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Review: Michael Stanley & the Resonators at Packard Music Hall
October 13, 2013 - Andy Gray
Michael Stanley had a reunion backstage Saturday before his concert at Packard Music Hall.
Several of the old Michael Stanley Band crew guys with Mahoning Valley ties showed up at the venue to surprise Stanley, including former road manager Jim Soffos, monitor man Pat Scardina and lighting man Cyril Turek. And Stanley introduced them during the encore of the two-hour-plus show.
He also recognized Warren native Dan Montecalvo, who couldn’t join the others on stage because he still works as Stanley’s sound board operator, the job he’s had for 37 years.
It safe to describe what happened on stage as a reunion too. There may have been a few first-timers in the crowd of about 1,500, but many were long-time fans who had the concert T-shirts and the old vinyl to prove it. These are the people who helped fill Richfield Coliseum and Blossom Music Center all those years ago (and thanked God for the man who put the white lines on the highway as they made the trek back home).
Saturday’s show was a little more laid back than last year’s concert at the Warren Community Amphitheatre. Both the band and the crowd seemed a bit more mellow.
“We’re not at Tomorrow Club speed anymore,” said Stanley, a reference to one of the old Youngstown venues MSB playing in the mid-‘70s.
It wasn’t until the 14th song of the night, “Lover,” that more than a smattering of folks got up on their feet.
Up to that point, Stanley and his band, the Resonators, mixed old favorites like “Midwest Midnight,” “Let’s Get the Show on the Road” and “Rosewood Bitters” with newer songs like “The Hang” and “I Am You” as well as covers that Stanley has recorded (The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” and Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane”).
Former MSB bandmate Jonah Koslen, who opened last year’s Amp show, wasn’t there Saturday, so the Resonators played “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Mind” with lead guitar player Danny Powers handling lead vocal chores.
“Lover” led into “Somewhere in the Night,” which closed the main set. The Resonators returned for a three-song encore of “In the Heartland, “Working Again” (which included bits of “Bo Diddley” and “Who Do You Love”) and the finale “My Town.”
Stanley already knows it, but the response to the last song showed, once again, that Warren (and the Mahoning Valley) always will be his town too.
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Michael Stanley performs Saturday at Packard Music Hall (Photo by Andy Gray)