Review/photo by Jack Pieri
Niagara Falls, NY - On April 27th, the legendary 60's "Blue eyed Soul" band, formerly known as the 'Young Rascals,' attempted to recreate the long lost magic of their polished R&B/pop-rock legacy. Being a long time fan, it was unfortunate to see that the group, being billed as "Felix Cavaliere's Rascals," is really just one original member from the Rascals, along with a group of grumpy old men.
It didn't take long to see the disappointment in the faces of the scarce, sedated elderly crowd, as Cavaliere (who also manned the B-3 organ) struggled to sing significant staple hit songs throughout the night. Cavaliere acknowledged his poor delivery and apologized to the crowd, stating that he was recovering from an illness. That being said, songs like "Lonely Too Long" and "A Beautiful Morning" severely lacked in the trademark 3 part vocal harmonies, which made these masterpiece songs the gems that they are. Musically, instead of the genuine rhythmic fury that the Rascals were known for, the music sounded as if it was being played by a glorified wedding band.
Oddly enough, the set list was comprised of several Motown medleys, with too much emphasis on the Temptations, and not nearly enough on the group's own catalog. Not only did Rascals fans get shorted on original material, but the show itself was short, not even hitting the 90 minute mark. I feel that there were many fan favorites left out, and personally missed hearing their spacey 70's nugget, "See."By the time they started playing the Marvin Gaye song, "What's Going On," I couldn't help but thinking the same thing.
Although the show fell way short of my expectations, it was truly a remarkable delight to finally get to the opportunity to see such a gloriously influential artist like Felix Cavaliere, even with him not being in top form. Ultimately, the thrill is gone from the Detroit rockin' soul sound, which was the Rascals.