Concerts

Happy Together Tour: Which '60s Survivors Still Sound Great on Tour?

At the Happy Together tour, which passed through Talking Stick Resort over the weekend, it's only natural for a charged-up boomer audience to close its eyes and imagine itself back in the '60s. But you wonder how many fans closed their eyes, thought they were back home watching a PBS Fund Drive music special, and got disoriented when they opened them again. From the canned announcer between acts to the scripted banter about the good old days and where you were in the fall of 1967 when this song sold 16 million copies to the archival footage of the show's stars played in Ken Burns-style slow motion, I don't think there was ever a concert where I felt closer to being hit up for the price of a tote bag.

Oldies package show are supposed to be slick -- they're competing with your memories for your affection, after all, and damn it if there's a note in a guitar break out of place. The five-piece band on this tour is particularly spot-on, reminiscent of the way The Wondermints eerily ape The Beach Boys' recorded sound at Brian Wilson shows. They execute every note you expect to hear, including those the rotating cast of lead singers are supposed to sing but no longer can.

How close did each of these stars come to their younger '60s avatars? Here they are in the order of they performed and -- not coincidentally -- in order of diminishing vocal power.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic