen at the top level of the Coliseum. " I
look good." said Stevens. There he was, projected on a huge screen next to the bread
ad, " It tasted better even before you butter it. "
Some of his songs were
bluesy, like " Miles From Nowhere." Some were rollocky fun ones with an
infectious beat, such as his new " Banapple Gas." But Stevens is really a folky
sort of person.
Actually he was at his best
sitting in front of the audience with his acoustic guitar, singing his tender " How
Can I Tell You." Tapping the floor with his kelly green tennis shoes. Stevens is as
cozy as a kitten by the fireplace. He still swings his body from side to side as he sings.
He told the audience he was
" a little bit cold tonight " because the stars were not right in position. But
he was a warmhearted star to the young audience.
Sometimes the sound wasn't
so spectacular. There were reverberations during " Miles From Nowhere." A rather
weak spot was his simple " I Love My Dog," but then that was the first song he
ever wrote and he treasures it like baby's first shoes
The Stevens backup band was
tight and fine. Jean Roussel on the piano and organ was the standout. There were two
encores, but the highlight for many was Stevens electric " Peace Train. "
Ironically it seems as appropriate today as it did during Vietnam.
MAGAZINE - Feb. 26 - March 3 by Jim Girard
Coliseum February 20, 1976
Just as I had expected,
last Friday's Cat Stevens concert was professional, well illustrated and quite enjoyable.
And though I personally can't stand his temperamental attitude, Cat Stevens remains a
confident and competent performer.
Beginning a half-hour late,
Cat popped out of a large case as a troupe of musicians fled from the stage. Without an
opening act, the crowd was treated to the main event. No phony drama. This was to be a
magical evening with Cat Stevens and the stars he reveres revolving around him.
(unreadable sentence) his
carcass got near and his piano ( motorized, yet ) rolled itself toward the minstrel of the
hour when he beckoned it.
Front and center, as
always, was rhythm guitarist, Alun Davies. As they strummed their Ovations through "
Where Do The Children Play," the large blue curtain, emblazoned with Cat's tiger
logo, rose to reveal the rest of his band. Drummer Gerry Conway and Jean Roussel on
keyboards were the most obvious mainstays from previous tours and albums. Two
percussionists, a dispensable guitarist, an excellent bassist and three female vocalist
completed the 10-piece unit.
With snappy green shoeboots
and a white hunting outfit, the meek Greek swayed and crooned through numbers from seven
A&M LP's. of course, 'TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN' was leaned upon heavily, as was ' TEASER
AND THE FIRECAT ', those being his biggest singles. He obviously wasn't about to rock the
boat with new arrangements or unknown material.
The sound throughout the
mammoth hall was better than average. In fact, the sound of the band and the vocals was so
impressive ( from several positions in the hall ) that I had to look around to see if I
was really hearing a live act in such an usually unkind acoustic surrounding.
After a 35-minute set, a
half-hour intermission was observed. A few more minutes of trunk tricks and magic gimmicks
brought the second half of the show into being with songs from 'NUMBERS', Stevens' recent
LP release which some consider his strongest in several years.
The amazing stage setting
proved a tremendous visual aid, having earlier in the show provided a film screen for a
home movie about " Banapple Gas." The lighting was unusually dramatic and
well-done, making the lack of physical movement onstage bearable. All in all, the amount
of care and planning that went into the stage and lights enhanced the all to familiar
music and added a new dimension to Cat's music. Several other established acts could learn
a lesson in staging from this show.
Also noteworthy was the
fact that Cat wasn't boring or long winded. He kept his second set to about 45 minutes,
having sung the songs people wanted to hear.. The show contained his entire ' GREATEST
HITS ' LP, plus the best selections from his other albums. Matches illuminated the
Coliseum at the evening's end, and Cat obligingly returned to bid a final adieu to the
lovers, young married couples and Cat Stevens fans ranging from 12 to 35.
It's what I expected, as I
mentioned. Still, a tip of me hat to Cat. Another good show.