The Connells played the Cycling Classic on June 15th for the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. Long time Connells fan, Marina Barra Riggio shared this review with us at OneSimpleBand. Both Photos were taken by her at the show.
Twenty years between the Winston-Salem show and the last time I’d seen The Connells perform seemed like mere days once the music started. It was as if time rewound, as their catchy beats and earthly enthusiasm engulfed me. I was not the only one feeling the connection as shouts of “Winston-Salem loves The Connells” were heard from the crowd. Though they hadn’t played together in public for about six months, per a comment from Mike Connell prior to the show, the band was relaxed and ready to entertain the welcoming Winston-Salem audience.
I am, admittedly, a Fun & Games enthusiast, so I was thrilled to hear the title track and “Hey Wow”, and would have loved to hear more from that CD. Even so, the tunes they chose spanned the range of their collection and kept the crowd tapping, moving, and singing along. In addition to the two Fun & Games songs, the playlist included favorites such as ’74-’75 (Ring), Get a Gun (One Simple Word), Over There (Boylan Heights), and Back in Blighty (Old School Dropouts). Doug MacMillan’s melodic range impressively carried the lead vocals through the scheduled performance as well as a humorous impromptu diversion as the sound crew worked through a technical glitch. Mike Connell confirmed that he is more than just a great songwriter when stepped into the lead vocal spot for Back in Blighty, with Doug on back-up vocals.
Last weekend’s performance proved that the band still “has it!” — the band established feeling and connection with the audience. I hope that they add more dates and locations to their tour schedule, as I look forward to seeing them perform again in the not-too-distant future. And so should you!