We got the cover of the new EXPOSE magazine, complete with Ibby Logo and
the headline "MANY HAPPY RETURNS" Text follows:
MANY HAPPY RETURNS by Mac Beaulieu
From the depths of depression to the exuberance of Happy the Man.
Expectations could hardly have been higher, and I must say they exceeded
mine wildly. Some questions I brought to the show were: Would they be as
tight as they used to be? Would Dave Rosenthal live up to Kit Watkins'
playing? Would new material be worthy of the band's esteemed catalog?
Well the band absolutely ripped through material old and new with
apparent ease. Dave Rosenthal is the perfect replacement for Kit: not
only is he a great player (his solo piano piece at mid-set was
jaw-dropping), but he is a masterful composer as well, drawing massive
applause for his "Contemporary Insanity" and the lovely "Maui Sunset."
Other new material was the equal of their old, including perhaps a new
classic in the evocatively named "Barking Spiders." Highlights from
their old selections were too numerous to mention, but I will say that
"Stumpy..." was phenomenal, so tightly wound and played even faster than
the studio version. Their stage presence was notable, placing a
personality on the band that we can finally relate to. Stan Whitaker and
his permanent grin seemed to be riding this newfound wave of success
with a joy that might supass that of two decades ago. They seemed
thrilled to finally indulge in the popularity they so rightly deserve.
If you have the opportunity to see them, seize it.