The Guess Who at Hudson Gardens, 6/3/12 (review)By Colleen Smith | June 4th, 2012 | 6 comments
Who would have guessed that the Guess Who would still be performing 50 years after its formation? The band celebrates its golden anniversary this tour and opened the outdoor concert series at Hudson Gardens and Event Center Sunday evening.
The Guess Who recorded its first song in 1963, and had its first U.S. hit, “Shakin’ All Over,” in 1965. The band extended the song with an impressive guitar duet on Sunday. Aging Boomers applauded the group’s many hits from the days of yore and the band got the somewhat lethargic audience members to “Clap for the Wolfman” and eventually rise from the gravitational pull of lawn chairs to get their groove on and sing along to tunes from their youth: “Laughing,” “She’s Come Undone,” “No Sugar Tonight,” “Hand Me Down World.”
The Guess Who’s vintage music holds up, though, sadly, all band members have not. Two have passed on to that big stage in the sky; another is tethered to an oxygen tank. The band now includes only one original member, Jim Kale. (Randy Bachman broke away to form Bachman–Turner Overdrive.)
Lead vocalist Derek Sharp lends fresh energy and staying power, keeping the antique music alive. The band’s hippie-era songs often pushed progressive nuances. Introducing “Share the Land,” Kale said, “This is a song about giving a damn about the next guy.” Enthusiastic audience vocals added to the band’s barber shop harmonies — a bittersweet moment amped up with nostalgia.
“American Woman” brought the crowd to its feet. The Guess Who’s final song, “No Time,” summed up the evening with the wistful lyric: “Seasons change and so did I.”
Colleen Smith, a longtime freelancer at The Denver Post, is the author of the novel “Glass Halo” and the gift book “Laid-Back Skier.”