Blue Kings - Concert @ Barrymore Theater - Madison,
WI - 02.27.99
Blue Kings Engange in "Musical Foreplay"
night the Mighty Blue Kings graced the stage at Madison, WI's
Barrymore Theater. The Kings were last in town for the 1998
Madison Blues Festival.
in three-piece-suits, the Mighty Blue Kings entered the stage
at approximately 9:15. Their set opened with an upbeat instrumental
piece which immediately got the crowd moving. Lead singer,
Ross Bon, with his slicked back hair and lover boy look, played
it cool in the background, clapping along the beat laid down
by fellow bandmates Gareth Best (guitar), Clark Sommers (bass),
Jerry DeVivo (drums), and John Sandfordt (saxophone).
the opening song, Bon graciously welcomed the audience. "It's
a special night tonight. We're all here together, that makes
it special," declared Bon.
requests for "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz," a fan favorite, Bon decided
it was time to play with the audience. He said the song would
have to wait a bit now, referring to his playfulness as "musical
foreplay." "I know what you want, and I'm just sort of kissing
stage presence was one of the most notable parts of the show.
His charisma helped the audience relate to him, talking as
if everyone at the show was one of his oldest friends. The
ladies at the show were in awe due to his looks alone. Cries
of lust were commonplace, and Bon just played off of them
in his usual modest manner.
hit of the evening was "The Green Grass Grows All Around,"
a remake of an old children's song. Bon urged the crowd to
sing along and to do the hand motions as well. An example
of Bon's penchant for crowd involvement, he paused singing
after the second verse, instructing fans to egg on nonparticipants,
citing "there's one [nonparticipant] in every crowd."
Blue Kings did an excellent job of pleasing the crowd. Beautiful
saxophone and stunning guitar solos were featured throughout
the evening. Bon's harmonica playing displayed a genuine emotionality
to the music. DeVivo played a boss drum feature before the
band returned to the stage for its encore - a slowed-down
performance of Jerry Lewis's "Rag Mop." Other
notable performances from the night include "Money Keeps Getting
Cheaper" and "Don't Let Go." The crowd showed an affinity
toward the songs where they got to sing along. Throughout
the night, the Kings put on an outstanding show.
it was the swing-influenced jump-blues, the harmonica laden
(harmonica by Bon) blues, or Bon's radiant persona, the audience
was at the Kings' mercy - they just couldn't resist. The Kings'
enthusiasm is unparalleled and their musicianship untouched