Fans Rock Out to songs from America


On Saturday at the YouTube Theater, America, founded by musicians Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, treated their adoring fans to the hits they've been performing for 53 years, and 100 concerts consistently every year.

Dan Peek, also a founding member who passed away in 2011, I know is smiling down from the heavens as Bunnell and Beckley carry the torch for him.

The three were barely out of high school when they first made a splash in the British folk-rock scene as America. Not only did they score an international hit with "A Horse With No Name," but they took home the 1972 Grammy for Best New Musical Artist. Many hits would follow, including "Ventura Highway," "Daisy Jane," "Tin Man" and "Lonely People," all songs that appeared on their set list at this concert.

During their presentation of "Lonely People," Peek, who wrote the song, appeared on the video screen behind the stage, joining in on the vocals. A beautiful homage to him.

They are legends of the folk and soft-rock genre which catapulted them to stardom back in the 1970's.

Their current band consists of very capable and well-known musicians who have played with many big names.

Ryland Steen (Reel Big Fish) on the drums, Steve Fekete (Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne) on vocals/guitar/banjo/keyboards, and Richard Campbell (Natalie Cole, Three dog Night) on vocals and bass.

At YouTube Theater, there are also two video screens on both sides of the stage. There were videos and photos that took the audience members down memory lane, all the way back to the origins of the band.

It was amazing to also discover all of the films and television programs that featured their hits over the years.

Beckley spoke of being the opening band for Pink Floyd with an acoustic set back when they were rising stars. He said, "the crowd went 'mild.'"

But the concert at YouTube was far from mild.

Their music had the fans rocking in their seats.


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