The New York Bee Gees Tribute Band In Concert
The Colonial Theater-Pittsfield, MA
November 17, 2017
The audience at the grand Colonial Theater in Pittsfield Massachusetts stepped into a time machine on Friday night. The 70s came roaring back with the New York Bee Gees Tribute Band. For this music fan it was a complete joy to witness the show. Disco had its time like any other genre back in the day and the Bee Gees ruled the airwaves and album sales. It also happened to be to the day, November 17th, that the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack was released 40 years ago.
I decided to put that CD on today and to compare to what I just heard in a live setting. I have to say it was about as good as it could possibly get for cover band.
The core performers are: Peter Mazzeo (Barry), Tom Flyntz (Robin), Manny Focarazzo (Maurice, keyboards), Tammi Wolfe (Female Lead & Background Vocals), Peter Lazos (Drummer) and Mike Flyntz (Lead Guitar & Background Vocals).
The sound of the music was incredibly full and powerful and the lead singer Peter Mazzeo, can get so high that it compared to Barry Gibb in his prime. When he first did it I was in a bit of shock to be honest. The closest thing I have seen to that perform live with that kind of range was Freddie Mercury during the A Night of the Opera tour and Rob Halford consistently over the last 12 years. Part of that full sound was the incredibly talented keyboard playing of Manny Focarazzo (Maurice Gibb). He covered a lot of ground with his strong playing and multiple fills throughout the night.
Every band member sang with the exception of the drummer. So, the vocals alone without the music could have stood on their own as one large instrument. Mike Flyntz looks like a rock guitarist and most certainly is, his other gig is in the band Riot. It was mentioned he was a member of the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame. You would think a musician like that would be out of his element however he fits right in and that is a tribute to his all-around talents.
The set list presented was like a string of Top 40 Gold records played in one sitting. They punched their ticket to stardom playing a full 2 hours and 25 songs. Some were surprises like “Islands In The Stream” (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton) and “Heartbreaker” (Dion Warwick). They seemed out of place in the set but where done very well and appreciated by all in attendance. Speaking of appreciation, the last concert I went to at the Colonial there was some dancing but this was something to behold. I felt like I was transported back into the 70s visiting the Carousel over in New York. That was the place to go for dancing and all the best Disco music of the day. Everyone just had a ball and it was like the secondary show of the evening. I am always the intent observer when covering shows and I frequently find my heart smiling at these events as I witness pure joy with many folks in attendance.
What I found fulfilling as one of the many long-time listeners of the Bee Gees was how they reached back to early days and covered some of the hits like “I Started a Joke,” “Words” and of course “Massachusetts.” It was like hearing Beatles songs, you knew every word. The one which was my favorite from The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack is not a Bee Gees song. It was Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” Something about that song stokes a fire in me, I get the chills and reach back in time. It is just one of those things that hits you right in the heart. It is hard to explain, but everyone has songs that bring about emotions, for me it was happiness and sadness all tied together.
To put in all perspective, the music not only serves as a time machine it injects you with youthful energy and you are “in the moment,” enjoying every second. This is why I am so passionate about attending these live shows. The only thing I am focused on is the performance, not any other outside activities, problems, things I need to do, or work. It’s a beautiful thing.
I did not hear one song that I did not recognize and it was the kind of entertainment that anyone could enjoy. I would see The New Bee Gees Tribute Band again in a heartbeat!
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 18, 2017
01. Night Fever
02. More Than A Woman
03. How Deep Is Your Love
04. Gotta Get A Message To You
05. To Love Somebody (key of G)
07. Lonely Days/Lonely Nights
08. Love You Inside & Out
09. I Started A Joke
12. If I Can’t Have You
13. Nights On Broadway
15. Jive Talkin’
18. Mend A Broken Heart
21. Island In The Stream
22. I Just Want To Be Your Everything
23. Shadow Dancing
24. Stayin Alive
25. You Should Be Dancin’