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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 Coliseum
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.


SCENE MAGAZINE - Feb. 26 - March 3 by Jim Girard
Cleveland Coliseum February 20, 1976 Cat Stevens

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.


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