Legends of Rock n’ Roll : A priceless evening!
April 13, 2013, and the Rialto was bursting with people coming to see three living legends of sixties music. The Crystals, Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles, and Freddy Boom Boom Cannon didn’t disappoint their audience. And, in so doing, they delivered an important life lesson. Despite your age, when you have the inner fire, a young heart never grows old.
In a venue set up for the circumstances in a way that reminded one of the former Cabaret du Casino de Montréal, the show opened with The Crystals. The archetypal girl group of the sixties let it all out with Da Doo Ron Ron, their biggest success. They also sang Uptown, He’s a rebel, And then he kissed me.
Of course, it’s not the original Crystals, except maybe for the oldest singer of the trio. With Phil Spector at the helm of their career, this is not surprising. The genial but controversial producer made another group named The Crystals when the originals were still recording their hits.
But what was offered to the audience that evening was nostalgia wrapped in a colorful rhythmic package. And nobody asked for more than that!
The second part of the evening belonged to Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles. A more dynamic group than The Crystals, with a 72 years old singer in dangerous form! She sang Will You Love Me Tomorrow, the most emotional moment of the entire show, among other successes like Mama Said, Soldier Boy, or Everybody Loves a Lover, a former Doris Day hit.
As to demonstrate that the show has been constructed in a crescendo, leading to an explosive (pun intended) conclusion, we got Freddy Boom Boom Cannon for the last number. The guy, simply dressed in black, well groomed, glasses, is miles away from the classic image of the rocker. But this façade is highly deceptive. He got the Rialto rocking right up to the balcony with his hits of the era : Palissades Park, Where the Action Is, Way down Yonder in New Orleans.
It is then that I realized, despite my being younger than most of the grey, white, and balding heads in the theatre, there were many that were even younger than me! Many young adults enjoyed themselves while dancing to that rock n’ roll sound.
A most satisfactory evening, and one that consecrates the Rialto’s vocation, a kind of Corona theatre with english shows that are even more promising. Want proof? Elvis Baggio will present his Elvis Viva Las Vegas on May 4. The Beatles will come alive again, in a way, in Replay the Beatles, which we will see May 11. The king of twist, Chubby Checker, will make everyone twist again on May 18. The Hit Men, a group formed with the original members of The Four Seasons and Tommy James and the Shondells will also give a show on June 15 and 16.
Yes, the Rialto is the new rockin’ place in town!